Vacation Buy Back – Pay Check Issued February 1 – Missing 401(k) deduction
February 2, 2019
MEC Secretary-Treasurer’s Office
Flight Attendants electing to take part of their Annual Vacation allocation as Vacation Buy Back during the 2019 Vacation Election window can view their payout for these 2019 buy back hours in a special February 1, 2019 pay check.
Vacation Buy Back is paid at your base rate of pay and excludes any International Purser or Purser offer an option for Flight Attendants to take pay in lieu of accrued vacation that would otherwise be used in the next Scheduled Vacation year. In this process, the Flight Attendant must opt to “sell” at least six (6) days of accrued vacation. Flight Attendants will be paid the value of the days sold back plus an incentive overrides. When electing the Vacation Buy Back payment, you are accepting vacation pay in lieu of an actual vacation period. Because the vacation payment is not associated with a specific line of flying, no overrides are applied to the vacation.
As set forth in the language of Section 12.D. of our JCBA, Vacation Buy Back requires the Company to offer a Buy Back Option and to offer an incentive payment that is to be announced prior to the annual vacation bid. This year, the incentive payment is a (1/2 of 1%) premium.
Note: We brought to the company’s attention an issue involving the Vacation Buy Back payment. That is, the Buy Back earnings which are subject to all applicable income tax and 401(k) withholding, did not include the 401(k) deduction percentage specified by the employee. This issue affected just less than 1,600 Flight Attendants from all domiciles, each of whom has been sent a targeted communication from United Payroll with instructions on actions they must timely take to capture the 401(k) withholding to meet their planned retirement savings goal for this year. Action is required by those affected no later than 5:00PM February 4th.
To avoid any confusion, this withholding error affects only the Vacation Buy Back payment and is not related to those who elected to defer part of their vacation directly into their 401(k) defined contribution retirement account.