Fellow UPFJ Members;
It has been a busy week. Our attorney, Kevin McBride, continues to request, and be granted, our requested information from the PBGC. Kevin reports we have a good working relationship with the PBGC.
Consolidated Appeal Deadline: Among the latest information is that all of our members' appeal dates have been extended to April 8th, 2011 for the group appeal. These may be extended further if needed for the last Final Determination Letters to be issued and evaluated before our final appeal.
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FDL Completion Schedule: The PBGC sent their expected schedule of FDL letter completions and there are still 4500 FDL's to be issued. The PBGC expects to issue these as follows:
a. Remaining "general category" pilots-by the end of Feb. 2011
b. Survivors of deceased pilots-by the end of March, 2011
c. Divorced pilots who have required split benefit payments-by the
end of June, 2011 (approx. 1500).
Remember to Request an Extension: As a reminder, it is extremely important that all retirees request an extension. As soon as you receive your FDL, you may request an extension through UPFJ if you are a member or individually if you are not a member. UPFJ members are registered with the PBGC for extensions unless they have requested not to be registered. UPFJ members will also be included in the appeal as long as they have included the last four digits of their SS number, phone number, e-mail, and power of attorney form. They may also request not to be included in the appeal process.
Potential Calculation Errors for Individual Pilots:
The PBGC has agreed to supply us with their procedures and formulas that they use to determine benefits. With the help of Doug Wilsman, the UPFJ will run a computer analysis with this information to check for suspected errors of specific pilot data by pilot category.
UPFJ will verify a sampling of PBGC calculations in the different categories of our member group. If there are meaningful errors, we will help arrange for an individual pilot member to recalculate his personal benefit payments, using our system data, for a reasonable fee. A similar approach is used by the Delta Retirees, the DP3's.
The PBGC has said they will correct any errors we find in the individual appeal, assuming we are correct.
Inspector General Batts Report: Another interesting development is taking place at the PBGC. As you may recall, Congressman Miller, CA. solicited an internal PBGC investigation by Inspector General Batts of the PBGC.
Her letter found defects with the plan asset audit process and the participant data audit process. Among other things, apparently the PBGC did not comply with it's own protocols in conducting plan asset audits. The full letter from Inspector General Batts, dated July 20, 2010, is on our website. She created a more formal report that has not been released. We expect the PBGC to release it to UPFJ in the near future.
As a result of the PBGC's internal investigation, the PBGC has announced that it will open a new audit of our plan and it's funding. The audit will be done by an independent accounting firm. The audit will take approximately one year, and the UPFJ will be in contact with the PBGC during the process.
New Member Category: Some of our earlier retired UPFJ members who we're fortunate enough to have avoided the damage of the 3 year/ 5 year look back, Social Security level option election, etc. may not want to appeal their personal settlement.
If this is the case, UPFJ has a category where they will not join the group appeals but will remain a contributing member and participate in any other gains we may make outside of "administrative" gains. Members should let us know if they are interested in this classification.
Early Retiree Members: Also, UPFJ would like to give a special thanks to a number of the earlier retirees that have been generous in supporting our efforts, even though not as seriously damaged, and will not appeal their personal settlements. It feels like the good old days.
Keep an eye on the web site for more information. Refer your friends to the UPFJ web site who are not yet members. We are making solid progress and feel we are developing solid options for appeal. We have also developed a very credible presence with the PBGC.
As one more reminder, to benefit from any possible success from our group appeal, a pilot must belong to UPFJ. This cannot be a class action appeal.
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Posted in Business Post Date 07/10/2018