CRPN, the pension provider for professional flight crew in France, has allowed airline companies to delay employer contributions for five months to help with short-term cash management – and protect the demographic profile of the pay-as-you-go scheme.

The reprieve applies for monthly payments for the period starting from 1 February, or from 1 January for companies on a quarterly payment schedule, until the end of June. Companies currently will have until 25 November to make the payments for this period.

The board of CRPN has decided to review the situation at its next meeting in October.

Sandrine Johnson, deputy director in charge of legal and institutional affairs at CRPN, said the board decided on the measure very quickly, and had acted before the government had announced its measures for supporting companies.

“And the government is taking things month by month whereas we decided a five-month measure to give visibility to employers,” she told IPE.

She said the provider had also acted early because its board comprises trade union and employer representatives from the sector, so it knew there was a need for short-term funding relief.

Given CRPN manages a pay-as-you-go scheme, it was ultimately out to “preserve our demography” by avoiding job losses, Johnson said.

In the Netherlands, the pension funds for the travel sector and hospitality industry have granted their employers a one-month respite from paying their pension contributions.

The CRPN pension scheme is a supplementary scheme that is mandatory for all aircrew based in France.

In 2018 it had 33,224 active members for 21,814 pensioners, with benefit payments exceeding contributions by €121.5m. As at the end of 2019 CRPN had €5.5bn in assets under management, of which 23% represented physical real estate.