Former Avantair airline employees will soon get 401K funds - WFLA News Channel 8

Former Avantair airline employees will soon get 401K funds

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CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) - Hundreds of employees left high and dry when Avantair went belly up in June are tired of waiting for access to their 401K funds. We now know they should have access to those funds within two weeks.

8 on Your Side first reported on the plight of the airlines former employees in November of 2013.  Avantair was a small private airline based out of Clearwater that allowed the wealthy to buy into high end airplanes in a fractional timeshare arrangement.

Last June, Avantair suddenly closed its doors.  The owners of some of the airplanes forced a chapter seven bankruptcy filing.  Hundreds of employees were left without jobs and without health insurance.

Related story:  Avantair airline closes, employees want answers

Former Avantair employee Julie Roberts has thyroid cancer and is leading the charge to get answers about why their 401k funds are still being withheld.

"It's my money. It doesn't matter what I want to do with it. What I want to do with it is nobody's business. But it's my money and I want it," says Roberts.

In November, the bankruptcy trustee's lawyer filed a motion to terminate the 401k plan. That would then allow the former employees to access those funds, or so they thought.  The judge granted the motion on December 2nd but the former airline employees are still in a holding pattern.

Roberts says: "I would have loved to have had the money by Christmas and I know there are a lot of former Avantair employees who really needed it. I can think of two right off the bat who are probably going to lose their home if we don't get some resolution soon and I know several who have no source of income now."

What's the hold up?  CPI is the 401k management company actually holding the funds but the trustee's attorney must finish the required paperwork first.

That attorney, Lynn Sherman, now says "distribution packages will be mailed to all plan participants within the next 2 weeks. CPI is starting to process any distribution request forms that have previously been received, and will be processing distribution forms as they are received in the future."


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