Sunday, February 21, 2010

NRPC / Koskie Minsky Webinar Feb 23

For those of you interested in the Canadian situation there will be another web seminar on Feb 23rd from 3PM to 5PM. The topic is basically the Canadian agreement made between the NRPC, representing us, and Nortel and covers the pension, disabled employees, health and welfare, life insurance, and severance. You can find the details on the Canadian Pensioners' website which also has the information on registering. You can also check the details of the agreement and frequently asked questions file at Koskie Minsky's site:

The FAQ File provides clear information on the impact of the settlement on us. I urge all of you to read it. There are a number of different FAQ files listed, the first one on the list (benefits funding settlement agreement)contains all the information offered.

So basically for us pensioners, the payments will continue until September this year. At that time Nortel will stop administering the fund. That means they are out of the picture as of October 1st and we are on our own dealing with the administrator appointed by the Ontario government. Nortel will continue to pay the special payments ($2.2M per month) to help fund the deficit until March 31st 2010. After that they will only pay the general monthly amounts ($357K per month) until September. Slim Pickings!

I think this has been their plan all along. First they got rid of the US pension by handing it over to the PBGC. Now they are cutting the Canadian pensioners loose in September. Having washed their hands of us, they can continue on as a much smaller company without the heavy burden of the pensions.

That way they probably won't enter the BIA process. So even if the lackadaisical Canadian Government enacts some precedence for Pension Trust Funds as priority creditors, we won't be able to gain from it, since Nortel will be continuing on, and won't be entering the BIA process.

Then to add insult to injury, Nortel ran an "end run" around us by getting agreement that we wouldn't sue them for incompetent handling of the fund, and allowing them to pay all the bonuses and perks they have put forward.

So we are facing the end of an era; now we know the date. What we don't know is how much our pensions are going to be impacted, and how much we may be able to recoup from the claim process. I only know that this isn't the Nortel I once knew, many years ago. It's not a Nortel I like.

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