ALPA Reps Gather for R&I Seminar

Thirty-two pilot reps from 16 ALPA pilot groups joined ALPA staff members in the union’s Herndon (Virginia) Conference Center yesterday and today for the two-day ALPA Retirement and Insurance (R&I) Seminar. The seminar trains and updates ALPA pilot MEC R&I Committee members.

Capt. Kevin Powell, Delta MEC R&I chairman, a veteran of past seminars, exclaimed, “This is the best R&I seminar I’ve ever attended.”

One measure of the seminar’s relevance: Yesterday, noted financial journalist and author William D. Cohan, talking about the effect of capital markets on retirement investments, dished about a couple of recycled Wall Street insiders who, despite having failed previously with investors’ money, are back at it again. Today, they were the subject of a Wall Street Journal article.

Seminar attendees soaked up presentations by, and asked many questions of, a number of distinguished guests:

  • Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA president, spoke frankly about the challenges ALPA has faced recently, the union’s wins on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, the importance of benefits bargaining over the next 10 years, and the pressing issues that confront all ALPA members.

  • Nicholas Levintow, a senior attorney with the Department of Labor, talked about DOL’s aggressive enforcement of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which protects the employment rights of military veterans.

  • Bill Bortz, a Treasury Department attorney, discussed various types of financial instruments intended to provide lifetime income for retirees.

  • J. Scott Rainey, vice president and financial consultant for Charles Schwab, explained the financial planning and advisory process that his team of financial advisors follows in providing financial planning services for ALPA members (without charge or compensation to ALPA).

  • Capt. Bob Brand (United), ALPA National R&I Committee chairman, and ALPA staff outlined ALPA’s current member insurance programs and ideas for new ALPA insurance products.

  • Michael Del Conte, a DOL attorney, explained new DOL regulations aimed at providing more transparency to fund participants by requiring fund managers to disclose more information about fees and other costs to participants.

  • ALPA staff and outside counsel covered a host of issues: ALPA’s strategic plan; favorable patterns in negotiating benefits in pilot contracts; challenges in negotiations; an update on health care reform; how to assess retirement needs; ALPA’s new policy for managing financial risk to the union; and an update on ALPA’s stepped-up efforts on Capitol Hill.

Look for more coverage of the ALPA R&I Seminar in the December issue of Air Line Pilot.