Almost half of employers, 46 percent, said they would consider dropping their plans under the 28 percent tax credit scenario, while one-third would do so in the event of a limited tax exclusion or under the 20-20 proposal.
The pilots' approval clears the way for parent company AMR Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, to continue its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The pension proposal is contingent on the resolution of the bankruptcy proceedings.
The U.S. Senate on March 14 approved allowing corporate defined benefit pension plans to base their contribution calculations on interest rates over a 25-year average rather than current interest rates, which have sent contribution payments soaring.
According to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., American Airlines received specific funding relief in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and an Iraq War spending bill in 2007 that allowed airlines to spread their unfunded liability in 2008 over 10 years instead of seven.
The U.S. Postal Service would get back $6.9 billion in pension overpayments and use some of that money to encourage at least 100,000 employees to retire early, according to a proposal announced Nov. 2 by a bipartisan group of senators.