VNV, a union representing pilots in the Netherlands, is to appeal a recent court ruling that Dutch airline KLM is not obligated to offset a funding shortfall at its pension fund for pilots.It said it would seek to force the airline to honour its previous agreement, which would have allowed the union to grant full indexation, although the VNV said it was also “fully engaged” in talks with the company.In summary proceedings brought by the VNV, the Amsterdam court ruled that KLM’s additional pensions contribution – estimated at €600m by the airline – was sufficiently large for it to cancel its shortfall agreement.The court also ruled that the agreement, terminated unilaterally by KLM, had not fallen under a binding collective labour agreement between the employer and union. Meanwhile, KLM’s pilot pension fund – the €8.2bn Pensioenfonds Vliegend Personeel KLM – is preparing its own legal case against the airline for unilaterally terminating the agreement.And in a separate case, cabin staff union VNC issued a summons against KLM and its pension fund for cabin staff for having agreed a new pension contract “at odds” with a prior agreement between the airline and unions.According to the VNC, KLM also unilaterally decided to abandon an existing agreement that the airline would plug funding gaps.KLM insists it agreed with unions that shortfalls would be filled by “natural recovery” – i.e. returns on investment.The Pensioenfonds Cabinepersoneel KLM said it would implement the contract – concluded between the airline and the scheme – that failed to provide for a recovery contribution from the company.Annette Groeneveld, chair at the VNC, said the union would demand that KLM and the pension fund produce in court the documents on which they had based the new contract.She said the union and airline were discussing a potential switch from defined-benefit arrangements to collective defined contribution but that no agreement had been reached on an increased employer contribution as compensation.“When the introduction of the financial assessment framework interrupted the negotiations, we did agree that its rules would be incorporated into the contract, but the ‘natural recovery’ was not part of this deal,” Groeneveld said.She estimated that KLM would have to pay €34m extra annually to plug the funding gap over a 10-year period, adding that the employer had paid recovery contributions over 2014 and 2015.KLM and the cabin-staff pension fund, which returned 0.5% last year, declined to comment.The scheme’s funding stood at 101.8% as of the end of August; its required coverage level is 128%.
Harold KoehlerHarold Koehler, of Wellington, died Thursday, March 05, 2015 at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita,Â at the age of 79.Harold was born the son of Johnny and Abbie (Feist) Koehler on Friday, January 24, 1936 in Manchester, . He graduated from St. Gregory High School in Shawnee,Â and originally planned on becoming a priest but changed his mind. Harold went on to serve his country in the United States Army from 1955-1957.After college, he began his career in accounting and took a position with the Kerr McGee Oil Company inÂ City. His job allowed him to live overseas for 24 years. While overseas, he met Sue Huke and on July 21, 1979 Harold and Sue were united in marriage in Lowestoft, England. Together they celebrated 34 years of marriage before her death in 2011. Harold and Sue were blessed with two daughters: Alison and Debbie. Harold retired and returned to the USA for good in 1993. Following retirement, he drove a school bus and worked with his brother doing appliance repairs.Survivors include his daughters: Alison Lantrip and her husband Wesley of Bartlesville,Â and Debbie Smith and her husband Kevin of Topeka, , grandchildren: Cameron, Blake and Natalie Smith, sister, Helen Blubaugh and her husband Leon of Danville, , brothers: Bobby Koehler of Ponca City,Â and Cleo Koehler and his wife Roberta of Wellington, . He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife, Sue Koehler and his siblings: Sylvester Koehler, Alfred Koehler, Tommy Koehler, Alice Collins and Dortha Johnson.Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday, March 9, 2015.Recitation of the Holy Rosary will begin at 7:00 p.m., Monday evening at St. Anthony/St. Rose Catholic Church, Wellington, .Funeral Mass for Harold will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at St. Anthony/St. Rose Catholic Church, Wellington, .Following cremation, a private interment will be held at theÂ Veterans Cemetery, Winfield, .A memorial fund has been established in his loving memory to the Avenue of Flags. Contributions may be mailed or left with the funeral home.To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit www.dayfuneralhome.info.Arrangements are by Day Funeral Home & Crematory, Wellington.