Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Mass Exodus of Air Controllers Apparently Averted in Tax Law / FAA Dodges Bullet

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Mass Exodus of Air Controllers Apparently Averted in Tax Law / FAA Dodges Bullet

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) - There are some in Congress who say the Federal Aviation Administration and the country's air traffic system may have dodged a bullet, but the agency once again is breathing easier thanks to congressional tax writers.

The FAA has been under heavy criticism for not having enough experienced air traffic controllers. For months the situation has threatened to get worse as hundreds of senior controllers contemplatedearly retirement because of an expected tax law change.

The change, which is part of the massive tax legislation expected to be approved by Congress, alters the way government pensions are taxed and means the loss of thousands of dollars in pension benefits for government workers during the first years of retirement.

There was concern within the FAA and in Congress that the tax change would set off a retirement stampede in the weeks before the new tax provision went into effect. One version called for its effective date to begin next January.

But last weekend the House and Senate conferees who put together a compromise tax revision package came to the FAA's rescue, although providing no help to government employees who are near retirement.

They made the effective date for the pension tax provision retroactive to last July 1, instead of some date in the future and, therefore, presumably cut off any need for government workers to rush into retirement.

""It takes the pressure off,'' Stephen Hayes, an FAA spokesman, said Tuesday. He said agency managers anticipate that retirements among controllers now will be about normal.

Some controllers didn't take any chances when the July 1, 1986, effective date first surfaced in a House version of the bill early this year. The FAA recorded skyrocketing retirement rates in May (up 69 percent) and June (up 80 percent) and other government agencies saw sharp increases as well, according to a General Accounting Office study.

The tax change applies to all federal workers as well as many state, county and municipal workers and employees of the U. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.