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News & Policy

Statement of PBGC Executive Director Bradley Belt on Agreement Between UAL and ALPA

December 17, 2004

WASHINGTON-Bradley Belt, executive director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, issued the following statement today regarding the agreement announced between United Airlines and its pilots' union:

"We are concerned that this agreement sets a dangerous precedent. The company is making generous new pension promises even as it is refusing to honor its old pension promises. Equally troublesome is the notion that the pilots' union insists on the termination of the pension plans for other United employees. The company and the pilots' union have no authority to force other workers and the PBGC to accept the termination of those plans. We will be scrutinizing this agreement very closely and will take all appropriate steps to protect the financial interests of the pension insurance program."

The PBGC is a federal corporation created under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. It currently guarantees payment of basic pension benefits earned by 44 million American workers and retirees participating in over 31,000 private-sector defined benefit pension plans. The agency receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed largely by insurance premiums paid by companies that sponsor pension plans and by investment returns.

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PBGC No. 05-17