AMR on Thursday shared some info that it sent out last week to managers, to wit:

• Regarding the $6.5 million contribution, AMR told managers that “generally, companies in Chapter 11 are prohibited by law from paying pre-chapter 11 liabilities; however, contributions to fund benefits that accrue post-petition may be made. As a result, American will contribute $6.5 million to its defined benefit plans to cover the period Nov. 29 – Dec. 31, 2011.”

• An independent fiduciary will be appointed “to act for the pension plans” during bankruptcy reorganization.

• The company has “elected pension relief” for 2009 for three of its four pension plans: flight attendants; Transport Workers Union-represented employees; and “agent, management, specialist, support personnel and officers.” It also is using pension funding relief for the pilots’ fixed income plan for 2010 and 2011.

What does “pension funding relief” mean?” Here’s the explanation to managers:

“The Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010 allows single-employer plans to elect to amortize funding shortfalls over 15 years.

“Plan sponsors can elect this funding relief for up to two plan years during the period between 2008 and 2011.”

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