Thursday, November 4, 2010

Latest News from NRPC Canada

The following topics were reported by the Montreal Chapter of the NRPC.

Financial Sponsorship Model

NRPC & Legal met with the Ontario Minister of Finance on Friday October 29th to review three proposals put forward by unnamed financial institutions. In fact,this was somewhat of a change since their previous position as the government of Ontario showed little interest in pursuing the FSM concept.

As of today, there is no information from the Friday meeting

Canadian Health & Welfare Trust Fund Claim.

At the end of December Canadian pensioners will lose Health & Welfare benefit coverage. Even though Nortel is no longer funding the plan there are remaining assets in the fund, which must be distributed. Various legal groups have made claims against the assets on behalf of pensioners, LTDs etc. The Judge heard the briefs about a month ago and he is expected to render a decision shortly on how the balance in the trust fund will be disbursed amongst the claimants.

If there is no further litigation subsequent to his decision, eligible pensioners should receive a cheque late this year or early next year for their portion of the claim.

Pension Plan Claim
Morneau Sobeco and the NRPC Legal team will be making a claim on behalf of pensioners to recover some of the pension payment losses that will be incurred.

These claims are far from being settled, as there are a number of events that must take place beforehand. The pension claim is part of a larger claims process. To begin with the Nortel assets are been held in a lock box in the US and a Mediator has been assigned to divide the assets between the UK, the US and Canada and not surprisingly each country is trying to get as much of the assets as possible.

The various parties have submitted and exchanged briefs. The parties will be in court in January to come up with a methodology to split the assets between the countries. After a process is in place, hopefully, the mediator and claimants can come up with an agreed division of the assets.

The overall process is very complex and without precedence due to the size of the bankruptcy and will most likely prove to be lengthy. It would be very difficult to predict how long it may take to finalize the process.

Manulife Benefit Replacement Plan

Manulife has been selected as the provider of choice to replace the benefits being terminated by Nortel. This is not a group plan but an individual plan. Each person needs to make a choice based on his or her needs whether to join the plan or not.

In the near future, Canadian pensioners should receive a package of information from Manulife the target date is mid December. The package will include the various options offered, costs & timelines, etc.

The registration period will run from Jan 7 to March 7 with an effective date of January 1. No medical is required. If you register after March 7th, a medical examination may be required.

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