Check Your United Airlines Benefits BEFORE Checking out a New Job

No comments

Company Benefits Annual Enrollment

Annual enrollment for your company benefits usually occurs each fall. Before it begins, you will be mailed enrollment materials and an upfront confirmation statement reflecting your benefits coverage to the address on file. You’ll find enrollment instructions and information about your benefit options and contribution amounts. You will have the option to keep the benefit coverage shown on your upfront confirmation statement or select benefits that better support your needs. You may be able to choose to enroll in eBenefits and receive this information via email instead.

Next Step:

  • Watch for your annual enrollment information in the September/November time frame.
  • Review your benefits information and utilize the tools and resources available on your company’s Benefits Center website.
  • Enroll in eBenefits.

Things to keep in mind:

  • 47% of Americans cite healthcare as their greatest economic concern.
  • Medical bills are the No. 1 cause of bankruptcy in the United States.
  • For older Americans, healthcare costs represent the second-largest expense, behind housing.

Short-Term & Long-Term Disability

Short-Term: Depending on your plan, you may have access to short-term disability (STD) benefits.

Long-Term: Your plan’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits are designed to provide you with income if you are absent from work for six consecutive months or longer due to an eligible illness or injury.

Retiree Health Account (RHA) – Qualified Healthcare Savings Account

As healthcare costs continue to rise each year, your Retiree Health Account (RHA) provides a secure, tax-free source of funds to pay for healthcare related expenses for you, your spouse, and your qualified dependents in retirement or after separation from UAL. Your RHA can only be funded through:

  • A mandatory employer contribution of $1.00 per hour paid
  • Employer contributions in excess of the max limits of your PRAP
  • Forfeited annual vacation

Our advisors can help you determine a strategy to either maximize or minimize contributions to your RHA depending on your individual needs.

It is important to understand that your United Airlines Employee Benefits include more than just a pension, a 401(k) plan, and free flights. The United employee benefits also includes the United Airlines ALPA Retirement Health Account (RHA). Understanding how you will pay for your healthcare in retirement is an integral part of the planning process. This account is a health expense reimbursement account that allows retired United and legacy Continental pilots to reimburse themselves tax-free for qualified
health expenses for their spouse and dependents in retirement.

Request Your United Airlines  Transition/Retirement Guide Today!

The RHA is a mandatory account that is funded only by United for the purpose of helping United employees and pilots pay for health-related expenses and premiums throughout retirement in a tax-free way. All contributions, growth of the account, and qualified distributions are tax-free.

What can I use my RHA for?

The RHA is meant for medical expense reimbursement in retirement or separation of service only. The account itself is held in a pooled account with other employees and pilots at United, and cannot be moved into an individual account. RHA will allow you to reimburse yourself for:

  • doctors visits
  • co-pays
  • dental premiums
  • insurance premiums
  • Medicare
  • and Long Term Care insurance premiums

The greatest benefit afforded to you is the ability to reimburse your qualified healthcare expenses without having to draw upon your retirement accounts, saving you money on taxes.

How can I maximize contributions to my RHA?

In order to maximize what is contributed to your RHA, you must first increase your 401(k) contributions so that any employer contributions over the IRS limit will “spill over” into your RHA. The other way in which to further contribute to your RHA is to forfeit vacation days into your RHA. The United Retirement & Insurance committee has an RHA spill calculator available to you, to estimate your projected RHA funding.

What Happens to my RHA if I Pass Away?

Your RHA can be used by your spouse or a dependent of yours. If you are not married nor do you have any dependents than the balance will be forfeited back to the pooled investment. Unfortunately, your RHA cannot be passed down and inherited like other accounts.

What Happens If Your Employment Ends

Your life insurance coverage and any optional coverage you purchase for your spouse/domestic partner and/or children ends on the date your employment ends, unless your employment ends due to disability. If you die within 31 days of your termination date, benefits are paid to your beneficiary for your basic life insurance, as well as any additional life insurance coverage you elected.


  • You may have the option to convert your life insurance to an individual policy or elect portability on any optional coverage.
  • If you stop paying supplementary contributions, your coverage will end.
  • If you are at least 65 and you pay for supplemental life insurance, you should receive information in the mail from the insurance company that explains your options.
  • Make sure to update your beneficiaries. See your company’s SPD for more details.

Beneficiary Designations

As part of your retirement and estate planning, it’s important to name someone to receive the proceeds of your benefits programs in the event of your death. That’s how your employer will know whom to send your final compensation and benefits. This can include life insurance payouts and any pension or savings balances you may have.

Next Step:

When you retire, make sure that you update your beneficiaries. Your company may have an Online Beneficiary Designation form for events such as death, marriage, divorce, childbirth, adoptions, etc.