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5.18.16 – (LAA) – Core Equipment Enrollment Changes/Computer Share Annual Fee & Equity Shares to IRA/Reminder about Change Over Sequences

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APFA Special Hotline

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

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  •  Core Equipment (737/Airbus) Enrollment Changes – LAA
  •  Reminder about Changeover Sequences – LAA
  •  Computershare Annual Fee, and Equity Shares to IRA – LAA

Core Equipment (737/Airbus) Enrollment Changes – LAA

Based on feedback regarding the bidding/drafting process for core equipment training, APFA has reached an agreement with the Company which will provide more flexible enrollment options for our members, and minimize the number of trip removals associated with this training.

 Core Equipment Training Letter of Agreement

Beginning with the contractual bid month of June 2016, all Flight Attendants will have the ability to self-enroll in 737 or Airbus training within five (5) days of bid finalization. Once self-enrollment is closed, Flight Attendants may utilize the voluntary training options through the Training Support Desk. 

Also beginning in June, Flight Attendants will be assigned to a three (3) month window of time based on their seniority in which they will need to obtain training. If training is not completed by the end of the three (3) month window, Crew Planning will assign the Flight Attendant to a training class beginning the following month. Class assignments will be made after bids have been finalized making every effort to avoid a trip removal. The seniority included in each training window will be posted on the bid sheet each month and communicated via HI6 messages.

Each month the next group of Flight Attendants whose seniority needs to obtain training will be given notice that they have three (3) months to obtain the qualification. Seniority for each training window will be based on system seniority rather than base seniority.

For example, beginning in June, Flight Attendants who have an Occupational Seniority date of March 11, 2000 or later will be able to self-enroll in Airbus training during the months of June, July and August. If they have not qualified or enrolled in an Airbus class by the time September bids close, they will be enrolled in a class in September once bids are finalized. The Occupational Seniority date for those needing to enroll in 737 training during June, July and August is December 27, 1987.

In July, the next most junior Flight Attendants will be notified of the need to obtain training during July, August, and September prior to being subject to assignment in October. This process will continue throughout 2016 and into 2017 until all Flight Attendants are trained on the 737 and Airbus.

More details are available on the training pages of the bidsheet as well as the Crew Resources page of the Flight Service website. 

This process should assist our members in finding a class date that works with their schedule prior to potentially being drafted for the training. Please keep in mind this does not change the requirement to attend core equipment training. These changes are meant to help provide more flexibility in enrolling and completing the training prior to being drafted.

Reminder about Changeover Sequences – LAA

As a reminder, please keep in mind that trip sequences on the bid sheet that originate in one month and terminate in the next month are subject to change. These trip sequences are called “Changeover Sequences” or “Prior Removals” and are listed on the base trip selection header sheet. The changeover sequence may be longer or shorter than the original sequence and may affect legality. They may also affect trips to be credited due to vacation or training. Simply put, a trip that has previously been removed for vacation or training may be worth more or less due to a changeover.
I understand these changeover sequences are more drastic than what we have seen in the past. I directed your concerns to the Manager of Allocations.  The response I received is as follows:

With schedule changes routinely just one or two days into a new contractual month, we are seeing a lot more prior month changeover replacement pairings than we would see if the schedule change occurred even a few days later. I would prefer the 4th or 5th day of the month, which is late enough to avoid prior month pairings and early enough to maximize consistency through the month.

In short, the June schedule change deleted legs that were originally used to create the sequences. The significant changes are being used to add the newly scheduled flying.  I will be working closely with Allocations to see if we can alleviate these major changes going forward.

Daniel Koukes
APFA National Scheduling Chair

Computershare Annual Fee, and Equity Shares to IRA – LAA

We have two deadlines concerning our Equity Shares at Computershare coming up in the next month. The first deadline is on June 9, 2016 when Computershare will charge a $50 annual fee for maintaining your Equity Shares in their brokerage account.  If you want to sell or transfer those shares to another broker, you should do so before the June 9th deadline to avoid paying that fee. (There is a $25 fee for transferring the shares to another broker, but that is still cheaper than $50).

The second deadline of June 15, 2016 is to roll some or all of the value of your equity shares to an IRA.  If you received any Equity Payout (paid to us as shares of stock into a Computershare account) you have an opportunity to make a deposit into a traditional IRA to be credited retroactively for the year in which you received each payout. You can deposit up to 90% of the gross (before tax) value of what you received into a traditional IRA.  You can then file an amended tax return (1040-X) for that year, reflecting that deposit into the IRA. That will reduce your taxable income for that year, which should result in a refund of taxes paid on that amount.

To the IRS we received “money” from AA, and the fact that it came in the form of stock is not relevant. So, for example, if you received $1,000 in December 2013 (in the form of stock), you can deposit 90% of that ($900) into a traditional IRA. You would then file a 1040-X for 2013 which will show $900 less in taxable income, and should result in a tax refund. The letter you received in February 2016 told you the amounts you received, and when those amounts were paid to you and when your opportunity to make these transfers expires (June 15, 2016).   If you have lost your letter, you may request a replacement by calling 888-285-9438, hot path 1-1-2, M-F 0800-1700 EST.

Some important things about this process:

  1. You can transfer the stock or cash into the IRA.
  2. The money can come from anywhere: your savings, sale of any remaining stock, a loan, etc. The IRS does not care where the money comes from. What is important is that the amount does not exceed 90% of the total amount you received.
  3. The fact that the value of the stock has changed since you received it, does not change the amount that can be rolled into an IRA. That gross value on the day you received it is what is used to determine the amount that is eligible to roll into your IRA, not the value it changed to at a later date.
  4. The capital gains or losses on the stock (profit/loss) does not matter for this transaction.
  5. The rollover can only go into a traditional IRA, it can not go directly into a Roth IRA, and cannot go into your 401k.
  6. If you have sold your stock it does not disqualify you from making this contribution.  
  7. If you have not sold your stock, it does not disqualify you from making this contribution.
  8. This will only effect about 60,000 people in the entire country, so many tax preparers will not be familiar with this process.  Please direct them to… and the January 2016 revision of Form 1040-X instructions, page 4:
  9. You only have until June 15, 2016 to make this deposit into your IRA for prior year payments.
  10. You must have a traditional IRA in order to make this deposit. If you do not already have a traditional IRA, you should speak to your stock broker, credit union, or bank about opening up a traditional IRA. (Don’t forget to ask about fees, they vary widely.)
  11. There are deadlines on how long you have to file a 1040-X, please ask your tax advisor.
  12. As we received each payout of stock, shares of that stock were immediately sold to pay the 25% federal income tax withholding. The amount that was left (net value) was what was deposited into our Computershare account.  The 90% is taken on the gross (before tax) value.
  13. The traditional IRA is a “tax deferred” account. That means that when you do finally take that money out in retirement, you will at that time pay taxes on that amount.
  14. If we receive Equity Payments in the future, you will have 180 days from the date of the new payment to make another “rollover” deposit into your IRA of up to 90% of that new payment.

*While it appears possible for Flight Attendants to transfer the actual shares of stock originally received in the AAL stock equity distribution to a traditional IRA, doing so raises a number of complicated issues, particularly with respect to how the stock is valued. Flight Attendants interested in making such an in-kind stock transfer should consult with a qualified tax/financial advisor.

If you have questions about the amounts reported to you in the letter, such as if those amounts do not match your records, you can call the Equity Distribution Center, at 888-285-9438.  For tax questions, please contact your tax advisor. For other questions, you can contact the APFA Retirement department at 

Patrick Hancock
APFA Retirement Specialist


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