LIALPA Calls for TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABLITY – LIAT Withholds Retirement Fund Information

Submitted by the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA)

lialpa (St John’s, Antigua) For over three (3) years, the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) has been trying to overcome the stalling and delaying tactics of LIAT’s management in releasing accounting information with regards to their Retirement Funds. As recent as last December, the Company refused to respond to proposals from LIALPA’s Attorney. These proposals are in agreement with the Court’s ruling that the collective agreement between LIALPA and LIAT is binding and enforceable and emphasizes that the staff provident (retirement) fund contributions cannot be unilaterally closed and arrears are to be paid and contributions should continue. The proposals also called for an audit of all staff provident fund deductions not yet paid out to pilots, in order for any new pension scheme to be started.

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16 Comments on “LIALPA Calls for TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABLITY – LIAT Withholds Retirement Fund Information”

  1. David October 9, 2016 at 6:47 PM #

    Are pension holders not suppose to receive information about their pension fund?

    What are the pension rules?

    Who are the Trustees?


  2. Bernard Codrington. October 9, 2016 at 7:00 PM #

    According to most pension fund laws ,the scheme should be fully funded and if there are shortfalls the company should refinance it from the corporate revenues. It is a liability and the Trustees should ensure it is fully funded.


  3. David October 9, 2016 at 7:02 PM #

    According t the press release the issue here is disclosure. It begs the question of the pilot’s association does not have representation on the board of trustees.


  4. Violet C Beckles October 9, 2016 at 8:24 PM #

    Barbados DBLP have the same problem as LIAT for they are also part owners, Crooks on the Land , Air and Sea ,


  5. chad99999 October 9, 2016 at 9:55 PM #

    In the United States, the majority of private companies do not offer pension plans. Most of those that do, offer defined contribution plans, in which the employee contributes to his own personal account in the plan from his pay cheques every month, and those monthly contributions are matched by the employer. The money is held in an independent trust and any shortfalls in employer contributions are disclosed in the annual financial reports.

    For the privileged few who enjoy defined benefit pension plans, there can be some protection from the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which offers pension plan insurance. This means that if a company terminates an underfunded plan, the PBGC will step in and pay out basic benefits if the company cannot.

    LIAT pilots are among the West Indians with the highest incomes. Even if their pension plan is underfunded, and even if the airline were to go bankrupt and be unable to meet its pension obligations, it would be unfair for the governments of the region to extract money from the mostly impoverished taxpayers of small islands like St. Vincent and Dominica for the benefit of relatively prosperous pilots.


  6. David October 9, 2016 at 11:12 PM #


    And you have drawn your conclusions based on an intimate knowledge of the pension plan in question? The press release is asking for disclosure not funding.


  7. Sargeant October 10, 2016 at 12:52 AM #

    Are pension holders not supposed to receive information about their fund?
    In well run companies whatever gave you the impression that LIAT was well run company?


  8. chad99999 October 10, 2016 at 1:30 AM #

    I didn’t claim an intimate knowledge of the LIAT pension plan and I don’t need any detailed information about the plan to support the point that I made.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. David October 10, 2016 at 4:46 AM #


    You should reread your comments to appreciate why others would have concluded that you have a knowledge of LIAT’s pension plan.



  10. Bernard Codrington. October 10, 2016 at 8:23 AM #

    @ David,
    I think Chad9999 is right. What other purpose would you or those calling for full disclosure want other than to discover if the fund is financially sound or not? Private pension plans are private. The only public requirements are to the shareholders who would have the burden of any under-funding. They have to make up the shortfall. The external auditors comment on this if necessary.


  11. David October 10, 2016 at 8:46 AM #


    Are you sure? Pension plans have rules and any organization worth its salt will ensure that there is adequate disclosure. LIAT is an organization funded by regional governments. Private what!



  12. Gabriel October 10, 2016 at 3:49 PM #

    Given the scenario of cash strapped shareholder governments it is very possible that the pilots provident fund is zero and the fund is used like the Barbados government uses the NIS funds to balance its current account.Very strange that Reifer-Jones refuses to divulge the funds’ status to the pilots legal representative.What else is concealed from legitimate beneficiaries.


  13. Bernard Codrington. October 10, 2016 at 4:18 PM #

    In an ideal world where the trustees of the pension fund take their fiduciary responsibilities seriously , and where the external auditors of a company report any financial deficiencies in a pension fund, the improper use of the pension funds should not be a problem. There are penalties for failure to do so. However , I have been warned that you are a very resourceful person ; so if you smell a rat 99.9% of the time there is a dead rat. So I defer.


  14. chad99999 October 10, 2016 at 8:37 PM #

    Apparently, LIAT management and its pilots disagree about whether the pilot’s provident fund still exists.
    According to press reports on the Internet, management has said that the provident fund was closed and replaced by a new pension plan. The pilots say their collective agreement requires the provident plan to remain in existence, and they object to the salary deductions management is making to the new pension plan.
    There are disputes about the money in the provident fund. The pilots claim some of it was invested badly without their permission and they object to management’s decision to transfer money in the fund from one bank to another without their consent.
    Two points: (1) It is not true that the provident fund has been looted by impecunious governments. (2) Although some of the money in the PF was lost to bad investments, the pilots are surely overstepping their rights when they demand that management replace the lost funds. I have never heard of employees controlling investment decisions in a provident fund.


  15. Gabriel October 10, 2016 at 9:14 PM #

    Any looting by ‘impecunious governments’,meaning shareholders,is a roundabout way of stating where the carrier is starved of current revenue to meet current liabilities,and the shareholder insists on turning a blind eye to the cash requirement of the carrier,management will raid whatever cash they have in the bank,be it provident funds or sinking funds or catastrophe funds or pipe replacement funds,the CFO or the CEO would use the money in the bank with the knowledge that it should be replenished when a cash injection is received from the shareholder.No attorney at law can demand sight of a company’s financials nor even the status of any account and even when a court so orders,these shareholder governments might take their good time in supplying the details.


  16. chad99999 October 10, 2016 at 9:27 PM #

    It would be very unusual if the provident fund were not in escrow accounts. If they are, they cannot be looted.


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