Bankruptcy Judge Approves NWA Pilots Pension Freeze

January 31, 2006 ( - A New York bankruptcy judge has approved the freezing of Northwest Airlines Corp's pilot's pension plan, the Associated Press reports.

The pilots’ union agreed to the freeze and a move to a defined contribution plan in January (See  Northwest Pilots OK DB Plan Freeze).

With the pension plan, an employee was assured of a fixed amount irrespective of financial market moves, a situation that could be costly at times for the carrier, according to the AP.   Northwest attorneys declined to estimate how much the pension freeze would save the company.

Both sides agreed the freeze was a way to preserve the pilots’ benefits to date.

The freeze is effective February 1.