UAL Cancels Special Senior Executive Pension Program

March 17, 2005 ( - United Airlines has terminated a special pension program meant for senior executives.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the supplemental executive retirement plan was used to boost the income of senior managers whose pensions IRS limits; it was terminated on March 11.

A company spokesperson said that about 100 current executives and 25 retired executives are affected by the decision to scrap the plan.”This is consistent with what we have said all along that we have to terminate all our pension plans,” said spokeswoman Jean Medina, according to the newspaper.

The senior executive plan is similar to one that drew ire at American Airlines in 2003, according to the Tribune. After its unions had agreed to large wage cuts, the company had revealed the plan – which involved massive bonuses for retiring executives – a move that led to the resignation of CEO Donald Carty.

The latest development comes as United is about to hand over its retirement plan – which covers about 36,000 employees and retirees – to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp (PBGC).