Friday, June 11, 2010

NRPC US update

I received the following email from the US NRPC.

The email says that the US NRPC are ceasing formal operations and refunding some money to members who did not use Segal to calculate their claims. Those NRPC members who used Segal will not recieve anything back since all the money has been spent on that effort, and the earlier attempt to have legal representation on the creditor's comittee.

Here's the official email:

NUSRPC Members Update June 9, 2010

The NUSRPC is a volunteer organization. Nothing in this e-mail is intended to be, nor should be construed to be, legal or financial advice.

Status Update

It has been eight months since our last status update. This long period was primarily due to the fact that there has been little new information made public about which the NUSRPC could report to you. Prior to the claims bar date the NUSRPC, working with Segal Co, was able to assist 195 of our 421 members to file claims for Non-Qualified pensions before the September 30 bar date.

Since then, Nortel has continued to sell off its assets. The U.K. administrator has made various appeals to Canadian and U.S. Bankruptcy courts.. These actions and others are still being under consideration by the Courts.

In our last members update the questions which remained unanswered were:

1. When will Nortel petition the U.S. court for permission to cease benefits?

2. What will be the court's reaction to the petition? Will the court choose to grant the petition outright or impose certain conditions or negotiations?

3. Will COBRA be available as a temporary alternative for former employees?

None of these questions have been answered eight months later. Last October our hope was that a court ruling might provide the NUSRPC with an opportunity to create an alternate benefit plan option which could be made available to all former employees. The NUSRPC decided to defer refunding the remaining membership funds in case funds were required to create an alternate medical plan.

Since last October, however, we believe it is less likely that the NUSRPC will be able to provide a viable and attractive benefit plan primarily due to Congress' passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act.

As a result we feel that it is time to refund the remaining monies held by the NUSRPC to those who did not use Segal's services.

We plan to issue refund checks by mail in the near future. In order to avoid sending checks to incorrect addresses we need to double check our mailing address list.

If you are a paid member of the NUSRPC and if YOU DID NOT USE SEGAL CO.'s SERVICES to calculate a pension claim, and your physical (not email) mailing address has changed since January 2009, please reply to this email with your name and current mailing address. It will take us a few weeks to correct the address information we have and to manually write and mail checks. We apologize for the delay but remember that we are volunteers, many of whom have full time jobs.

The following is an explanation of how we will calculate refunds. There have been two major disbursements of membership funds

1. A payment of fees to Miller and Martin, a law firm we employed to represent our interests within bankruptcy court. The relationship with Miller and Martin ended in mid-2009. All NUSRPC members will share equally in this expense.

2. A payment of fees to Segal Co. for the 195 members who used Segal Co. services to calculate pension claims. These per capita fees amounted to $184 per person. This, with the fees to Miller and Martin consumed all of the membership funds for these 195 people and no further refund will be available for this group.

Those who did not use Segal Co. services will receive a check for $184 - the same amount as the charges assessed to those who did receive these services. This method will ensure that all members receive either an equal benefit or an equal refund.

This method will leave just enough funds to cover the preparation, postage and mailing of the refund checks. Should any small amount remain after these costs it will be donated to a charity selected by NUSRPC leadership.

Although these refunds will bring an end to the formal role and resources of the NUSRPC we will continue our best efforts to play an informal role in informing our membership should any important new information become available. We wish to thank our regional coordinators and all of those who pitched in over the last 18 months to ensure that our interests were represented in this long bankruptcy process.


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