Nortel's Bankruptcy - Information Updates

Date

Description of Article

August 4, 2011 Appointment of 1114 Committee - August 2, 2011
June 22, 2011 Formation of 1114 Committee Approved - June 21, 2011
June 7, 2011 1114 Committee: NUSRPC Role - June 7, 2011
June 5, 2011 Motion to appoint Retiree Committee - June 5, 2011
April 22, 2011 Updated contact list
March 5, 2011 NUSRPC Members Update March 5, 2011- Claims Purchase
October 8, 2010 NUSRPC Members Update October 8, 2010
September 25, 2010 Court hearing rescheduled to October 14, 2010
September 15, 2010 NUSRPC Members Update September 15, 2010
August 31, 2010 NUSRPC Members Update August 31, 2010
July 12, 2010 NUSRPC Members Update July 12, 2010
June 30, 2010

NUSRPC Members Update June 30, 2010 -  Discontinue of Retiree Benefits

August 17, 2009  Delaware Court issued Docket 1280
July 17, 2009

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)  Moves to Protect Pensions at Nortel Networks Inc

June 29, 2009 On June 19, 2009 Nortel made the following announcements in a news release
June 16, 2009 The bankruptcy court gave Nortel U.S. a four-month extension of bankruptcy protection...............
May 13, 2009 Agreement regarding the fees to be paid to Miller & Martin
April 11, 2009

Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)- Updated

T
o view or print this document  click here

April 8, 2008 US NRPC Participants Status Update
March 28,2009 Ex-Nortel Friends - Where we stand
March 18, 2009

Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
To view or print this document  click here

March 3, 2009

Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee Regional Contacts

March 1, 2009

Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee
General Comments
To view or print this document  click here

Newsletter
To view or print this document  click here

Authorization & Retainer Form
To view or print this document  click here

February 24, 2009

Letter from Nortel on Bankruptcy related to Nortel Pension Payment and medical benefits
February 23, 2009 Bankruptcy Court Update
February 17, 2009 Update from the Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee steering group. 

February 14, 2009

Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee

February 8, 2009

Work is well underway to establish a single group that can represent the interests of former US Nortel employees

January 30, 2009

Presentation that was made in Toronto on Friday
January 31, 2009 The first newsletter from the Nortel Retirees Protection Committee (NRPC) was issued on 1/29/09

January 23, 2009

Pension Information
January 17, 2009  Wednesday's news about Nortel's filing for bankruptcy has generated a lot of concerns for Nortel retirees

 

Details of Articles

Appointment of 1114 Committee by U.S. Trustee - August 2, 2011

On August 2 the United States Trustee, Roberta A. DeAngelis, appointed the members of the 1114 Committee of Retired Employees.  The official appointment notice, complete with member names, can be found by clicking here.

 

Formation of 1114 Committee Approved by Bankruptcy Court - June 21, 2011

On Tuesday, June 21, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross granted Nortelís motion of June 2 to appoint a Retiree Committee, and directed the U.S. Trustee to appoint this committee as expeditiously as possible.  The Retiree Committee is being designated for the sole purpose of serving as the authorized representative of the Retirees in connection with their rights under section 1114 of the Bankruptcy Code with respect to the termination of Retiree Welfare Plans (Medical Plan, Long Term Care Plan and Life Insurance).

Judge Gross also authorized the formation of a separate committee to represent long-term disabled workers.

 

1114 Committee: NUSRPC Role - June 7, 2011

Since Nortel filed the motion late last week to form an 1114 Committee to address retiree benefits many questions have been asked.  Some of these questions are unanswerable at this point, but many are addressed in the paragraphs below.

What is a Section 1114 Committee

The link below will take you to a 34 page section of Prattís Journal of Bankruptcy Law wherein an overview of an 1114 Committee is provided.

http://www.jenner.com/files/tbl_s20Publications%5CRelatedDocumentsPDFs1252%5C1517%5CPrattsJournalSteege.pdf

In summary Section 1114 of the Bankruptcy Code is intended to provide retirees with a negotiation process when their former employer wishes to cancel a benefit which was promised to them at the time of retirement. As such it is a good thing and the NUSRPC is in favor of it - in fact the brief we filed with the court nearly a year ago opposing Nortel's move to cancel our benefits specifically asked the court to appoint a Section 1114 Committee.

What role will the NUSRPC have in regard to the Committee?

The Judge will decide whether or not to approve Nortel's motion to have a Section 1114 Committee on June 21. Assuming he approves the motion it will become the responsibility of the U.S. Court Trustees office to actually see to the Committees formation. He will decide on the criteria for member selection, solicit names and background qualifications and make the final membership selection.

In order to help the Trustees in this regard the NUSRPC has been in touch with the Trustees Office. We have explained the role and composition of the NUSRPC and expressed our willingness to help his office facilitate the formation of the Committee if the judge approves its formation on June 21.

Thus the NUSRPC will play no direct role on the committee. It is possible that an NUSRPC member or members will eventually serve on the Committee, but that remains to be seen. The NUSRPC is waiting further guidance on the selection process and presumably this guidance will be given after the June 21 court session. We will keep our members informed as we learn more via this website or email.

 

Motion to Appoint Retiree Committee - June 5, 2011

1114 Retiree Committee

Nortel has filed a motion with the US Bankruptcy court to establish an 1114 committee to address retiree benefits.  This is the first step towards eliminating retiree medical and other non pension benefits, as well as long term disability benefits.  The full text of the motion can be found by clicking here.

NUSRPC Members Update March 5, 2011

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

Status Update

Many of us have received a letter offering to purchase our claims and this letter has prompted a number of questions to the NUSRPC.  The NUSRPC has attempted to contact one firm but has not received a response to our inquiries.

However there are some general comments we can make to our members:

-There are legitimate companies who operate in this field.   Their business is to provide cash for paper assets that ordinarily are illiquid, such as claims in a court case which is still in process. 

-These companies may decide to offer to purchase your claim now at some percentage of its face value hoping that the claim will be resolved by the court later for a higher percentage, thus yielding a profit for themselves. 

-Should you be interested in accepting such an offer, the NUSRPC strongly advises you to seek legal advice regarding the terms and conditions outlined on the document you will be asked to sign.  Under certain circumstances you may be asked to pay back some or all of the money you have been paid, perhaps with an added penalty.  It is important that you clearly understand those circumstances and be prepared for the possibility that you may be asked for repayment. 

-We have asked Akin Gump, the court appointed attorney for the unsecured creditors for an opinion on how long it may take before the Nortel bankruptcy case is concluded.  In their opinion it would not be unusual for the case to last another 12-18 months. 

-If any member has specific knowledge, experience or advice related to doing business with one of these companies and would like to share it with others you may wish to join the Yahoo group and post your input at:

http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Nortel_Pension 

The NUSRPC will continue to provide you with updates as developments occur regarding our benefits or affecting the claims we have already filed. 

NUSRPC

 

NUSRPC Members Update October 8, 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.

The NUSRPC today filed a motion to withdraw, without prejudice, it's earlier motion to form a VEBA (Voluntary Employee Benefits Association).  The NUSRPC has reserved the right to re-file

the original motion at a later time when uncertainties surrounding Nortel's bankruptcy have been clarified and when the motion may have a better chance of succeeding.

This decision was taken upon the advice of our attorney who had communicated with Nortel's attorneys and with the court appointed attorney for the Creditors Committee.

Background

Nortel has not yet decided whether to file a plan of reorganization or a plan of bankruptcy. 

In addition other major issues regarding distribution of the Nortel Global estate are unresolved and it is unclear whether resolution of these issues can be done quickly or will take a long time, perhaps years.  Nortel's options regarding employee benefits differ depending on how long it takes to resolve these major issues and, in turn, on which sort of plan they choose to file.  Nortel made it clear to our attorney that if we were to press our motion now, before these other issues were clarified, they would strongly oppose it. 

The NUSRPC believes we have little to gain by pressing the issue at this time. 

-Since Nortel will need court approval to cancel benefits, either through a bankruptcy filing or a Section 1114 negotiation, we can wait to see which direction events take and respond accordingly.  This includes the possibility of re-filing our motion for a VEBA if appropriate. 

-In order for the Health Coverage Tax Credit, which makes the VEBA possible, to continue Congress needs to extend the provisions of the existing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Whether or not Congress will extend the Act will become clear in the coming months.

The NUSRPC will continue to monitor developments in the bankruptcy proceedings and will inform you as events occur.

NUSRPC Members Update September 15, 2010

On July 6 our lawyer filed a motion (Docket 3274) to form a VEBA (Voluntary Employee Benefit Association).  This motion was scheduled to be heard July 16 but that hearing was deferred at Nortel's request. The Hearing has been rescheduled for Sept 30. 

As background - from Docket 3274 - a VEBA is for the purpose of sponsoring a comprehensive health, prescription drug, vision care and dental plan for Nortel retirees and their spouses and

dependents, eligible for the 80% federal asubsidy in the form of the Health Coverage Tax Credit.  The Health Coverage Tax Credit ("HCTC") provides a health care subsidy for those aged 55 or older who have had their pension plans turned over to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ("PBGC").  This tax credit now pays eighty percent of the cost of the retirees health insurance and prescription drug premiums (and dental and vision care premiums of any combined program) until they turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. It also pays 80% of the premium cost for the benefits of their spouses and dependants, and continues to pay those costs for up to two years after the covered retiree turns 65.

Our lawyer also contacted Nortel's lawyers and held a meeting with them in August.  Nortel was concerned about the precedent such a VEBA may set for retirees in other countries and also wondered if retirees over 65 might be included from a coverage standpoint (though they would be ineligible for tax credits).  They reserved the right to oppose this motion and we will learn where they stand on Sept. 30.

The motion also requested the formation of a Section 1114 Committee to negotiate with Nortel.  Again we will learn whether this will be approved on Sept. 30.

 

NUSRPC Members Update August 31, 2010

After Nortel withdrew their motion on July 20 to terminate US retiree and long term disability plans, we have received many enquiries from many people basically asking, "What is the next step?" or "How long will we still have benefits?".  Right now we have no new information whatsoever, and that is why we have not provided any update here on the website.  The only thing we know is that our benefits will eventually come to an end, but we donít know when.

People with Canadian service should continue to monitor the following NRPC and Koskie Minsky websites for updates on the Canadian front:

NRPC:     http://nortelpensioners.ca/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

Koskie Minsky:   http://www.koskieminsky.com/Case-Central/Overview/News-Releases-And-Reports/?rid=107

NUSRPC Members Update July 12, 2010

In our last update we asked our members and a broader audience of former Nortel employees  to write to the Court to express their opposition to Nortel's motion to cancel all former employees benefits.  Hundreds of you did so, these objections have now become part of the court record and we thank you for your support. 

In addition the NUSRPC has engaged the law firm Farella Braun + Martel LLP http://www.fbm.com to assist us in filing a motion opposing Nortel's intention to cancel benefits as of August 31.  That motion, Docket 3274, is attached (click here) and we encourage all of you to read it.  The motion also asks the court to:

1. Postpone the cancellation of benefits until 

            -A Committee of former employees could be created by the court under Section 1114 of the Bankruptcy code to negotiate with Nortel "to facilitate certainty over benefit modifications, eliminating uncertainty arising from appeal of any order terminating retiree benefits and resolve issues regarding whether retirees are entitled to lifetime COBRA continuation coverage..,"

            -A VEBA (Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association) could be formed which could arrange alternate Group Medical Coverage (not individual plans) for former      Nortel employees. Those employees who are receiving PBGC pensions and are between 55 and 64 may also be eligible for an 80% federal subsidy in the form of the Health Coverage Tax Credit.

On Friday June 9 the United States Trustee requested that the Court adjourn the hearing on the matter scheduled for July 16 (Nortel's motion to cancel benefits) for a reasonable period of time to give the United States Trustee and other parties the opportunity to consider whether the relief requested is appropriate or permissible under the Bankruptcy Code. We await the Court's decision on this request for postponement.

At present, the hearing has been rescheduled to August 4, 2010 (subject to the Court's ruling on the U.S. Trustee's request). 

The Trustee also requested that Nortel supply former employees with copies of the various plan documents which affect them.  This has been done and many of you will already have received these documents.       

The Trustee also believes it is up to Nortel demonstrate that the burden of $2 million per month which they have stated as the cost of employee benefit plans is too great to bear in light of Nortel's recent payment of $50 million for executive bonuses.               

The full text of the Trustee's motion, Docket 3508 (click here) is also attached.

The next significant event will occur on August 4 when the court will hear the motions for and against the cancellation of benefits August 31.  We will keep you informed of any developments which may occur between now and then. 

 

NUSRPC Members Update June 30, 2010

On June 9 the NUSRPC notified its members of its intent to refund all remaining member funds to those who had not filed claims for non-qualified pensions using Segal services. 

On June 14 Nortel filed notice of their intention to discontinue all benefits as of September 1 2010.  The NUSRPC has consulted with several law firms to explore what options we may have to oppose this motion.  We believe it is prudent to suspend the planned refunds until the court has made a decision on the motions to be filed July 16. We do not believe it is prudent to outline our NUSRPC options/decisions in detail in this email as we are aware that these membership communications are finding their way back to Nortel and to its attorneys.

The NUSRPC believes that the motion to discontinue benefits as of September 1 is fundamentally unfair to former Nortel U.S. employees.  If you agree, we are asking for your help to alert the court to this injustice. 

Specifically, we are asking for you to:

1. Please read the attached letter.  In addition please forward it to any former Nortel employees you may know who are not NUSRPC members, but who may be affected by the cancellation of benefits.

2. If you agree with it as is, (or if you wish to add personal comments about your own situation)  please print out two copies, add your name and address at the top and sign them.   Mail one copy to the court and one copy to Nortel's attorneys at the addresses contained in the letter. 

We would have preferred to send emails but unfortunately emails are not an acceptable form of communication with the court.  If our views are to be recognized as part of the court record, they must be expressed on paper, signed and mailed.

We recognize that it is an inconvenience to print, sign, create envelopes, stamp and mail these letters but strongly urge that you make the effort to do so. 

This mailing is not the only measure the NUSRPC is taking to defend your interests.  We will keep you informed about this as matters proceed.

 

NUSRPC

Click here to open and print the Letter of the Court form
 

  August 17, 2009

On August 4 2009 the Delaware Court issued Docket 1280 http://chapter11.epiqsystems.com/docket/docketlist.aspx?pk=48f43852-fa84-4f30-8fb3-4f605af7c8d0 

establishing September 30 2009 as a deadline (bar date) for filing Proofs of Claim in the Nortel Networks bankruptcy proceedings.

Following this, the court ordered that bar coded proof of claim forms be sent to the unsecured creditors of record.  By now, most of you will have received several of these proof of claim forms, some of which are bar coded and some not, some of which may have dollar amounts and some not.

For those who have NOT joined the NRPC (did not send in checks or requested a refund of their contributions after Martin & Millers fees had been deducted) it will be necessary to complete the forms and return them to the address indicated on the form so that they are received at Epiq by the bar date of September 30.

Those who HAVE joined the NRPC will receive emails containing a Nortel Information Release Form and updates about how the Segal claims process will work.  Please read these emails carefully and respond promptly.  We have modified the claims process we had originally planned in light of the length of time it is taking to reach agreement on Release Forms and exchange of information with Cleary Gotlieb and Nortel.

Claims should be filed only for benefits which have been cancelled/suspended (such as non-qualified pensions, deferred compensation and severance).  You should not file a claim for a benefit if that benefit was paid in full as of the bankruptcy filing and has continued to be paid in full since the bankruptcy filing.

For the former employees who are still receiving these benefits: if/when Nortel cancels or modifies these benefits the court will set a subsequent bar date to file claims for such benefits.

For former employees who have not yet joined the US NRPC but wish to have Segal Co. assistance in the calculation of claims it is not too late.  We will be accepting new memberships until September 7, 2009.  Please complete the membership form which can be downloaded at http://nnra.org and send it with a check for $250 to:

Nortel US Retirement Protection Committee
c/o Vickie Yohe
17194 Preston Road, Number 102-203|
Dallas, Texas 75248

Former members who contributed $250 to Miller and Martin, requested and received their $175 refund, but now wish to rejoin can do so by sending a check for $175 before September 7, 2009.

As always, any monies remaining at the completion of the court case will be returned to members on a pro rata basis.

The NUSRPC is not offering legal advice but only information on the claims process that it believes is accurate as of the date provided.  Nothing in this posting is intended to be, nor should it be construed to be, legal advice

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July 17, 2009

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today announced it will take responsibility for the underfunded pension plan covering some 23,000 employees and retirees of Nashville-based Nortel Networks, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Nortel Networks Corp.  Please visit the following link for more detail.

 http://www.pbgc.gov/media/news-archive/news-releases/2009/pr09-47.html

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June 29, 2009

On June 19, 2009 Nortel made the following announcements in a news release:

Nortel Networks Inc., has entered into a "stalking horse" asset sale agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks B. V. (NSN) for the sale of substantially all of its CDMA business and LTE Access assets for US$650 million.Ē

Nortel also announced that it is advancing in its discussions with external parties to sell its other businesses. The company will assess other restructuring alternatives for these businesses in the event it is unable to maximize value through sales.

Nortel will apply to delist its common shares and the NNL preferred shares from trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and expects that the creditor protection proceedings will ultimately result in the cancellation of these equity interests.

On June 23, 2009 the Executive Committee of the  Nortel US Retirees Protection Executive Committee had a conference call with Lisa Beckerman and Ryan Jacobs of Akin Gump (Court appointed attorneys for the Unsecured Creditors of Nortel).  Among the points Lisa Beckerman made were:

-Nortelís announcement notwithstanding, none of these asset sales can be concluded without the approval of the Court and of Nortelís creditors.  (In fact many of Nortelís largest creditors have since filed objections to the asset sales as originally proposed.)

-Nortel is still in Chapter 11 not Chapter 7 (liquidation scenario).

-Nortel is still expected to file a business plan with the Court and has not yet done so.

-The bar date (the last date for the filing of claims) is still expected to be approximately late September.

-Should Nortel cancel employee benefits like medical care, long term care and life insurance after the bar date has passed it will be necessary for employees to file additional claims for these items, and a new bar date will be established for this purpose. 

For those 295 former employees who have chosen to be paid members of the USNRPC, Segal Co. has been retained to help in the claims filing process.  They will assist paid members in the calculation of claims for the September bar date and also to make actuarial assessment of the value of claims for lost benefits should that become necessary for a later bar date.

 For former employees who have not yet joined the USNRPC but wish to have Segal Co. assistance in the calculation of claims it is not too late.  Please send a check for $250

Nortel US Retirement Protection Committee

c/o Vickie Yohe

17194 Preston Road, Number 102-203

Dallas, Texas 75248

As always, any monies remaining at the completion of the court case will be returned to members on a pro rata basis.

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June 16/2009

The bankruptcy court gave Nortel U.S. a four-month extension of bankruptcy protection for the
company to consider its options, which may include breaking the company into separate units.

Judge Kevin Gross of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., gave the company until Sept. 11 to
submit its plan for restructuring and until Nov. 10 to win creditor support for whatever plan it approves.
In late April, Ontario Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Morawetz granted Nortel's Canadian operation a
three
-month bankruptcy extension until July 30.

On June 4,2009 the Executive Committee of the U.S. Nortel Retirees Protection Committee held a
conference call with Akin Gump, the court appointed attorneys for the unsecured creditors. The
following are some of the points Akin Gump shared:

1) There has been no indication whether Nortel's restructuring plan will be a plan of reorganization or a
plan of liquidation. In the former case the court proceedings would proceed more quickly than the
latter.

2) Nortel did file a Schedule of Assets and Liabilities - Docket 801. You can find it at by going to
http://chapterll.epigsystems.com/docket/docketiist.aspx and searching for Docket #801.

3) No bar date for filing claims has been set. Akin Gump's best guess at this point is that the bar date will
be in September at the earliest.

4) No mailing of bar coded claim forms has taken place, nor has there been any indication of when the
mailing will happen.

5) There has been no resolution of how the international assets of Nortel will be assessed or divided in
the bankruptcy proceedings.

6) Former Nortel U.S. employees who also have Canadian Service will have to file those claims in
Canada, not with the U.S. bankruptcy court
. If you received a check from Nortel Canada in December 08
you probably have such a claim.

7) The Canadian Bankruptcy court has ruled that all former Canadian Nortel employees will be
represented by the law firm of Koskie Minsky and that Canadian retirees will have a seat on the
Canadian Creditors Committee.

8) Akin Gump reiterated that the most important thing our members can do now is to work with an
actuarial firm to assess and file our claims. It is the intention of the NRPC to finalize an agreement with
Segal Co. for this purpose within the next week or so
. Nortel has told Akin Gump they have agreed to
work with Segal on our behalf to provide cla
ims information and negotiate actuarial assumptions.

The $175 which remained after the Martin & Miller fees have either been directed to the NRPC or
returned to the individual contributors. Those who directed their funds to the N~PC or subsequently


 

sent checks to the NRPC will be receiving information by email about the Segal claim calculation process
and what they need to do to assist in the process
. Those who have not sent in $250 checks or who
directed Miller
& Martin to refund the balance of their fees will not receive emails regarding the claims
process or future Committee filings
. Should new members wish to participate, they may do so by
sending their $250 checks:

C/O Vickie Yohe

17194 Preston Road, Number 102-203

Dallas, Texas 75248

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May 13, 2009

 After lengthy negotiations we have reached agreement regarding the fees to be paid to Miller & Martin for their work prior to April 2009.  The agreement reached is that each of those who sent in checks for $250 that were deposited by Miller & Martin would be charged $75 for legal fees.  Within a few days each individual will receive a letter from Miller & Martin stating this and asking for each individual to make a choice regarding the remaining $175.  The choice is whether to allow the funds to be released to the Nortel Retirees Protection Committee or for the balance to be returned to the client.

The Nortel Retirees Protection Committee recommends that you choose to allow the funds to be released to the Committee so that it may continue to work on your behalf as the bankruptcy proceedings continue and the impact on former employees becomes clearer.  The bankruptcy process is proceeding very slowly and could require many months to conclude.  Although we can only speculate on how the process will unfold we believe the Committee can play a role on your behalf in the following circumstances:

  1. Preparing and Filing claims with the court. We recommend that we retain Segal Co. to negotiate discounted cash flow rates and mortality assumptions with Nortel and use these rates to prepare and file claims on our behalf with the court.  The interest rates and assumptions used in these calculations can have a substantial impact on the size of our claims.
  2. Defending our interests should Nortel discontinue medical   benefits.  This is another area where Segal Co. has extensive experience in acting on behalf of employees and has been successful in a number of cases in helping groups like ours to establish alternative and affordable medical coverage for former employees.
  3. Monitoring Court proceedings for developments which could adversely affect our interests.  Various members of the Committee track Court proceedings and filings on the web, and on several occasions have attended Court sessions in person in Delaware.
  4. Retaining Delaware legal assistance should it become necessary to file brief(s) with the court if/when we do find developments which adversely affect our interests.
  5. Organizing our best collective response to developments unforeseen at this time. 

We do not know exactly what funds will be required to perform these roles but we do know that we cannot perform them without funding.  We do not anticipate that anyone who has already sent in $250 will be asked to make any further contributions, but we do ask that you instruct Miller & Martin to release your remaining funds to the Committee. 

If you have not yet sent in your $250 check we encourage you to do so now.  Please send your check to the Nortel US Retiree Protection Committee

 c/o Vickie Yohe

17194 Preston Road, Number 102-203

Dallas, Texas 75248

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April 8, 2009

On April 8, 2009 a letter was sent to all people who signed up with the NRPC and sent in check to Miller and Martin.

The status letter contained more detail for contributing members, but here are some of the key points covered in the status letter.

Please note point 10 for individuals wishing to join the NRPC.

US NRPC Participants Status Update

April 8, 2009

A. Summary

1.  You are receiving this email to acknowledge the receipt of your check for $250 in trust to the law firm of Miller & Martin. 

2.  The NRPC volunteer committee apologizes for the time it has taken to provide you an update, but as in most projects many things change from the start of a project, and many things continue to change on a daily basis as new information is received which impacts the going forward optimum strategy /action.  This is the information we have at this time.

3.  The NRPC Executive committee has spent endless hours working on this project, meeting with multiple legal firms and actuarial firms (several of these meetings on weekends), and holding strategy meetings with the regional leaders. Extended regional teams have spent endless hours tracking down peoples email addresses with the desire that we can efficiently communicate with all of the Ex-Nortel  employees.

4.  As of todayís date approximately 540 checks have been received.  Since this is far short of the target Miller & Martin established they will not be representing us further in the bankruptcy proceedings.  It will take some time to work out with Miller and Martin the fees for the services they provided to date.

5. In March the Court Trustee decided that we would not be given a seat on the Unsecured Creditors Committee. 

6. No date has been set by which all claims must be filed (called a Bar Date). After Nortel declares a Bar Date, the court will mail to each of us a claim form with a bar code unique to each individual. 

7. The US Court appointed trustee for all creditors, Akin Gump advised that individuals should not send in the form currently available for download on the Epiq website primarily because of its lack of a unique bar code.  Claims filed without the bar code are frequently lost during the court proceedings.  Additional communications will be provided in the future on what to do if you have already done an Epiq claim filing, these forms can be amended.

8. The court claim form with itís unique bar code will be relatively simple, but it is expected that the calculations which go into the form will be complex.  For most of us, these actuarial calculations will require professional assistance.  The actuarial firm selection, cost, and method to provide this actuarial service to contributing NRPC members is being worked at this time.

9.  Should your claim calculations be vague or based on assumptions with which Nortel does not agree, then Nortel can and will dispute them.  If they do so, it would be the responsibility of the individual creditor to defend his/her claim in the Delaware court. Thus most Ex-Nortel employees will likely wish to join the US NRPC to have their claims done with the actuarial firm provided standard formulas.

10. For those who would like to join the NRPC,  DO NOT send checks to Miller and Martin. Please wait for further instructions.

11. The members of the NRPC committee are formulating the next steps we feel are necessary and will communicate these to you when the plan is finalized.

Nortel Retirement / Ex-Employees Protection Committee

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March 28, 2009

Ex-Nortel Friends,

It has been several weeks since we first asked all of you to join together with us in a collective effort to obtain legal representation as creditors of Nortel. During this period over 500 of you have signed retainer forms and sent in checks to Miller and Martin, the designated law firm. As of this writing there are still many unanswered questions that we are working but felt we owed everyone an update regarding what we have learned and what has transpired.

Specifically the law firm did file a request with the court trustee for a seat at the bankruptcy appointed creditorís committee. This request was denied by the judge therefore reflecting a different light on how we should proceed. Also, during this period we were able to consult with the law firm appointed by court charged with the responsibility of representing all unsecured creditors of Nortel. This consultation helped us to gain considerable insight to the overall process and highlighted the importance of how each of us must file a complete and correct claim of money owed by Nortel.  There is no deadline yet established for filing these claims and we will provide specific guidance on how to calculate and file your claim in the weeks ahead.

Again, our learnings present additional questions for which we are seeking answers. At this stage we are assessing whether and how to proceed with Miller & Martin and also our need for professional actuarial assistance. We ask for your patience in that we hope to resolve these concerns and define the best go forward plan of action very shortly. We will continue to provide updates regarding our progress and recognize that you, like all of us, still have many questions.

Very importantly, please understand that no cutoff dates have yet been defined for submission of creditor claims and there are several additional steps required by Nortel and the courts before this date will be established. Because our plans are still evolving it may be another week or two until we can bring you a final recommendation.

Thanks for your understanding and support and many thanks to the ex-Nortel volunteers whom are working very hard for our collective goals!

The US Nortel Retiree Protection Committee (NRPC)

 

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March 3, 2009  

Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee
Regional Contacts

Please direct questions regarding the Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee to the regional contact closest to where you are located.

National Chair Person:
-Vickie Yohe                               VickieYohe@gmail.com                214-536-8750

Atlanta
 -Tom Mc Manus                        tomkmac@aol.com                         770 552 0417  
 -Diane Napier-Wilson              napierwilson@bellsouth.net  
 -Steve Hunt                                huntatl@comcast.net 
 -Dave Hannah                           Davehannah@aol.com

Tennesse
 -Larry Barnes                             Larry.A.Barnes@sprint.com

Florida
 -Graham Strange                      grahamstrange@comcast.net      941-922-1960

South Central
 -Jerry Aiken                               
jaiken2020@msn.com           919-620-7913

North East
  -Terry Gronwall                          tgronwall@taurusgroupllc.com      585-367-3000

North Central
  -Bill Kashul                               Bkashul@pobox.com

Wes
 -Jack Reynolds                         jqreynolds@sbcglobal.net  

 -TBD 

Southwest
 -Ed Pillman                                edp100@swbell.net                      972-248-4219
 -Lorne Hinz                                lorne.hinz@verizon.net                  972-618-5412
                                                                                                             Cell: 214-682-4433

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March 1, 2009

Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee General Comments

This applies to Nortel Retirees/Ex Employees of Nortel with any of the following retirement benefits available from Nortel currently or in the future: Qualified Pension, Non-Qualified pension, Deferred Compensation, Former Employee Severance, SERP, Health Care, Long Term Care and Life Insurance.
 

The NRPC (US) has reached agreement with the law firm of Miller & Martin to act as legal counsel for former Nortel US employees in the Nortel bankruptcy proceedings.  A formal agreement has been signed.

In order to participate, all former US Nortel employees are encouraged to retain Miller & Martin as their legal representative. To do so everyone must complete a retainer form and send it to Miller & Martin along with a retainer check for $250. The retainer form may be downloaded from www.nnra.org.

The retainer check will be held in trust by Miller & Martin. The money will be used to cover legal expenses to obtain a seat and legal representation on the creditorís committee and the Chapter 11 Section 1114 benefits committee. Participation on these committees ensures that the combined voice and desire of former Nortel employees is heard as a group during the restructuring process.   A large group being represented on these committees by the NRPC (US) will have more sway in the proceedings and a better influence on the outcome.

Legal battles are costly and Miller & Martin have requested that we show our commitment to this battle by obtaining 1,000 signed retainers along with the retainer fees by March 22nd.   This will provide financing to take us through to appointment on the committees.  Appointment to these committees is not automatic and requires careful representation to the court trustee and may require a formal petition before the court with our legal counsel.

Having a large number of participants focused on the court proceedings through a single committee such as the NRPC along with a single legal counsel will have a powerful impact, and will increase our chances of  being treated properly during the legal negotiations that take place on these committees.

Depending on the ruling by the court, legal expenses for participation on the creditorís committee may or may not be paid by Nortel.  In this case if any of our contributions remain unspent they will be returned to you on a pro rata basis.

All aspects of former employee claims will be represented by the NRPC (US) and our legal counsel. These include, but are not limited to; Qualified Pension, Non-Qualified pension, Deferred Compensation, Former Employee Severance, SERP, Health Care, Long Term Care and Life Insurance.

All former employees are encouraged to take advantage of this legal support to maximize the award percentage on their claims.   Please reach out to other colleagues who are former Nortel employees and encourage them to visit the website and signup .

You may obtain  further information about the NRPC (US), the membership of the steering committee, the bankruptcy process, reasons for participation, news and updates and more at www.nnra.org.  You may also download the retainer form there.

Regional coordinators will start to focus on information flow and updates to people residing in their surrounding areas. Meetings will be scheduled to communicate with people and provide an opportunity for Q&A. Please check the website for updates, useful links, and further information.

Thank you

The Nortel US Retiree Protection Committee

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February 24, 2009


                       NETWORKS

Dear Nortel Retiree

As you may be aware, certain of Nortel's U.S. subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code ("chapter 11 filing") on January 14, 2009. The Company took these steps in order to effectively restructure and emerge as a financially viable entity.

You currently receive monthly pension payments out of the Nortel Networks Retirement Income Plan. This is a qualified pension plan and contributions made to this plan are paid into a trust fund which may only be used to pay benefits to participants and for such other purposes as the plan provides. The fund is protected and is not subject to the claims of Nortel's creditors.

During the chapter 11 filing process there should be no immediate change to your qualified pension payments and you should continue to receive these payments as scheduled.

In addition to your qualified pension payment, you may also be receiving a pension benefit out of one or the following non-qualified pension plans:

                    Nortel Networks Restoration Plan

                    Nortel Networks Special Pension Benefit Plan

                    Nortel Networks Special Pension Credit Plan

                    Nortel Networks Supplementary Executive Retirement Plan

The pension benefits paid out of these non-qualified plans are paid out of Nortel's general company revenues and are not pre-funded. As a result of the chapter 11 filing, these payments have stopped and any non-qualified pension benefits normally paid out to you will no longer be paid.

If applicable, you may make a claim for the amounts owing to you under your non-qualified pension plans. For information on the claims process in the U.S. and other information concerning the chapter 11 filing, you can contact the U.S. claims agent, Eqip Bankruptcy Solutions, LLC, at 1-866-897-6435 or go to the U.S. claims agent website at http://chapter11.epiqsystems.com/nortel.

Retiree medical benefits continue to be paid in the ordinary course and Nortel has not made a decision to modify such benefits. The company continues to reserve the right to amend, suspend or terminate the plans at any time in the sole discretion of management.

If you have questions regarding the chapter 11 filing, please visit http://www.nortel.com/corporate/restructuring.html.  If you have questions regarding your pension benefit, please contact the Nortel Pension Service Center at 1-866-667-8358 between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM ET.

We will strive to keep you informed through the channels mentioned here as the process moves forward.

Elena King
SVP. Human Resources
                                                                     
Download a copy of the letter
         

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February 23, 2009

 Bankruptcy Court Update

 As predicted, the February 19 meeting in the Delaware court was basically only a formality.  We were indeed represented by Miller & Martin, as well as one of our committee members.  There will be another meeting in several weeks.  The committee and the lawyers are currently preparing the wording for the letter that we will send to all who have signed up so far.  This could take place over the coming week.  Instructions on how much the fee will be, and where to send it, will be in that letter.

Bob Starkes
President, Nortel Networks Retirees Association
919-848-1696 (H)
919-463-5049 (W)
919-417-7708 (Cell)
barjstarkes@nc.rr.com

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February 17th 2009

Update from the Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee steering group. 

The steering group of the Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee has chosen the law firm of Miller & Martin  PLLC to represent former Nortel US employees in their claims against Nortel.  The details of the process by which members can complete an engagement agreement with Miller & Martin PLLC will be communicated shortly via email and will also be posted on the web site at www.nnra.org

An attorney from Miller & Martin along with a member of the steering group will represent us at the creditor's meeting on February 19th being held in Wilmington, Delaware.  

All former Nortel US employees are encouraged to participate. To ensure that we reach the maximum audience we are requesting that people who have not yet sent their email addresses to be recorded in our database, forward them to either Tom McManus at tomkmac@aol.com, or Bob Starkes at barjstarkes@nc.rr.com.  We also request that you pass along copies of this information to colleagues who may not yet have  been made aware of the this activity. 

People without access to email may forward their names and contact information to Bob or Tom as indicated below:

Bob Starkes                                             Tom McManus
4808 Oak Way
                                         710 Ashcreek Court
Raleigh, NC 27613                                  Roswell, GA 30075
(919) 848 1696(H)
                                    (770) 552 0417(H)
(919) 4177708(C)
                                    (404) 434 6414(C)

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 Feb 14th 2009

Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee

This note is to announce the formation of a steering committee to act on behalf of all Nortel US retirees in defending their rights following Nortelís filing for chapter 11 in the United States. The group, initiated by Des Hudson, is called the Nortel US Retirees Protection Committee and consists of representatives from the major Nortel population centers across the United States.

The goal of the committee is to protect the benefits of all US retirees within the scope of the law as it applies to Nortelís restructuring process. It is the intent of the committee to gain full recognition by the bankruptcy court of Delaware to act on behalf of all retirees as a group claimant alongside other creditors who seek reparation.

The scope of the representation of the committee includes, but is not limited to, pensions, benefits such as medical and long term care, and other promised payments such as severance for former Nortel US employees.

A law firm is being sought and will be selected to act on our behalf prior to the next creditorís meeting scheduled for Feb 19th.  The fee structure and the mechanism for retention of the lawyer will be communicated to all retirees shortly thereafter and is expected to be similar to that already in place for the Nortel Canadian retirees.

Further information will be made available on www.nnra.org .

All former Nortel US employees are encouraged to participate and submit their names and email addresses to either Bob Starkes (barjstarkes@nc.rr.com), or Tom McManus (tomkmac@aol.com). People without access to email may forward their names and contact information to Bob or Tom as indicated below:

Bob Starkes                                               Tom McManus
4808 Oak Way                                          710 Ashcreek Court
Raleigh, NC 27613                                   Roswell, Ga 30075
(919) 848 1696                                          (770) 552 0417

 

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February 8, 2009

United States

Work is well underway to establish a single group that can represent the interests of former US Nortel employees at the restructuring table.  We will be trying to reach as many former employees as possible very shortly to have them sign up to support this group.  We will be trying to do most of this via a new website that is being established.  When this site gets established, which will be soon, I will put a notice on this (Nortel Networks Retirees Association) website that will direct you to the new website.

To help us with this effort we are trying to establish as many email addresses as possible in order to minimize the cost of using US Mail.  If you are not a member of the Nortel Networks Retirees Association (NNRA) we would appreciate it if you could provide us with your email address so that we can provide you with timely information regarding the groupís activities.  Please send your email address to our NNRA secretary, John Sheppard, at shep8963@bellsouth.net .

If you are a member of the NNRA we should already have your email address, so there is no need to respond.

Canada

As of February 7, 983 people have signed up to support the NRPC legal proceedings in Canada.  A group in Montreal now has a website up and running (https://sites.google.com/site/nrpcmontreal/ ).  If you had service in Quebec you may want to check out this site.

Bob Starkes
President, Nortel Networks Retirees Association
919-848-1696 (H)
919-463-5049 (W)
919-417-7708 (Cell)
barjstarkes@nc.rr.com

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January 30, 2009

Presentation that was made in Toronto on Friday

 

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January 31, 2009

The first newsletter from the Nortel Retirees Protection Committee (NRPC) was issued on 1/29/09. Nortel Retirees News LetterIt provides much detail about what the Canadian group has accomplished.  I strongly encourage anybody who is receiving a pension from Canada to support the NRPC.  Very shortly information can be obtained from the following website: www.nortelpensioners.ca (It is currently Under construction).

 There are several similar activities currently underway in the US.  Attempts are being made to coordinate activities and go forward with a single unified front and to obtain a seat at the restructuring table.  The RTP group had its first meeting on 1/27/09.  I encourage everybody to join the LinkedIn Former Nortel Employees group (Former Nortel Employees) to stay up to date on current developments.  Another useful website to monitor periodically is http://www.nortelbankruptcyinfo.com/index.htm
 

Bob Starkes
President, Nortel Networks Retirees Association
919-848-1696 (H)
919-463-5049 (W)
919-417-7708 (Cell)
barjstarkes@nc.rr.com

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January 23, 2009

 Pension Information

US

Pensions are guaranteed by the US Government up to a certain point through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).  Please see the following link for details:  www.pbgc.gov

Canada

The Ontario government also provides some level of guarantee for pensions earned through employment in Ontario through the Pension Benefits Guaranty Fund (PBGF).  Just Google PBGF to bring up a variety of websites providing more detail on the PBGF.

A group known as the Nortel Retirees Protection Committee (NRPC) has been formed in Ottawa to provide better protection for Canadian pensions.  Legal counsel has been retained (http://www.kmlaw.ca/client_links/NortelNetworksCorporation/home.aspx), and a major presentation outlining the NRPC's plans was made in Ottawa on January 21.  We are working to make a copy of this presentation available on this website.  I would strongly encourage any person who is currently receiving a Canadian Nortel pension to support this group.  The retainer fee is $120 (US), but this will be held in trust by the law firm until the matter has been resolved.

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 January 17, 2009

Wednesday's news about Nortel's filing for bankruptcy has generated a lot of concerns for Nortel retirees.  I guess that this is a major understatement.  It was not exactly a surprise, however, and your NNRA Executive team started looking at the situation in November.

I really don't have any hard facts for you today since Nortel is providing the same information to everybody.  Nortel HR Shared Services and Mercer HR Consulting are basically reading from prepared scripts that are well written from a legal point of view.  They both provide me (a retiree) with the same information provided to every other retiree.  Basically, the prepared statements indicate that there will be no change to retiree pensions or benefits, for now.  When I identify myself as the president of the NNRA that doesn't open up any more doors.  Of course it never did before, so I should not be surprised that nothing has changed.

That said, I have come to believe over the past few days that, while there is nothing definite that can be passed on about our pensions or our health insurance at this time, there does seem to be some cause for concern, maybe not right away, but maybe down the road a bit.  I have been inundated with emails and phone calls, as I'm sure many of you have, and I've generated many myself.  There is a lot of speculation going on, but very little in the way of definite information.  I could pass on several dozen links to you, but I could not vouch for the validity of any of the information contained in them.  The same can be said for emails.  You can certainly obtain a lot of reading for yourself by Googling "Nortel Bankruptcy" and going from there.

The contact information for Nortel HR Shared Services and Mercer HR Consulting appears below:

- HR Shared Services
- Tel #: 800 676-4636  (ask for the US or Canadian section as appropriate)

- E-mail: 
HRSSNA@Nortel.com

      NOTE: For all inquiries except queries relating to pensions (see below)

- Pension Inquiries  (only)
- Mercer Human Resources Consulting
   Tel #: North America -  866 667-8358
   US Fax: 847 948-5429
   Canada Fax: 416 351-5820

   E-mail: 
nortelpensionadmin@mercer.com

In addition, you may want to get on the Restructuring section of the Nortel website, but don't hold your breath looking for definite information.

What we are committed to doing is to keep you, our NNRA members, up to date with any good information as it becomes available.  We will not, however, pass on speculative or non verifiable items.

As far as health insurance alternatives are concerned, some of our members have passed on some good leads about better providers than Cigna.  We'll pass this information along to the entire membership as soon as we can.  Keep in mind that the NNRA cannot recommend one company over another, but we will give you alternatives to consider.  Ken Oakley has arranged for us to meet with Barry Mowbray, the Eastern Regional Manager of the NC Department of Insurance SHIIP(Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program).  We will provide some information about this program to you in a mailing as soon as we get it ourselves.  We have also arranged for Barry Mowbray to attend our Annual Meeting on June 15 to address our members and answer any questions you might have about the program.

That's all I have for now.  I'll pass on any information to you as soon as I get it and verify that it is correct.

Bob Starkes
President, Nortel Networks Retirees Association
919-848-1696 (H)
919-463-5049 (W)
919-417-7708 (Cell)

 

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Nortel Networks Retiree's Association ----- Web Master: Bob Starkes