United Airlines Pilots
Whether you are a legacy United or Continental pilot, we have experience working with both retirement benefits packages in order to develop customized financial and retirement plans.Meet Our Team
Are you an active United pilot who is facing whether to bid for the Pilot-Voluntary Separation Leave (P-VSL)?
This early retirement offer has incentives far beyond what was included as United downsized after 9-11. Some of the key implications we’ve been addressing with clients regarding the P-VSL, include:
- How does this decision impact me in the event of United Airlines filing for bankruptcy?
- When does my P-VSL Bid submission become irrevocable?
- I was recently displaced back to a narrow body Captain's seat. Will I be paid at my old wide body pay rate or my new one?
- When does my unused vacation time get paid out once on P-VSL and how?
- If I take the P-VSL payout, can I defer part or all of my vacation time payout to the RHA or my PRAP?
How We Can Help
If you are eligible for the P-VSL offer, we at JFG are prepared to help you address these questions and others as you make this critical – and irreversible – decision.
Our team will design a confidential, complimentary, and fully customized retirement analysis, analyzing how your P-VSL decision may impact your retirement outcome.
With our knowledgeable and passionate Pilot Program team including a retired United pilot on staff with decades of experience in Retirement and Insurance benefits. We can help evaluate whether this program is right for you.
Our advisors are conversant in the complex and constantly changing world of Social Security and Medicare benefits. We closely monitor the United Airlines benefit plans and analyze the implications to help you in transitioning to retirement.
A critical part of your retirement success is your ability to contribute to a tax-advantaged retirement plan to maximize your retirement dollars, including contributions to your Retiree Health Account (RHA) if appropriate.
We’ll begin with our financial planning process, which allows us to understand what makes you happy and what it will cost. With a better understanding of your goals, we are able to determine the income and assets necessary to achieve them. To get started, fill out our Optimized Portfolio questionnaire which will help us assess your portfolio construction.Optimized Portfolio Questionnaire Click here to fill out our optimized portfolio questionnaire.
United Pilot Retirement Account Plan (PRAP)
- PRAP assets are held in trust and secure from UAL creditors. Accounts are held in your name for your benefit. United Pilot Retirement Account Plan (PRAP) provides the following options:
- You may make pre‐tax and Roth 401(k) contributions plus after‐tax contributions (once you have maxed out of your pre‐tax and Roth contributions).
- The company will contribute to the plan an amount equal to 16% of your eligible earnings each pay period (9% B Plan, 7% C Plan).
- Max 2020 IRS contributions are $19,500 plus additional $6,500 “catch‐up” for age 50+.
- Max 2020 IRS contributions from all sources are $57,000 plus the $6,500 catch-up.
- You are 100% vested.
- You select your investments:
- Target Date Funds, Asset Class Funds (both active and passive) and a window called the Personal Choice Retirement Account (PCRA). See PRAP service center for full descriptions: toll‐free 866.855.7727 or schwabplan.com/PRAP
- You can self‐direct among investments or retain an advisor to manage your account. Johnson Financial Group can actively manage your PRAP account for you.
- Upon retirement you have the ability to rollover your funds to a Rollover IRA or Roth IRA.
PCRA Brokerage Information
The Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account® (PCRA) is a self‐directed brokerage account. Similar to a regular brokerage account, PCRA gives you access to additional investment choices other than the Target Date or Asset Class Funds. PCRA provides you the ability to buy and sell individual stocks and over 2,000 mutual funds with up to 100% of your PRAP account balance.
Johnson Financial Group can actively manage your PCRA accounts for you.
Retiree Health Account (RHA)
As healthcare costs continue to rise each year, your Retiree Health Account (RHA) provides a secure, tax-free source of funds to pay for healthcare-related expenses for you, your spouse, and your qualified dependents in retirement or after separation from UAL.
Your RHA can only be funded through:
- A mandatory employer contribution of $1.00 per hour paid
- Employer contributions in excess of the max limits of your PRAP
- Forfeited annual vacation
Our advisors can help you determine a strategy to either maximize or minimize contributions to your RHA depending on your individual needs.
This Defined Benefit Pension Plan was terminated December 30, 2004 and assumed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Your retirement benefits will be paid by the PBGC based upon priority categories. You will receive a PC‐3 or PC‐4 benefit. There are no lump sum benefit options available from the PBGC, only a selection of retirement annuity options. We suggest that you contact the PBGC and request estimated retirement benefits at various commencement ages at http://www.pbgc.gov.
Some PBGC benefits are complex or unique to your individual situation.
- How and when should you register for benefits?
- What is the best annuity option for you?
- When should you start taking your benefits?
Continental Pilots Retirement Plan (CPRP) – A Plan
This Defined Benefit Pension Plan (formerly CARP) was frozen in 2005. The retirement benefit is formula driven based on final average earnings and years of service. It is calculated to be paid over your lifetime. You will want to understand your early and normal retirement eligibility and vesting service before making your election for retirement. Another important decision will be the payment option you choose when you retire:
- Lump sum
- Single life annuity
- Joint and survivor annuity
The lump sum option historically has been a popular option. It is effectively the present value of your single lifetime annuity paid in one single sum. The calculated amount will be affected by mortality rate assumptions and current interest rates. For example, a higher interest rate environment will provide a lower lump‐sum amount. We suggest you visit Your Benefits Resources to obtain various CPRP benefit options. There is no “one‐size fits all” with this election.
Making the Most of Your Airline 401(k)
Your 401(k) plan may be one of your largest assets, so how you manage it is critical to the success of your overall retirement plan.LEARN MORE Click here to learn more about making the most of your airline 401(k)
After Tax Rollover Rules: Helpful and Taxpayer Friendly
While not widely used or known, some employer sponsored retirement plans, including pilot 401(k) plans, allow you to put after‐tax money into the account.LEARN MORE Click here to learn more about after tax rollover rules.
Saving Strategies in Your Final Approach to Retirement
Being aggressive with your savings as you approach retirement is one of the most effective ways to catch up or compensate for times when you weren't able to save as much as you would have liked to.LEARN MORE Click here to learn more about savings strategies in your final approach to retirement.
You’re at the controls
Our Pilot Planning team is committed to assisting you and your family plan for retirement, transition into retirement and live comfortably through retirement. Several of our advisors had previous careers with major airlines, so they have firsthand understanding of your situation. Contact one of our advisors today.Meet Our Team