Pension Loss Jolts Some Ex-Delta Pilots

Retirees expected bad news, but many will get no more checks --- and have to pay for health coverage.

Now that income is gone, too, as a result of the pension plan termination. Lewis said his incoming cash will now be about $24,000 a year from the proceeds of a home refinancing and other savings. He's too young to draw Social Security, and he had put the lump sum into an IRA that can't be reached without penalties for another year and a half.

"We kind of expected that the benefit would go to zero, but it's a shock when that letter shows up," said Lewis. "It's going to be tight living off of no income for a year and a half." In the meantime, he and his wife are considering going back to work or selling their house.

"We'll survive somehow. It's just not going to be as much fun as I thought it would be," he said.

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