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In this column, the LRO will keep you up to date on what we know about the recent A-L announcement.

A-L Announcement of Pension Buyout
8/8/14 update

In May of this year, Alcatel-Lucent announced its intent to offer a pension buyout to ap-proximately 45,000 retirees and related beneficiaries in the U.S. management pension plan. The offer is expected to be made in 2015.

In a letter dated June 30, 2014 to Mr. John Hickey, Vice President Global Benefits for Alcatel-Lucent, the LRO raised a number of questions for clarification regarding this an-nouncement. Many of the questions submitted were the direct result of inquiries from our membership.

On August 5, Mr. Hickey responded that A-L is still in the early stages of defining the exact parameters of the offering, and therefore, is not yet in a position to respond to all of the questions we raised. He did, however, provide clarification in a few areas and these are summarized below:

  • While no firm dates have yet been established, a best guess is that the offer will be made around mid-year 2015 (June/July) with payments scheduled later in the year (Q4).

  • A-L has not yet finalized establishing the targeted population from within the classes of retirees in the management plan. Once established, 45,000 will be the targeted number to receive the offer, not the target for acceptances.

  • A-L has not yet reviewed the mortality table to be used.

  • A-L will use interest rates consistent with IRS rules.

  • This offering will not impact supplemental pensions received by some senior managers. The offering will be limited to the qualified pension plan.

While this is a limited response, the LRO understands that it is early in the process and A-L has much to do to finalize offer parameters. We have an excellent working relation-ship with Mr. Hickey and fully expect that as work progresses to define the plan, we will have more detailed responses to our questions. We will post information to our web-site as we receive further clarifications.

Joe Dombrowski, President,
Lucent Retiree Organization



History Corner pieces in our recent newsletters (THE LRO CONNECTION) can be accessed at any time by clicking on the HISTORY CORNER tab on the navigation bar.. We plan to continue with additional pieces on WECO, BTL, and TELETYPE and persons of note. If you have historical information, send to Gary Reichow at

Information on the Passing of Retirees

Under the "In Memoriam" tab located at the top of this page, the LRO lists the submitted names of recently deceased individuals and, where possible, provides a linkag e to an official obituary. Information required and the form to list an individual is contained on the "In Memoriam" page. It is our hope that family members and friends will want to share the passing with former colleagues and take advantage of this service.



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Some of us may have no ongoing need for contact with Lucent whereas others receive healthcare information, W2s, 1099s and other mailings. It is always important to let Lucent know when you change addresses. This would be a good time to do it if you have moved to a new location. Contact Lucent at Alcatel-Lucent Pension Service Center(PSC) @ 866-429-5764.


Retirees can use the discounts for a myriad of entertainment opportunities that are available to active A-L employees. Just go to Tickets at Work, the website is, and enter company code ALCATEL (all in caps). You can also contact them by phone at 1-800-331-6483.


Alcatel-Lucent advises the LRO that retirees are eligible to use the A-L Avis Car Rental discount. Below, is the link that can be used and it will provide the access code to make reservations. However, note that the insurances are not included for personal travel. When renting a car from Avis, just identify yourself as an A-L retiree.

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A-L has announced Fall enrollment dates and schedules of distribution for the 2015 health plan. Click here to see Benefits announcements

Video presentations from the New Jersey meetings are now available

If you couldn't get to the recent meetings, you can see the presentations here. Click on the following links:

Joe Dombrowsky does introductions and agenda

Bob Martina discusses Grassroots support

Ron Hoth discusses Healthcare and Lucent benefits

Frank Minter and Al Duscher discuss pensions and the coming buyout

Frank Minter and Al Duscher Q & A

LRO Members Turn Out for New Jersey Member Meetings

Was it the delightful fall weather? Probably not.

More likely it was important changes ahead for Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) and its retiree benefit programs that drew inquisitive crowds to two meetings organized by the Lucent Retirees Organization (LRO) in Tinton Falls, N.J. on October 6 and 7.

A total of 345 retired Lucent employees (including 90 spouses) gathered to hear the latest on how to reach out to Congress, and on changes to retiree health benefits, pension funding security and what is known about the pension buyout ALU announced for 2015.

A camera crew was on hand to record the presentations, and the LRO plans to make the content available through the LRO website. Meantime, here are highlights from the two days:

Attendees were welcomed by LRO President Joe Dombrowski, who outlined the program and explained how the LRO works through the National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) to inform Congress on issues important to retirees—work the LRO can’t do directly. Joe then introduced Bob Martina, an LRO Board Member who serves as liaison with the NRLN.

Sound Off to Congress . . . It’s Easy

Bob Martina made these key points:

  • The NRLN represents more than 2 million  retirees from more than 100 different companies with 31 retiree organizations —potentially a powerful force to persuade Congress about what matters to retirees.  The LRO is well represented in the NRLN.
  • The key is to communicate and make your views known. A new, improved NRLN website makes it easy to find position papers that outline the key issues, see how your elected officials have voted, and respond to NRLN Action Alerts by quickly sending letters to voice your views—all with just a few clicks. A guide is provided here. These include Facebook and Twitter, making contact even easier.
  • Bob showed how the site works, and encouraged the audience to join LRO members who are acting to help Congress understand the critical importance of such issues as pension funding and healthcare benefits.  All LRO members should respond to all NRLN Action Alerts .

New Choices in Healthcare

LRO benefits specialist Ron Hoth discussed changes that face retirees during the 2014 Open Enrollment Period:

  • Medicare-eligible retirees have the flexibility to drop ALU coverage if they identify better choices elsewhere. They can also return to ALU coverage in the future, depending on timing. State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) program resources (website and toll-free number) can help with information.
  • Those under 65 years of age Hoth advised to shop the market, including the federal website.
  • Hoth also mentioned that the ALU benefits team has been helpful and easy to work with.

Pension Funding: Solid

LRO pension specialist Frank Minter reviewed the ALU management pension plan, including steps the company has taken that have strengthened the plan’s funding level.

  • The company has transferred thousands of employees (and their pension resources) into the management plan. This has strengthened plan funding .
  • Increases in the “discount rate” or projected earnings rate for plan resources have also boosted the calculated funding level to as high as 119 percent of what is required.
  • Bottom line: Minter said the ALU plan is well funded, and more robust than many.

The Lump Sum Buyout: Stay Tuned!

What was probably the most-anticipated topic opened with a caution: the LRO will not provide members with investment advice in connection with the lump sum pension buyout ALU has announced it will offer to 45,000 retirees in 2015. Short of such financial guidance, however, the LRO will provide all the information available. At this point, much is unknown.

LRO pension specialist Al Duscher outlined the reasons companies pursue “pension de-risking” strategies, including selling pensions to insurance companies and offering lump sum buyouts.

  • Why do de-risking? Duscher said risks, such as the possibility pension fund earnings could prove inadequate or retirees could longer than expected, create uncertainty for companies.
  • He said ALU has taken several measures to address these issues, including redesigning the plan, freezing outlays, using a conservative investment strategy and transferring people and money into the plan.
  • These steps, coupled with the plan’s initial solid funding, mean there’s enough cash available to take additional steps, including the announced cash buyout offer, or transferring the fund to an insurance company or other firm, which would then provide annuities. (ALU has announced a buyout offer, but not a transfer of the plan balance.)
  • Who will get the cash offer, and for how much? Duscher said those details remain unknown. ALU is to announce details in 2015, probably in the first half of the year.
  • Finally, is taking a buyout a good idea? Duscher there’s no one answer. The answer depends on each pensioner’s situation: the amount of the offer, their age, health, expected longevity, income resources, need for cash, ability to manage money and more.
  • He also cautioned that:
    • Alu is transferring longevity risk and investment risks through the lump sum to retirees.
    • A significant percent of retirees will live beyond the age used to calculate the lump sum.
    • To make up for this, retirees need investment returns up to 50 percent higher than that used in lump sum calculation.

A lively question and answer session followed each presentation. Videos of the presentations and q and a sessions can be seen using the links above.

  • Reported by Walt Greenwood

  • NRLN Action Alert: Pass Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act

    The NRLN is asking you to email the NRLN’s sample letters to your U.S. Representative and Senators to urge him or her to work to pass the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act (H.R. 1102) and (S. 117). If passed, the Act would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers the prices that may be charged to Medicare Part D prescription drug plan sponsors and Medicare Advantage organizations for covered Part D drugs. This would mean more affordable prescription drugs for seniors and would save Medicare up to $156 billion over the next 10 years. Click here to access the sample letters.


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    To Win Back Older Voters, Democrats Talk Up Medicare and Social Security
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    Better retirements? Build on the system’s current successes
    By Brian Reid; The Hill ~ Sep 18, 2014

    EDITORIAL: Medical privacy lacking in age of Obamacare
    The Washington Times ~ Sep 19, 2014

    US Government Plays Robin Hood Under Guise Of National Mortgage Settlements
    By Allison Pyburn; Forbes ~ Sep 19, 2014

    New data suggest hikes in mid-single digits for Obamacare for 2015
    By Russ Britt; MarketWatch ~ Sep 18, 2014

    Study: Obamacare ‘Family Glitch’ Could Hit Up To 2 Million People
    By Sarah Hurtubise; The Daily Caller ~ Sep 18, 2014

    CMS glitch could cost doctors millions
    By Arthur Allen; Politico ~ Sep 18, 2014

    Obamacare Enrollment Is 7.3 Million People: U.S. Official
    By Alex Wayne; Bloomberg ~ Sep 18, 2014

    700,000 Obamacare Sign-ups Already Dropped Their Coverage
    By Sarah Hurtubise ; The Daily Caller ~ Sep 18, 2014

    The New Way Insurers Are Shifting Costs To The Sick
    By Charles Ornstein; Talking Points Memo ~ Sep 18, 2014

    U.S. says Medicare Advantage enrollment at all-time high
    By Deena Beasley; Reuters ~ Sep 18, 2014

    Alcatel-Lucent, Occupy Wall Street: Intellectual Property
    By Ellen Rosen, Bloomberg – Sept 18, 2014

    Making smart Medicare choices for 2015
    By Ron Pollack, Families USA; The Miami News-Record ~ Sep 17, 2014

    OVERNIGHT HEALTHCARE: Dems fight back on security issues
    By Sarah Ferris & Elise Viebeck; The Hill ~ Sep 17, 2014

    Lawmakers Set To Grill Tavenner On Obamacare Exchange Flops
    By Sarah Hurtubise; The Daily Caller ~ Sep 17, 2014

    ObamaCare, the gift that keeps on giving for Republicans
    From Rick Manning; The Hill ~ Sep 17, 2014

    With New Health Law, Shopping Around Can Be Crucial
    By Margot Sanger-Katz & Amanda Cox; The New York Times ~ Sep 17, 2014

    U.S. Spending on Social Programs Could Imperil AAA Rating, Moody’s Warns
    By Timothy W. Martin; The Wall Street Journal ~ Sep 17, 2014

    Congress: Safety agency mishandled GM recall
    By Joan Lowy & Tom Krisher; The Associated Press ~ Sep 16, 2014

    What Can Employers Do To Reduce The Cost Of Obamacare?
    By John C. Goodman; Forbes ~ Sep 16, 2014

    Social Security resumes mailing benefit statements
    By Stephen Ohlemacher, AP; Bloomberg Businessweek ~ Sep 16, 2014

    Businesses report cutting jobs due to ObamaCare
    By Jim Angle; Fox News ~ Sep 16, 2014

    GAO: still not fully secure
    By Elise Viebeck; The Hill ~ Sep 16, 2014

    Alcatel-Lucent to supply networks to Thai companies
    By Khettiya Jittapong; Reuters ~ Sep 16, 2014

    "Forced switch" maneuver spurs lawsuit against drugmaker
    By Jonathan Lapook , CBS News – Sept 15, 2014

    CBO: Cost of Obamacare Subsidy Will Increase 8-Fold in 10 Years
    By Terence P. Jeffrey; Cybercast News Service ~ Sep 15, 2014

    Tens of Thousands Likely to Lose Health Insurance at End of September
    By Louise Radnofsky; The Wall Street Journal ~ Sep 15, 2014

    Why Pensions Went Away: A Theory
    By Lauren Weber; The Wall Street Journal ~ Sep 15, 2014

    Obamacare Has Failed To Collapse -- But Its Premiums Continue To Climb
    By Avik Roy; Forbes ~ Sep 14, 2014

    Melding health overhaul and taxes gets complicated
    The Associated Press ~ Sep 14, 2014

    Renewing Health Coverage May Not Be as Automatic as Government Says
    By Robert Pear; The New York Times ~ Sep 14, 2014

    Hurdles for Obama health law in 2nd sign-up season
    By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Sep 14, 2014

    Health-Law Advocates to Tweak ACA Marketing Campaign for the Fall
    By Louise Radnofsky; The Wall Street Journal ~ Sep 14, 2014

    Shocker: HHS Obamacare Technology Has Yet Another Glitch
    By Sarah Hurtubise; The Daily Caller ~ Sep 12, 2014

    Fall Means it's Time to Hit the (Tax) Books
    By Linda Stern, Reuters; Fox Business ~ Sep 12, 2014

    HHS awards $300M to health centers to expand primary care services
    By Sarah Ferris; The Hill ~ Sep 12, 2014

    Groups Get $3.2 Million To Enroll Minorities In Obamacare
    From KHN Daily News; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 12, 2014

    Americans Still Think Obamacare’s Hurting The Country
    By Sarah Hurtubise; The Daily Caller ~ Sep 12, 2014

    Alcatel-Lucent promises 75% cut in storage cost for pay TV providers
    From “Baburajan K”; Telecom Lead ~ Sep 12, 2014

    Census Bureau: Health Costs Inch Up As Obamacare Kicks In
    By Jay Hancock; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 11, 2014

    ObamaCare partners give to the GOP
    By Elise Viebeck; The Hill ~ Sep 11, 2014

    House Passes Bill To Let People Keep Their Health Care Plans
    By Sarah Hurtubise; The Daily Caller ~ Sep 11, 2014

    Don’t give gifts to your heirs until you’ve answered this question
    By Elizabeth O'Brien; MarketWatch ~ Sep 11, 2014

    Retirement insecurity: Two studies underline housing and income challenges
    By Mark Miller; Reuters ~ Sep 11, 2014

    AlcaLu's Combes: 'We Are Now Back on Track'
    By Mitch Wagner; Light Reading ~ Sep 11, 2014

    IRS, CMS on track to meet health law deadlines, officials say
    By Adam Mazmanian; FCW ~ Sep 10, 2014

    ERISA amendment would save sponsors millions
    By Nick Thornton; BenefitsPro ~ Sep 10, 2014

    Life Insurance for Seniors - Clients Can Compare Rates at!
    From Russell Rabichev; PR Web ~ Sep 10, 2014

    Voters Don’t Like Obamacare, And Probably Never Will
    By Sarah Hurtubise; The Daily Caller ~ Sep 09, 2014

    OVERNIGHT HEALTH: House to vote on ‘keep your plan’ bill
    By Elise Viebeck ; The Hill ~ Sep 09, 2014

    ObamaCare's Circular Firing Squad
    Investor’s Business Daily ~ Sep 09, 2014

    Bigger IPhones Entice Seniors Seeking More Screen Area
    By Brian Womack; Bloomberg ~ Sep 09, 2014

    How to Choose the Right Health Insurance
    By Donna Fuscaldo; Fox Business ~ Sep 09, 2014

    Alcatel-Lucent adds virtualisation features to Velocix CDN
    Telecompaper ~ Sep 10, 2014

    Small Cells Key to Network Capacity Expansion: Alcatel-Lucent CTO
    By Mitch Wagner; Light Reading ~ Sep 10, 2014

    Baby Boomer's Retirement Dilemma: How Can Everything Look So Right But Feel So Wrong?
    By Robert Laura, Forbes – Sept 8, 2014

    Top U.S. health adviser wants end to partisan fighting over Obamacare
    By David Morgan; Reuters ~ Sep 08, 2014

    Rural Enrollment Presents Continuing Health Law Challenges
    By Shefali Luthra; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 08, 2014

    Why Do So Many People Have The Wrong Kind Of Health Insurance?
    By John C. Goodman; Forbes ~ Sep 08, 2014

    Ouch, the Bill for Obamacare Coming Due
    By Peter Morici; Newsmax ~ Sep 08, 2014

    Alcatel-Lucent, Qualcomm to launch Enterprise Small Cell device in early 2015
    Telecom Lead ~ Sep 08, 2014

    Alcatel-Lucent firm Bell Labs to open new office in Silicon Valley
    Telecom Lead ~ Sep 08, 2014

    Companies race to adjust health-care benefits as Affordable Care Act takes hold
    By Aaron Gregg; The Washington Post ~ Sep 07, 2014

    Despite Curve Balls, Most Retirees Manage
    By Tom Lauricella; The Wall Street Journal ~ Sep 07, 2014

    Beware Leaving a Roth for Heirs
    By Andrea Coombes; The Wall Street Journal ~ Sep 07, 2014

    Retirement Royalty: Where Workers Still Get a Pension
    By Ben Steverman; Bloomberg ~ Sep 05, 2014

    Early Results: Average 2015 Exchange Premiums Decline Slightly
    By Jay Hancock; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 05, 2014

    Report: Obamacare Subsidies Could Fall For Low-Income Customers Seeking Cheapest Plans
    By Sarah Hurtubise; The Daily Caller ~ Sep 05, 2014

    Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low
    By Ali Meyer; Cybercast News Service ~ Sep 05, 2014

    Alcatel-Lucent security director warns of industrial mobile spyware
    By Total Telecom staff; Total Telecom ~ Sep 05, 2014

    Obamacare Tax Rule Gets Rehearing by Full Appeals Court
    By Andrew Zajac & Greg Stohr; Bloomberg ~ Sep 04, 2014

    Hackers Breach Security of a Health Exchange Server
    By Robert Pear and Nicole Perlroth, New York Times – Sept 4, 2014

    Democrats borrow a GOP idea on health care costs
    By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Sep 04, 2014

    Fed: Gap between wealthy and average Americans widening
    By Peter Schroeder; The Hill ~ Sep 04, 2014

    U.S. corporate pension funding ratios decline on falling discount rate
    By Rob Kozlowski; Pensions & Investments ~ Sep 04, 2014

    Gov't forecasts rising health care inflation
    By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Sep 03, 2014 CEO sees challenges ahead
    By Elise Viebeck; The Hill ~ Sep 03, 2014

    Is Your Pension Plan Underfunded?
    By John Wasik; Forbes ~ Sep 03, 2014

    5 Pitfalls Of Starting A Business In Retirement
    Forbes – Sept 2, 2014

    Obamacare Questions: What Taxes? Will Job Insurance Last?
    From KHN Daily News; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 02, 2014

    Don’t be fooled: America’s deficit is still a problem
    By William G. Gale; Fortune ~ Sep 02, 2014

    Your ‘safe’ money-market fund may be at risk
    By Robert Powell; MarketWatch ~ Sep 02, 2014

    Increasingly, High-Deductible Health Plans Weigh Down Employees
    By Tara Siegel Bernard; The New York Times ~ Sep 01, 2014

    Getting help with Medicare costs when money is tight
    By Ron Pollack, Families USA; The Star ~ Sep 01, 2014

    Economy no savior for Dems
    By Peter Schroeder & Vicki Needham; The Hill ~ Sep 01, 2014

    ERISA at 40
    By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Sep 01, 2014

    Alcatel-Lucent Enabling Ucom to Upgrade its Fiber Infrastructure in Armenia
    By Staff; IT News ~ Sep 01, 2014


    WECO SAGE is a group formed by computer pioneers who worked for Western Electric Company in the 1950s and 1960s installing an Air Defense System for the United States Air Force. The members of this Group have maintained their personal, and in some cases professional, relationships for over 50 years. The Group, whose members once numbered in the hundreds, meet on an annual basis at different locations throughout the country. The 2014 meeting of the WECO-SAGE Alumni Group was held from May 15th through the 18th at the Hampton Inn Historic District in downtown Bradenton, Florida. Contact Ron Trettau.

    Club WECO-AT&T-Bell Labs-Lucent Technologies-Teletype-NCR-ALU. This group is intended primarily as a forum to connect (network) and maintain communication between past and/or current members. Our reunion was held on Friday July 18th, 2014, at the Mullens Bar and Grill in Lisle (Naper blvd. and Warrenville Rd.) Video of the event is here. Contact Jim Simak. Our winter reunion will probably be Friday December 12th.......default is Mullens unless you hear otherwise.

    eX TELETYPE is for ex-Teletype Employees to keep in touch. Teletype Corp. was located in Skokie, IL and Little Rock, AK. The 52nd Annual Christmas Luncheon of the TELETYPE LIFE MEMBER CLUB will be held on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at PRZYBYLO House of the White Eagle, 6839 Milwaukee Ave. Niles, IL  60714 Contact John Furno.

    lucent5-5 is for Lucent retirees who took the special 5+5 voluntary retirement on July 13, 2001 (or wish they could have!). Its purpose is to keep in touch, to help provide support for working with the Lucent Pension folks, and to talk about Lucent in general. To subscribe, send an email to

    PCLUCENTALUM This group was set up to facilitate communication between ex-Lucent employees in Northern California. Send email to