Dear members and colleagues:
As you are aware, the crisis that we are currently experiencing is unprecedented. Our bearings, our rules, and our ways of doing things have been swept away by the public health crisis brought about by COVID-19.
Most of our airlines have cut flights down to bare-bone levels while others have stopped flying altogether.
Your pension fund, France’s Retirement Pension Fund for Professional Air Crew in Civil Aviation, is closely tied to the airline industry and directly impacted by its ups and downs. As CRPN’s Chairman, I want you to know about the programs we have set up to deal with these extraordinary circumstances.
Since this ongoing crisis began, CRPNPAC and myself have been working alongside the Board of Directors to continue to serve our current and former air crew members.
First, please be assured that all of CRPNPAC’s work for our members, pensioners, and employers goes on.
While we have had to temporarily shut down in-person appointments as well as telephone reception at CRPNPAC’s head office, we are keeping you updated online on www.crpn.fr, which is currently the best way for us to stay in touch and answer your specific questions by email in a timely manner. With our caseworkers under lockdown, the best way to contact CRPN and to submit any supporting documents is electronically, using the contact forms you will find on our website.
All retirement pensions will continue to be paid on time.
Likewise, all CRPNPAC pension claims that were either submitted during this period or already underway when the lockdown began are being processed in accordance with all applicable rules and within the standard timeframe.
As Chairman, I would like to take this opportunity to thank CRPNPAC’s teams, which have come together with remarkable professionalism to help our current and former air crew members through this period which is particularly difficult for us all.
We also want you to know about the programs we have set up to assist businesses in the industry as well as air crew members.
With regard to businesses, even before the French government announced that it was extending the deadline for social security contribution payments, I asked CRPNPAC’s Board of Directors to agree to extend the payment deadline for employer’s contributions for the period from February through June, 2020. This special measure, which was unanimously adopted, is designed to serve as liquidity assistance for our businesses which are currently struggling, with the end goal of preventing layoffs for air crew members. As I currently speak, employers now have until November 25, 2020 to pay their employer’s contributions.
Please be assured that I am working closely with all of CRPNPAC and the administrators representing employers and members as we closely monitor the industry’s economic situation in order to bring new proposals before the Board of Directors over the next few weeks.
With regard to air crew members, as soon as it became clear that partial employment (partial unemployment) would be widespread, I immediately asked CRPN to perform an assessment which determined that the existing program was ill-adapted to our industry. Most importantly, it showed that air crew could not have periods of partial unemployment credited to their account.
As a result, CRPNPAC brought both sides of industry onboard to create a partial-employment system based on days off work rather than flight hours. France’s decree no. 2020-435 of April 16, 2020, instituting emergency measures with regard to partial employment, includes the “days off work” basis recommended by CRPNPAC for air crew members and was published in France’s Official Journal on April 17. Thanks to this partial-employment program that is now stated in days, the Board of Directors has decided to allow periods of partial employment to be credited free of charge, with regard to length, to members’ CRPNPAC career.
By working together on this complex issue, we have arrived at a solution that works for our crew members in a timely manner commensurate to the urgency of the situation.
We also want to let you know that CRPN remains financially strong throughout this crisis, while also emphasizing the long-term vigilance that this situation requires from us.
CRPN’s assets at the end of 2019 broke down to 1.2 billion euros in real estate property and 4.25 billion euros in financial investments (bonds, stock, etc.), as opposed to 660 million euros in benefits which we pay out each year.
Out of these assets, nearly 2 billion euros can be mobilized rapidly, which means that CRPN has no liquidity issues.
In the medium term, between the forecasted drop in contributions for 2020 (drop in business and implementation of partial unemployment), an estimated 20% decrease in business for 2021 and 2022 and 5.5% decrease in our reserves due to the market downturn, the impact of the crisis can be estimated at 650 to 700 M€.
This is indeed a major loss, but in light of the 630 M€ increase in our reserves in 2019, it would only put us back a year.
As all of the numbers show, in light of the amount of our reserve, a temporary crisis, even a terrible one, will not make CRPN any less financially sound.
Naturally, as you already know, our current balance between pension amounts, retirement eligibility requirements, and contribution levels logically depends on long-term jobs growth in our sector.
As a result, from today and over the coming years, CRPN will be carefully monitoring the rate and level of the airline industry’s return to growth.
In addition to this information that I wanted to share with you, I would like to remind you that we are constantly adding to our website and social media accounts to publicize a variety of information ranging from transportation and air employment news to topics related to air crew member entitlements or French pension reforms. For all this and more, please log in to our website www.crpn.fr.
Finally, I wanted to offer you all my continuing support throughout this difficult period, on both the professional and the personal level.
Rest assured that all of CRPNPAC, our teams, and our Board of Directors are here and will remain here to help you through this crisis, however long it lasts.
Take care of yourselves and your families.
Chairman of CRPNPAC’s Board of Directors
April 28, 2020