US - The Delta Pilots' Pension Preservation Organization (DP3) lost its fight to delay the termination of the Delta Airlines pension plan and reached a settlement for the airline to pay retired pilots a minimum collective payment of $77m in return.
Come September, Delta Airlines which has been operating under bankcruptcy protection since September 2005, will be turning over its pension plan to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation to save the company from liquidation.
DP3, which represents about 2,850 of 5,300 retired pilots, had attempted to delay this move in an effort to save the scheme. The organisation had claimed Delta may not have to dump the pension plan following the recent pension reforms, however the request was turned down.
However, US bankruptcy Judge Adlai Hardin authorised Delta to pay about 3,600 retired pilots $9m in cash for benefits accrued under one of its pension plans.
The pilots will also receive an unsecured claim for the rest, valued at about $68m.
Dean Booth, DP3's lawyer, said the organisation reached the settlement after serious negotiations and claimed the union had exercised sound judgement.
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