Air Transport World

United Airlines.(North America report)(Brief Article)

United Airlines is the biggest airline beneficiary of pension reform legislation signed into law by President Bush last month. United, which is trying to secure a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the US Air Transportation Stabilization Board to fund its exit from bankruptcy, faces $1.1 billion of minimum pension funding requirements this year and $4.1 billion through 2008, according to Standard & Poor's.

The new law allows companies to use a higher discount rate to calculate pension liabilities and permits steel companies and airlines to defer 80% of their deficit reduction contributions, "which are required of companies with significantly underfunded plans in addition to normal minimum contributions" for 2004 and 2005, S&P noted. …

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