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Guest JArcher00

Aviation Continuation Pay (ACP - The Bonus)

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Come on, the bonus is a perk, not an "incentive", and none of you guys are going to leave over the bonus not being increased.

On the contrary, RAND (and hence Big Blue) disagrees with you. They have a Dynamic Retention Model which they think can be used to anticipate what the ACP take rate will be, based on how much $ is offered. $25k/yr, for instance, has been pretty good for achieving about a 65% take rate . . . but that's been over multiple years where hiring's sucked on the outside. When hiring ramps up, but Big Blue is capped at $25k/yr, retention's gonna decrease. Last FY's "half up front" option didn't make a difference: From the last retention report, "This year’s 50% up-front initiative for pilots in 11F and 11U PAFSCs appeared to have little effect on the overall take rate for the fighter community as FY12’s take rate fell below both FY10 and FY11 program numbers." Looks like the only possible option (at least until they can argue for bonuses greater than $25k/yr) is to go back to longer-term contracts. Again, I have to wonder 1) where they're going to get the money for this, and 2) more importantly, how they're going to sell this program in a time of major budget constraints. Funny thing to me is that everybody seems to be wetting their pants about 11Fs, 11Us, etc. It's a big deal, I'll grant you, but it misses the rest of the picture. Whaddya think's gonna happen when large numbers of the 11Ms (those with the most transferrable skill sets and which comprise a large proportion of the bonus-eligible pilots) separate? Who do you think is going to fill all those MC-12/ACC/joint/other billets that 11Ms are filling in lieu of 11Fs/11Ss/etc.? I already know a Capt C-130 pilot who was released to Global Strike Command staff--with barely 96 flying gates met (at a time when we're "fat" on heavy drivers). How much more crap is going to flow downhill to CAF units, when their HQ staffs are filled with bunches of herbivore O-3s/junior O-4s? I'm way past bonus eligibility, but I sure hope Big Blue offers some pretty sweet bonuses across all pilot communities--and even more so, I hope they can sell Congress/the public on bonuses greater than $25/yr--if/when the FY13 program ends up being a bloodbath.

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I have no doubt that they have a model crunching numbers on it, but I really think most people who take the bonus are going to stay anyway. Full disclosure, I'm a 32E so I certainly don't have a good perspective on aircrew specific tools, but the CE community has conducted study after study that says bonuses are ineffective. People stay in until their family starts to break, and then they jump. For most people with their head in the right place, it doesn't matter if the bonus is $10K or $100K, you aren't going to leave your 5 year old for seven months for the fifth year in a row. For people who are really focused on earning big money, $25K is chump change...go find a job doing something lucrative, because flying isn't ever going to make you rich.

Edited by frog
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Agree that $25K/year won't make you rich, but it is a considerable increase in pay that makes some think twice about jumping ship. On the other side, I could see myself staying in but not taking the bonus so I could have the option to say FU when they send me on a 365 to asscrackistan. You make the bonus $35K/year, then a 40% take home pay increase makes it tough to turn down, which locks me in for 20.

Or, the AF could just collectively pull their nugget out of their cornhole and stop 365s which offer little to no benefit to the US, needless deployments simply because a unit is up for their AEF, and other quality of life crushers. Suddenly you don't need to offer extra money to keep guys from walking away from a job they've worked for years to get into.

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Come on, the bonus is a perk, not an "incentive", and none of you guys are going to leave over the bonus not being increased. If you really hate your job as much as you guys talk about, then the difference between $25K and $35K should be negligible. If the money is really what you are after, quit being a puss and go get a job where you can be compensated for your performance and make some real money. Everybody talks a big game about leaving, but the reality is half of you are scared to leave because in your heart you know that you are compensated pretty damn well with relatively good stability and benefits to fly some cool jets despite all of the mother blue BS.

We just interviewed 3 11Fs for 2 part time jobs and none of them are going to the airlines. The active duty is fucked.

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...but I really think most people who take the bonus are going to stay anyway..

You don't get it--the Air Force (at least in years past) WANTS guys to take the bonus. In the mid/late 90's they were offering all kinds of bonus options...even taking guys to 20 years or even more. What that did was help the bean counters better determine retention rates, how many new pilots they would need to produce for each year group, etc. This was still the case when the bonus went to only 5 years, with another example being as to why the AF stopped giving all the Navs a bonus, the numbers worked out to where it no longer was needed.

So unless the Air Force has a strong reason to believe that this year's group of eligibles are more than likely to stay in regardless of a bonus...and they're willing to stay in for at least another 5 years, then it is financially worth it for the Air Force to offer the bonus to everybody. If you don't think there are any pilots (who didn't take the bonus) never separate 2-3 years after being offered the bonus then are you very mistaken. If dudes take the bonus, it's irrelevant if they want to get out 2-3 years later since they committed to another 5 years.

There's a reason our initial commitment is what it is (and was increased 2 years 12-15 years ago) and there's also a reason for the bonus...it comes down to math for Big Blue. It's not that the Air Force just has a hard on to give their pilots a bonus...if that was the case, then the bonus option would be a good as it was back in the 90's.

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I'm not sure if this has been brought up yet and I'm not about to search through all the BS posts about a-word hirings and dudes being butt-hurt over TP stalls...

http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/Documents/NAVADMINS/NAV2013/NAV13047.txt

Looks like the 2013 Navy ACP was released. It mirrors their previous year's ACP with some minor adjustments. Also, I talked to a dude that works closely with folks at the NGB and he said that "no negative" info has been released pertaining to the AF bonus. He expects the announcement later this month.

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Honestly, I really do think they will provide a bonus that is at least as good as last year's. The personnel budget wasn't supposed to be touched by sequestration. And even though everyone is very cynical on here, I have to believe that those in charge of this aren't so retarded as to withhold the bonus.

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Yeah, those in charge surely aren't so retarded that they would pass over 11Fs with clean records for major. Or RIF and then do a recall to active duty the same year.

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Getting to the party a little late on this one, but I was surprised to hear a rep from AFPC state that AFSC shortages/overages have ZERO weight in promotion. So even though many of our fighter brethren are only 40% manned, once the Major's board meets again, they will compete like everyone else.

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Getting to the party a little late on this one, but I was surprised to hear a rep from AFPC state that AFSC shortages/overages have ZERO weight in promotion. So even though many of our fighter brethren are only 40% manned, once the Major's board meets again, they will compete like everyone else.

Copy - must be fair across the board. The fact of the matter is that due to the level of manning the "bad deals" are fielded by fewer guys and there's more work in general to go around. More work and more bad deals (not to mention much fewer flying due to sequestration) will probably correlate with even lower retention and the problem will get worse. I expect that there are other career fields with the same 11F problem.

Root cause from I stand is the Air Force dropped the ball 3-4 years ago with TAMI 21, POM 10 etc... all short term fixes that created much worse long term problems ^^^ that were visible at the time. Fortunately, at the higher levels, since those problems were well outside the one year OPR cycle none involved will likely burden any of the responsibility of any of this. "How did we get here?"

If I were king for a day I would immediately mask AAD (so these guys can focus on their primary job) until 0-5 board, fight tooth and nail for more flying hours (perhaps at the cost of acquisitions, i.e. F=35), and scrub AFPC for 11F billets that may be able to be filled by another career field. (UAV/ALO/ISR) until the career field is back to normal strength.

I don't see any of this changing. Enjoy flying jets while it lasts and set yourself up to have options if things keep going the way they are going.

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Here’s a question…if they keep holding the release of this thing up, does the date you sign drive the hack for your five year payback (assuming this FY program is operating under the same rules as last FY)?

Seems a bit shady that a program you should be able to sign up for 1 Oct is not available till 6 - 9 months later (and you pay for it by incurring an additional 6 – 9 month commitment waiting for program release).

Thoughts?

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Does anyone take the bonus and get out before 20 years? (Honest question, not sure if non-pilots might) For pilots, the 10 year commitment takes most traditional guys to around 12 years, then the bonus takes them to around 17 years. I'm sure it has been done, but I just can't imagine punching at 3 years to retirement.

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Here’s a question…if they keep holding the release of this thing up, does the date you sign drive the hack for your five year payback (assuming this FY program is operating under the same rules as last FY)?

Seems a bit shady that a program you should be able to sign up for 1 Oct is not available till 6 - 9 months later (and you pay for it by incurring an additional 6 – 9 month commitment waiting for program release).

Thoughts?

I'd like to know the answer to this question too... If they want guys to sign the bonus then it should be for the FY starting 1 Oct. It's not their fault they couldn't get their shit together 9 months into the FY. For guys who are prior service or late to rate this could be a factor where it puts them past 20 yrs. Not sure what the rules will be this year, but another whole can of worms is the guys who were passed over for O-5 and continued to 20... who have to get out at 20! Will they not be eligible if as of this past Oct 1 they only had 4 1/2 yrs left to hit 20?

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Here’s a question…if they keep holding the release of this thing up, does the date you sign drive the hack for your five year payback (assuming this FY program is operating under the same rules as last FY)?

Seems a bit shady that a program you should be able to sign up for 1 Oct is not available till 6 - 9 months later (and you pay for it by incurring an additional 6 – 9 month commitment waiting for program release).

Thoughts?

Great question. All I know is that your payment starts from either the date it's processed or your commitment date (whichever is later). That would infer to me that your commitment is based on that same date, which, if that is the case, is bologna.

Does anyone take the bonus and get out before 20 years? (Honest question, not sure if non-pilots might) For pilots, the 10 year commitment takes most traditional guys to around 12 years, then the bonus takes them to around 17 years. I'm sure it has been done, but I just can't imagine punching at 3 years to retirement.

I don't think we'll know the answer to this for another 3.5-4 years when the first "10 year" group who took the bonus confronts this decision.

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I don't think we'll know the answer to this for another 3.5-4 years when the first "10 year" group who took the bonus confronts this decision.

I have a buddy who was recently hired by a Major... was briefed that starting next year and for the unforeseeable future their company will be hiring 300-500 each year... pay for a first year FO in 2017 is up to $93K. Yeah, I can see guys punching at 17 yrs for seniority reasons. Would definitely be a tough call, but I think Big Blue is going to have to do something drastic to keep their pilots in the next few years... bigger and more flexible bonuses is an obvious answer. More money... maybe a 3 or 1 year bonus option? If all of this hiring really starts to happen at the pay rates that are being thrown around then I think the AF is going to have to resign itself to the fact that about 75% of their pilots will be jumping ship and 10 yrs!

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I'd like to know the answer to this question too... If they want guys to sign the bonus then it should be for the FY starting 1 Oct. It's not their fault they couldn't get their shit together 9 months into the FY. For guys who are prior service or late to rate this could be a factor where it puts them past 20 yrs. Not sure what the rules will be this year, but another whole can of worms is the guys who were passed over for O-5 and continued to 20... who have to get out at 20! Will they not be eligible if as of this past Oct 1 they only had 4 1/2 yrs left to hit 20?

The first part of your response is precisely why I’m throwing this question out. I'm late rated, UPT commitment complete 3 Oct 12, 16 years in as of this Friday . In my small brain, should the program be the same as years past, my new ADSC would reflect 3 Oct 17. That would already take me 6 mo. past 20....the longer they hold off releasing the program details will most definitely affect my decision on staying to what would now be 21 years (especially with a pending summer PCS).

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I have a buddy who was recently hired by a Major... was briefed that starting next year and for the unforeseeable future their company will be hiring 300-500 each year... pay for a first year FO in 2017 is up to $93K. Yeah, I can see guys punching at 17 yrs for seniority reasons. Would definitely be a tough call, but I think Big Blue is going to have to do something drastic to keep their pilots in the next few years... bigger and more flexible bonuses is an obvious answer. More money... maybe a 3 or 1 year bonus option? If all of this hiring really starts to happen at the pay rates that are being thrown around then I think the AF is going to have to resign itself to the fact that about 75% of their pilots will be jumping ship and 10 yrs!

Bad gouge. First off, no Majors are hiring right now. There is no domestic airline that has 300-500 retirees a year that is hiring. And here is no Major that pays first year FO pay in 2017 at $93K. Name the airline and then go to airlinepilotcentral.com to confirm or deny this.

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WTF are you talking about? United and USAir are hiring. AA has 80 more recalls to bring back before they start hiring, most likely this fall. Delta will start hiring in Jan 2014. The hiring boom hasn't kicked off but, with literally 69% of all airline pilots retiring within the next 12 years, it will.

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Also, 97k a year for an FO is realistic once you're off probation. Check the pay on a 2nd year united FO flying a 747. United also has 399 retirements this year.

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At ATA this year, HAF A1 gave a brief called "MAF-apocalypse" and their message is below (I do not necessarily believe everything here, so don't kill the messenger and I am paraphrasing): - Pilot retention in the MAF is not an issue...it's the CAF is broken (we all seem to know this, but they backed it up with numbers) -- The CAF issues are the cause of MAF dudes taking MC-12, RPA and traditionally filled CAF staff billets. --- The source of the problem is that the CAF has enough pilots for cockpits but not in the staff roles. That is why pointy-nosed dudes are getting Ops tours back to back to back. --- The above problem has caused he MAF to OVERPRODUCE pilots in the past few years...this could be a problem in the future. - Pilot retention in general requires a 60-69% (or close to that) ACP take rate due to the number of Lt Col and Col billets available. --This fiscal year the bonus was about in the sweet spot of where A1 wants to be. The segments that are lower were given 50% up front (RPA, etc) - A1 is looking at the "Airline" issue but... --their numbers stem from contractors looking at airlines like Southwest and Up with FedEx and UPS. --Currently their predictions are that the AF as a whole is doing just fine becuse of the numbers published on the link above -- A1 is powerless to do much unless people start punching (they have to be reactive and not proactive) - the ACP will see no major changes until FY15 at the earliest and is currently being coord'd to be $35k per year. if $35k can't fix A1's issues they may offer the 20 or the 25 year bonus again but is not likely. --This years ACP was hinted to be the same as last year with a message being published sometime after January. Again, don't kill the messenger but sitting through this brief the numbers they showed seemed logical. If anyone else was there...feel free to fill in the blanks. -Notch

This might be a dumb question...but if the MAF is so over-manned that they can fill not only their own billets, but CAF billets, and the CAF is so undermanned they can't fill all their own billets and the cockpits...why are we continuing to turn out so many MAF pilots from UPT and so few CAF pilots? Where's the disconnect between the pipeline and the manning?

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Bad gouge. First off, no Majors are hiring right now. There is no domestic airline that has 300-500 retirees a year that is hiring. And here is no Major that pays first year FO pay in 2017 at $93K. Name the airline and then go to airlinepilotcentral.com to confirm or deny this.

Really? I guess if airlinepilotcentral.com says it then it must be true. United and US Air are hiring right now... AA and US Air are about to become just AA (the world's largest airline) with just a handful of recalls left and almost 75% of their current pilot force retiring in the next 20 yrs... new agreement has FO first year pay almost tripling between now and 2017, which unless there is some sort of major meltdown will be approved. Over the years you could have questioned the financial viability of different airlines, but you can't question time... and when a pilot hits 65 he/she hits 65! No way around that one. But I guess that's just bad gouge, right?

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This might be a dumb question...but if the MAF is so over-manned that they can fill not only their own billets, but CAF billets, and the CAF is so undermanned they can't fill all their own billets and the cockpits...why are we continuing to turn out so many MAF pilots from UPT and so few CAF pilots? Where's the disconnect between the pipeline and the manning?

Production capacity at the FTU and operational capacity in the CAF.

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I have a buddy who was recently hired by a Major... was briefed that starting next year and for the unforeseeable future their company will be hiring 300-500 each year... pay for a first year FO in 2017 is up to $93K. Yeah, I can see guys punching at 17 yrs for seniority reasons. Would definitely be a tough call, but I think Big Blue is going to have to do something drastic to keep their pilots in the next few years... bigger and more flexible bonuses is an obvious answer. More money... maybe a 3 or 1 year bonus option? If all of this hiring really starts to happen at the pay rates that are being thrown around then I think the AF is going to have to resign itself to the fact that about 75% of their pilots will be jumping ship and 10 yrs!

Say airline

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Also, 97k a year for an FO is realistic once you're off probation. Check the pay on a 2nd year united FO flying a 747. United also has 399 retirements this year.

And how many second year FOs do you know flying for a legacy carrier on a wide body?

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