View Full Version : Pension, 56yr and your OUT!

26th Apr 2001, 12:52
Once again the topic of the 56yr age limit was finally decided on by a Dutch judge. On the 25th of April a judge decided that the court case brought against the VNV (Dutch pilots union) and two of the company's by a group of pilots, was not well founded. According to his assesment there is no age discrimination and that a earlier decision by another judge to allow a F/O to continue flying beyond 56 yrs was not appropiate. He also cited that allowing pilots to fly beyond this age limit would discriminate against the younger pilots who would see their promotions set back at least 4yrs, due to this claim. He also went on to say that the 'collective labour agreement' was signed with that understanding, (i.e retirement by 56yrs).
It seems, that not only, does his assesment discriminate on the age limits, but also on the interpretation of the pilots legal right's. So alas, in the land of igual opportunity, the old (56 yr!) have to step asside for the the younger? This in a land where the official age limit is now 65yrs! So much for the LAW!

26th Apr 2001, 15:17

I have the greatest sympathy for your expressed point of view and offer you this small condolence:

A decision by a judge in a domestic court of a European state is not necessarily final and will be subject to EU law. Sooner or later this decision, along with many others of its kind, will, I think, be overturned.

Hang in there and keep complaining.

26th Apr 2001, 15:23
Oh to be able to retire at 56, or live that long come to think of it!

26th Apr 2001, 16:05
What limit do you want MPH? 60, 65 or until the MD says stop? Any limit is arbitrary.

26th Apr 2001, 16:56
mph46, Obiously, till the age limit set by the local authorities. And, you are medicaly fit, and you are still able to pass your sim's! Do you suggest that we should start retiring pilots at 45 yrs. old? One can understand the eager beavers wanting to promote. That's one thing, but to pretend that the older group should move over to give way to someone, just out of flying school, ridicules our profession.

26th Apr 2001, 19:07
I suppose that all the pilos knew of this limit when they joined Martinair.

Myk Hunt
26th Apr 2001, 19:21
Still an F/O at the age of 56...hmmm that makes you think he should retire anyway.

26th Apr 2001, 20:58
46mph, Yes, of course they knew the age limit set on the labour agreement. But in those days the legal age limit was also lower. Times do change, so should agreements and labour contracts? Maybe, this issue should be taken to the 'European Court'. I'm sure they will be able to make a fair judgment on this issue? We will see!

27th Apr 2001, 01:41
Yes I agree MPH, the labour agreements should be subject to change. IF and only if the majority of the people involved want change. Not just because one or two people want to change the agreement if their favour.

27th Apr 2001, 02:09
I've got years to go but my fear is that as soon as they agree to let us work to 60/65/70 then the whole goalposts move for all the employers out there. Gives the O'leary types of the world terrible exploitation possibilities.

27th Apr 2001, 02:14
I must say it was a really sad move to see these people go to court... Not only did they bypass their official representation. These men also were about to harm all the other pilots (the vast majority) that don't have any problem with retiring at 56. If these people wanted to get their full pension, they should have realized this earlier and build some kind of career with the airline. Because it's a money thing isn't it?
Enjoy your pension, or go somewhere where you can still fly until 60 or 65!

27th Apr 2001, 14:07
Superpilut, It's even sadder to see your representatives turn a blind eye, whenever the subject was brought up at the union. I suppose one should just sit back and say nothing? Funny how some people think that it's ok. to fly somewhere else in Europe, under JAR ops, till youare 60-65. And, not so, in certain countries? It all boils down to economics.....? Well, keep on flying and let's hope your necessities in life are fulfilled by the time you are 56yr old!

27th Apr 2001, 17:15
MPH, 56 seems to be pretty normal in Holland: KLM, MP, HV. If you want to continue there are more than enough possibilities. Could it be that the majority (= union) is in favor of this limit? Or even cherish the possibility to retire at that age?

Long Haul
28th Apr 2001, 10:36
The majority of VNV members are definately against increasing the retirement age at this time. While the rest of the aviation world expands, The Dutch airlines have few new aircraft orders, long waiting lists of pilots waiting to begin their careers, and first officers whom may get their first commands only after 12 years in service. Allowing the Martinair pilots to stay longer would immediately result in layoffs to an equal number of junior pilots, and that's just not right.

28th Apr 2001, 12:02
Long Haul, I appreciate your point of view. But, is it not true, that the 'rest of the world' survives the expansion, with pilots, that, for example, fly till 60yrs?
And for the F/O who has waited 12yrs, sorry that he had to wait so long! On the other hand, their are Cdr's with 5yrs out of flying school! Our business is full of surprises, sometimes there is an expansion and sometimes it goes the other way. Who can predict? The fact of the matter is, that we can discuss the pro and con's all day and night long, with no solution or a accord! I just feel that a 'no' tolerance for inovation or change, always seeems to bring out controversy. I'll keep on flying and enjoying it. That's the fundamental issue, not the economical side of the busines. Which is important, but is not the only aspect of our profession?
Happy flying!

28th Apr 2001, 15:04
Hello MPH,

I understand your feeling, but the ruling of the judge was right in my opinion. It is NOT the fact that the ''old'' should move for the ''young''. That is a load of rubbish. No the simple fact that the majority of the MPH pilots like the 56 age limit and put it in the General Labour Agreement makes it a rule. The pilots were not forced to do it, they voted themselves for it.
A different ruling from the European court is doubtful, because the law admits flying beyond the 56 age limit.
Democracy always hurts the minority.

2nd May 2001, 16:28
Just to clarify, the FO was still an FO because he was hired without having done the ATPL theoretical exams, so on a CPL or limited ATPL. Therefore, it was impossible for the person to become captain.

Official retirement age for pilots is 60 in The Netherlands, and it is possible to work till you're 60. Many airlines offer the ability to cut down your work hours, ie. working for 75% or even 50%, which should allow for the hiring of new pilots when a senior pilot goes from 100% to less work time.

I do not believe it's correct to send someone into forced retirement from a job that's very dear to that person just because there are others who want his job, be they younger or not.

2nd May 2001, 16:59
There are a few other operators operating ex SPL (Dutch Bird, Air Holland, Happag NL, Easy Jet). Assuming that they dont have this 56 limit, and they are recruiting.Their market would cover a significant part of the KLM, Martinair,Transavia European segment. That being the case here is a hypothetical; Pilot 56yr gets retired but joins one of the new operators for another 4 years. The growth of these operators is not all new growth, a lot of it comes out of the former majors. Thus their growth is reduced or cut back and therefore junior pilots career path in those majors is slowed down, just as it would be if Pilot 56 yr stayed unill he was 60. So junior pilot has achieved virtually nothing by his objection to extension to 60.

5 APU's captain
2nd May 2001, 17:09
Now I am 36 and hoping to get out of flying at 65!

2nd May 2001, 19:09
Long Haul - What is all this [email protected] about getting a command after TWELVE(only) years???
The industry average in the major league companies, for a command on a heavy jet, is between fifteen and eighteen years.
Just what planet are you on?

2nd May 2001, 19:57
G.Khan, doesn't matter what planet you're on, what region of the planet are you on? THE industry, as you refer to it, might be the American industry. In Europe, it's possible to make command much sooner. Twelve years is a long time over here. And you seem to be a little frustrated or am I wrong? :)

Ooizcalling, so true, I know several captains approaching retirement that are thinking of joining one of the smaller airlines for a lot of money. And the smaller airlines need the experience pilots.

Long Haul
2nd May 2001, 20:02
I hope that you don't react like that in the cockpit.... If you reread my posting you will find that I made no reference to heavy jet command, I wrote simply "command." 12 years is now the approxiamate time to upgrade to captain B737 at a well known Dutch flag carrier. Heavy jet captain is for most of us now waaaaaaaaaay in the future.

Planet Earth, soon to be 5 miles above,
Long Haul

2nd May 2001, 20:21
Cīmon people.
Itīs in the major companies best interest to keep the "old" guys!! (donīt wanna offend anyone by that term)
Training a pilot to that proficiency and experience cost them a lot of money.

At DLH theyīve even maxed it out moneywise.
At 55 youīre eligeble for "transitory" pay (max. 60% of your last gross) until youīre eligible for state pension (63 -65) for doing "nothing".
BUT - They canīt leave at 55 and fly someplace else without forever losing that "transitory" pay and making a loss on the transitory pay after 60.
(one captain flying is actually making less net, than a guy with the same time in company in retirement in the Canaries)

These guys get to fly part-time (max 75%).
So at age 55 they suddenly become the cheapest pilot in the cockpit (pay for driving minus missed transitory pay).

Itīs their own personal decision, and I donīt blame anyone for doing it (even though they fought hard for the 55yr-limit), but they effectively block everyone else down on the ladder.

Letīs not get personal about this!

Itīs just a matter of who has enough power, to make or change the rules...