Economics, Not Safety, At Root Of Age 60 Scuttle?
It's long been alleged by critics of Age 60 that it was imposed in 1960 at the behest of airlines who wanted to lower their labor and training costs by getting rid of their highest-paid captains (all of whom earned their stripes on piston-powered airliners) to make way for younger pilots who'd already been trained on jets in the military. Pilots unions remain generally opposed to increasing the age (there are exceptions, like Southwest's pilots' association) because it allows younger pilots to move up the seniority ladder quicker. However, as the so-called legacy carriers slash salaries and gut their lucrative pension plans, there are signs that sentiment is changing. [more] Some pilots nearing retirement age have seen their futures drastically changed when their bankrupt airline has been given permission to turn their pension plans over to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which pays far less than many pilots could have expected from their pension plans. Those pilots say they need to keep working beyond age 60 to secure their futures.