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Member of
(Affiliated with the A.F. of L.-C.I.O.)
55th St. and Cicero  Chicago 35, Illinois  Portsmouth 7-1400

ALPA Plans For The Future

Study shows that one quarter of Association's membership will retire within 15 years.

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Throughout the Association's history, its negotiating activity has mirrored the predominating needs of the times. Each era has had its own distinct characteristics. In ALPA's pre-World War II formative years, when air line piloting was a comparatively young profession whose members were in the lower age brackets, the stress, for instance, was on the bedrock essentials of basic agreements, pay formulas, and grievance machinery to provide job protection. As another example, in the post war years, when the larger and faster four-engine piston aircraft was introduced, and again in the late 50's, when the jets were brought into service, the accent was on problems associated with the transition to new equipment.

As the complexion of the ALPA's membership and its needs have changed over the years, a factor which has become increasingly important and received increasing attention has been the provision of financial security for pilots when they must step down from flying. Since 1951, considerable efforts have been devoted to establishing and improving retirement programs tailored to the needs of air line pilots. The ALPA retirement programs are generally recognized as being among the finest plans of their kind in existence. They have many outstanding features. Some are non-contributory in their entirety, many to a major degree. All provide comparatively liberal benefits and strong emphasis has recently been placed on further bolstering their value to the pilot by providing minimum benefits for both normal and disability retirement.

Viewed from any angle, these programs represent money in the bank for the future against which more and more pilots will be drawing in the years to come. Until now, the number of pilots who have retired each year has been comparatively small, but the threshold of an era where the retirement pace will be accelerated and this picture will change has been reached. As a result, a larger and larger percentage of pilots will benefit more and more from these programs.

Some idea of what can be expected in the future

February, 1964
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relative to the retirement picture can be drawn from the age analysis of ALPA's members conducted last year by the Home Office.

There is, of course, no way of forecasting how many pilots will retire due to disability, how many will voluntarily choose early retirement, or how many will continue to fly until the age 60 compulsory retirement age. However, on the basis of the analysis, at least a quarter of ALPA's present membership will be retired one way or another within the next 15 years.

Assuming retirement at age 60, for purposes of comparative projection, all pilots age 45 or older, which comprise 26.18% of ALPA's membership will have hung up their wings by then.

Here is how the forecast shapes up of the number that can be expected to retire in coming years under the age 60 rule if they do not drop out for other reasons before: 1964, 35; 1965. 52; 1966, 82; 1967, 111; 1968, 137; 1969, 149; 1970, 160; 1971, 192; 1972; 222; 1973, 238; 1974, 317; 1975, 387; 1976, 451; 1977, 541; 1978, 754.

Broken down further this amounts to cumulative totals of 455 pilots (3.02% of ALPA's membership) during the next five years, 1,406 pilots (9.55% of ALPA's membership) during the next 10 years, and 3,856 pilots (26.18% of ALPA's membership) during the next 15 years.

To carry the projection a little further into the more distant, but foreseeable and inevitable future: A total of 8,247 pilots, or 55.99% of ALPA's membership, will be affected in 20 years; a total of 11,253 pilots, or 76.40%, in 25 years; and a total of 14,045 pilots, comprising 95.36% of the membership in 30 years. Everyone of ALPA's members flying at the time of the analysis, the youngest of which was 22, will be affected in 38 years.

Adding food for though to the projections is the significant fact that the average age of ALPA members is constantly rising and at the time of the study last year was 40.3 years compared to 37.9 years in 1959.

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