Our Profit Sharing Program (Section 5.J. of our Contract) pays out when the adjusted pretax earnings at United Airlines exceeds $10 million dollars. Fifteen (15%) percent of United’s pretax earnings forms the Annual Profit Sharing pool that is distributed pro-rata to all eligible Flight Attendants based on the ratio of the Flight Attendant’s Considered Earnings for the year to the aggregate amount of Considered Earnings for all eligible employees for that year. United estimates this year’s Profit Sharing pool for all eligible employees is between $689 and $709 million, which is almost three times greater than the 2014 Profit Sharing pool of $ 235 million. United announced their full 2015 earnings on January 21, 2016 at 9:30am Central Time.
United Daily announced that 2015 Profit Sharing payments are scheduled to be included in all eligible employees last regular paycheck of February. However, contrary to that publication, the company Q&A indicates Flight Attendants will receive their payments as part of their March 1st paycheck. Flight Attendants who do not make a special election to defer some or all of the Profit Sharing into their 401(k) accounts or who do not qualify to make a special election, will receive their Profit Sharing paid in the same manner in which the monthly paycheck is received – either direct deposit or as a paper check.
The Profit Sharing special election window is now open through Monday, February 8, 2016 at midnight Central Time. [***If you are on a LOA you will not be able to make an election to defer percentage(s) into the 401k or Roth savings plans.]
Flight Attendants have the option to allocate their 2015 Profit Sharing into their 401(k) account by indicating the percentage of the Profit Sharing payment to be directed:
- On a before tax basis to the company sponsored 401(k) plan, and/or
- On an after tax basis to a Roth 401(k) plan account, and/or
- Any unallocated percentage will be paid to the Flight Attendant in cash, subject to applicable taxation and withholding.
It is important to take note that this year’s Profit Sharing payment will not be issued as a separate check. Rather, the payment will be included in our March 1st paycheck which represents an advance on our February flying; a significant departure from previous years. Keep in mind, Profit Sharing contributed to a pre-tax 401(k) account is exempt from Federal taxes but is subject to certain State, Local, and F.I.C.A. withholding. Whereas contributions to a Roth 401(k) are made after taxes and are subject to Federal, State, Local and F.I.C.A. withholding.
We encourage everyone to review the company’s publication and Q&A to ensure you are aware of the implications now that the payment is part of your regular paycheck. If you have additional questions we strongly recommend you contact your professional tax advisor prior to making any election.
For any general questions about Profit Sharing, eligible earnings, statement printing assistance, or Profit Sharing calculation, please contact United’s Employee Service Center (ESC) at 877-825-3729 and select the prompt for HR Operations.