American Airlines wants to invest in you and your future. Your American Airlines 401(k) plan makes it easy to get started and to keep saving throughout your career. It’s never too early — or too late — to plan for retirement.

 

The earlier you start saving in your 401(k) account, the more you can take advantage of compounding. This means that over time, your investments can generate earnings and those earnings can generate even more earnings. It’s a powerful way to grow your savings.

Get Started

  • If you’re an eligible regular full-time or part-time team member on the U.S. payroll (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), you’re eligible to start saving immediately in the plan.
  • If you don’t take action within your first 30 days of employment, you’ll be automatically enrolled (if eligible) to save on a pretax basis.
  • You may change your savings rate and investments at any time through the Fidelity NetBenefits® website. For assistance, call the American Airlines 401(k) Service Center at Fidelity at 800-354-3412.

Develop Your Strategy

Your American Airlines 401(k) plan offers an array of options for you to customize your 401(k) account with your retirement goals in mind. There is an assortment of contribution types and a range of investment options offered to help you meet those goals. With access to online resources and one-on-one consultations, you have the help you need to decide how much to contribute, which account type fits your goals and how to invest your account balance.

You can manage your plan anytime, anywhere. Log onto the Fidelity NetBenefits® website to make changes to your savings rate, adjust your investment elections and monitor your portfolio’s performance. Or you can call the American Airlines 401(k) Service Center at Fidelity at 800-354-3412. Dedicated representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to midnight ET.

How much should I contribute?

One of the most important decisions you make in your 401(k) plan is how much you contribute. Through automatic payroll deductions, you can contribute up to 100% of your eligible compensation to your 401(k) account, up to the annual IRS maximums. If you will be age 50 or older by Dec. 31 of the current year, you can save an additional amount with catch-up contributions.

Even small increases in your savings rate can increase your total savings significantly. You can take action to increase your savings rate at any time, by as little as half-percent (0.5%) increments. You can also take advantage of Fidelity’s Annual Increase Program, which automatically increases your savings rate each year. You can sign up for the Annual Increase Program on the Fidelity NetBenefits® website under the Contribution Amount section.

Once you’re enrolled in the 401(k) plan, check out the Contribution Calculator or visit the Planning & Guidance Center to find tools and resources you need to help you manage your retirement savings.

Which contribution option is right for me?

Your American Airlines 401(k) plan offers three contribution election options to help you save for your retirement. You may contribute up to 100% of your eligible compensation as pretax deductions or on an after-tax basis through Roth 401(k) and after-tax deductions.

Pretax

Contributions are made before income taxes are taken from your pay. You will pay taxes on all distributions you receive from the plan.

You have limited access to your pretax contributions while you are an active team member and penalty taxes for early withdrawals may apply.

Roth 401(k)

Contributions are deducted after income taxes are taken from your pay. Although your Roth 401(k) contributions are deducted after taxes are taken from your pay, the amount of the contribution is calculated based on your gross eligible compensation.

Roth 401(k) contributions allow you to make after-tax contributions and take any associated earnings potentially tax free at retirement — as long as the distribution is taken at least five tax years after your first Roth 401(k) contribution and after you have reached age 59½, become Social Security–disabled or die.

You have limited access to your Roth 401(k) contributions while you are an active team member and penalty taxes for early withdrawals may apply.

After-Tax

Contributions are deducted after income taxes are taken from your pay. Although your after-tax contributions are deducted after taxes are taken from your pay, the amount of the contribution is calculated based on your gross eligible compensation.

You may access your after-tax contributions at any time, without restrictions. Since you pay taxes when you make after-tax contributions, when you receive a distribution, you are taxed only on the associated earnings. If you are under age 59½, a penalty tax may apply.

 

Is there a limit on how much I can contribute?

Every year the IRS sets limits to the amount of contributions that can be made into a 401(k) account. Below are the contribution limits for 2021.

2021 limits for U.S.-based team members

Elective deferral contributions — $19,500

Catch-up contributions* — $6,500

Total contributions — $58,000

Total contributions with catch-up — $64,500

Maximum eligible compensation — $290,000

Your combined total savings rate among the contribution election options cannot exceed 100%.

*You may contribute to catch-up contributions if you will be age 50 or older by Dec. 31 of the current year. If you work or live in Puerto Rico, you  are limited to $1,500 per year in pretax catch-up contributions and $59,500 in total contributions with catch-up.

What are my investment options?

Your American Airlines 401(k) plan investment menu consists of four tiers, each focused on a different style of investing (see below). Because your investment preferences are as individual as you are, the tiers allow you to easily identify the differences between the options and choose those that fit you best. Whether you’re a hands-off investor or hands-on investor, the 401(k) plan investment menu has custom fund options to help you achieve your retirement goals.

For hands-on investors, you can develop a personalized investment strategy on your own or with help of tools available on the Fidelity NetBenefits® website. At no additional cost, you can take advantage of one-in-one consultations by contacting Fidelity at 800-603-4015 or by visiting the Planning & Guidance Center to help you identify an asset mix that aligns with your goals.

Tier 1: Target Date Funds

These funds give you a diversified, all-in-one mix of stocks, bonds, short-term investments, and other investment options found individually in Tiers 2 and 3. Each fund is a custom mix, specifically designed just for team members of American Airlines. You choose the fund based on the year closest to the date you expect to retire, and over time, the fund adjusts to grow more conservative as it reaches its target date.

Tier 2: Index Funds

These funds are clearly labeled by asset class and are designed to track the structure and performance of their associated market index.

Tier 3:  Actively Managed Funds

These funds are clearly labeled by asset class and try to outperform — or beat — the returns of their associated market index like the S&P 500.

Tier 4: Self-Directed Brokerage Account

Fidelity BrokerageLink® is an account within the 401(k) plan that gives you access to thousands of mutual funds and other investment options beyond those offered in Tiers 1, 2 and 3.

Plus professional management for your 401(k) account

For employees who prefer to partner with an expert, the plan offers the Professional Management program. When you enroll, the Edelman Financial Engines financial research team researches and analyzes the options available in your plan to create a customized investment strategy. Edelman Financial Engines monitors your portfolio on an ongoing basis, making adjustments as needed to help keep your portfolio properly diversified and on track. There is a management fee for this service.

You can select your mix of investment options or make changes at any time by logging on to your 401(k) account on the Fidelity NetBenefits® website or speak with a representative from the American Airlines 401(k) Service Center at Fidelity at 800-354-3412. Dedicated representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to midnight ET.

 

Can I rollover a balance?

You may also roll over a balance from another qualified retirement account, such as an individual retirement account (IRA) or a previous employer’s plan account. You may find it easier to manage your finances when everything is in one spot. Start the rollover process directly on the Fidelity NetBenefits® website in the Rollover section. A rollover form is also available on the Fidelity NetBenefits® website under the Forms link in the Plan Information section.

For further details, call the American Airlines 401(k) Service Center at Fidelity at 800-354-3412. Dedicated representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to midnight ET.

Investing in You and Your Future

After one year of service American will provide you with an employer contribution to your 401(k) account. The amount contributed will depend on your workgroup.

Team members with prior service or who transfer to American from one of its wholly owned subsidiaries will have their prior service at the subsidiary credited towards the one-year eligibility requirement and toward the service requirement for vesting — full ownership of your 401(k) account balance.

American will contribute 16% of your eligible compensation to your 401(k) account up to the IRS limits. Participation is automatic, and you will be eligible for this nonelective company contribution* after completing one year of service.

If you do not have an investment election on file, your nonelective company contributions will be made to the Target Date Fund closest to the year you will turn age 65.

You are always 100% vested in your contributions, the nonelective company contributions and any associated earnings.

*A nonelective company contribution is a contribution to your 401(k) account that the company makes regardless of whether you are making your own contributions. 

Flight Attendants receive a nonelective company contribution*, plus you are eligible to receive matching company contributions based on your eligible compensation. You become eligible to receive the following employer contributions after completing one year of service:

  • 3% nonelective company contribution. Participation is automatic.
  • Up to a 2.5% matching company contribution on pretax and/or Roth 401(k) contributions made to your 401(k) account. Every dollar you contribute** up to 2.5% gets matched by American, dollar for dollar.

If you do not have an investment election on file, your personal contributions along with your employer contributions will be made to the Target Date Fund closest to the year you turn age 65.

You are always 100% vested in your personal contributions and earnings on those contributions. You become 100% vested in your employer contributions (plus their associated earnings) once you complete two years of service or reach age 65, whichever comes first. Once vested, the employer contributions are yours to keep. However, if you leave American before you have two years of service, you will forfeit all employer contributions and their associated earnings.

*A nonelective company contribution is a contribution to your 401(k) account that the company makes regardless of whether you are making your own contributions.
**After-tax and catch-up contributions do not qualify for company matching contributions.

TWU-designated team members

TWU-designated team members receive a nonelective company contribution*, plus you are eligible to receive matching companycontributions based on your eligible compensation. You become eligible to receive the following employer contributions after completing one year of service:

  • 5% nonelective company contribution. Participation is automatic.
  • Up to a 4% matching company contribution on pretax and/or Roth 401(k) contributions made to your 401(k) account. Every dollar you contribute** up to 4% gets matched by American dollar for dollar.

IAM-designated team members

You become eligible to receive the matching company contributions after completing one year of service.

IAM-designated team members are eligible to receive up to a 4% matching company contribution on any pretax and/or Roth 401(k) contributions made to your 401(k) account. Every dollar you contribute* up to 4% gets matched by American dollar for dollar.

TWU-IAM–represented team members

If you do not have an investment election on file, your personal contributions along with your employer contributions will be made to the Target Date Fund closest to the year you turn age 65.

You are always 100% vested in your personal contributions and earnings on those contributions. You become 100% vested in your employer contributions (plus their associated earnings) once you complete two years of service or reach age 65, whichever comes first. Once vested, the employer contributions are yours to keep. However, if you leave American before you have two years of service, you will forfeit all employer contributions and their associated earnings.

 *A nonelective company contribution is a contribution to your 401(k) account that the company makes regardless of whether you are making your own contributions.
**After-tax and catch-up contributions do not qualify for matching company contributions.

Your American Airlines 401(k) plan generally provides 100% matching company contributions on your pretax and/or Roth 401(k) contributions up to 5.5% of eligible compensation. So every dollar that you contribute* up to 5.5% gets matched by American dollar for dollar.

By contributing at least 5.5% in pretax and/or Roth 401(k) contributions as early as possible, you will not only jump-start your savings, but you will also get your full matching company contribution as of your one year of service.

If you do not have an investment election on file, your personal contributions and matching company contributions will be made to the Target Date Fund closest to the year you turn 65.

You are always 100% vested in your contributions and earnings on those contributions. You become 100% vested in your matching company contributions (plus their associated earnings) upon completing two years of service or reaching age 65, whichever comes first. Once vested, the matching company contributions and their associated earnings are yours to keep. However, if you leave American before you have two years of service, you will forfeit all matching company contributions and their associated earnings in the 401(k) plan.

*After-tax and catch-up contributions do not qualify for matching company contributions.

Access Your Savings

Your American Airlines 401(k) plan is designed to provide funds for your retirement and is regulated by federal tax law. As a result, there are certain restrictions for borrowing or withdrawing money from your 401(k) account, particularly as an active team member.

If you leave American, you are entitled to receive a distribution of your vested 401(k) account balance; however, taxes and penalties may apply.

For more details about your options, please refer to the Summary Plan Description (SPD) available on the Fidelity NetBenefits® website in the Plan Information section. You may also speak with an American Airlines 401(k) Service Center at Fidelity representative at 800-354-3412. Dedicated representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to midnight ET.

Access in Retirement

With a vested 401(k) account balance greater than $5,000, you can leave your account in the plan and continue to have access to the 401(k) plan’s unique investment options.

Thirty days after leaving American, you can request a distribution of your 401(k) account in one of three ways:

  • Installment payments.
  • A partial lump sum.
  • A lump sum.

Distributions are generally made as a cash payment or as a rollover to another qualified retirement account. Cash payments received from a 401(k) plan may be subject to taxes and a penalty tax, if considered an early withdrawal.

Please note, when you reach age 72, you are required to take a minimum distribution from your 401(k) account.

Because federal guidelines are complicated and subject to change, you may want to consult a qualified tax adviser before receiving a payment from the 401(k) plan.

For more information, visit the Fidelity NetBenefits® website or call the American Airlines 401(k) Service Center at Fidelity at 800-354-3412. Dedicated representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to midnight ET.

Loans

Although your 401(k) account is intended for the future, you may borrow from your account. Keep in mind that taking a loan from your 401(k) account reduces your earning power because while your loan balance is outstanding, there is less money in your account earning towards your retirement. We encourage you to consider all of your options before taking a loan from your 401(k) account.

For more information, visit the Fidelity NetBenefits® website or call the American Airlines 401(k) Service Center at Fidelity at 800-354-3412. Dedicated representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to midnight ET.

Withdrawals While Employed

Withdrawals from the 401(k) plan are generally permitted when you reach age 59½, become permanently disabled or have severe financial hardships as defined by your plan. Additionally, in-service withdrawals are available as permitted by the plan.

For more information, visit the Fidelity NetBenefits® website or call the American Airlines 401(k) Service Center at Fidelity at 800-354-3412. Dedicated representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to midnight ET.

Where to Go For Help

Take advantage of the many resources available through the American Airlines 401(k) plan. Get quick answers, individual consultations, and even professional account management services.

American Airlines 401(k) Service Center at Fidelity

NetBenefits |  800-354-3412

Log in or call to monitor your 401(k) account, make savings rate or investment changes, and access valuable tools and resources to help you make the most of your 401(k) savings. Dedicated account representatives are available to speak with Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to midnight ET.

Fidelity one-on-one advice

Investor Centers |  800-603-4015

Free one-on-one consultations with a Fidelity representative are available to you to discuss your options and your investing style. Participants should call for details and appointments.

Edelman Financial Engines

Learn More | 800-354-3412

Edelman Financial Engines offers independent, objective investment advice and management through your American Airlines 401(k) plan. You can use their Online Advice service at no charge to help refine your investment strategy. For an additional fee, you can take advantage of professional account management for your 401(k) account.

If there is any discrepancy between the information on my.aa.com and the plan document, the terms of the plan document shall govern.