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LRO Board Meets in Dallas, TX

April 25, 2018

In our Fall 2017 newsletter, we discussed A Plan Forward for the LRO. This included the suspension of annual dues, simplification of our website, the discontinuation of our newsletter and cancellation of regional meetings. We stated that all future correspondence would be via the website or by email blast.

We cited the pension buyout, declining activity at our website, and fewer questions raised by members, as well as other factors leading to the decision to phase back operations.

The LRO Board met again in Dallas on April 25 to continue these discussions. President Joe Dombrowski reported that we continue to see a decline in activity at our website as well as questions from members, most of which are best answered by and referred to the Nokia Pension Service center 888-232-4111.

After much discussion of all factors, the Board unanimously agreed to the following resolution: “Over the course of the next several months, a plan for dissolution will be developed on the basis that the Lucent Retiree Organization (LRO) has accomplished the objectives that were attainable and will anticipate ceasing to operate on or before October 1, 2020.” During this period, we will strive to maintain, as long as possible, our website and continue to monitor pension, Group Life Insurance and healthcare provided by Nokia.

It was noted that the primary legal filings for dissolution will include notification to the IRS and the States of New York and New Jersey. The Board approved securing legal services in connection with the dissolution.

The Board reviewed the current membership levels which includes 13,305 active members, 2,261 inactive and 301 Lifetime members.

The next discussion dealt with the recommendations concerning the need to downsize the Board as we move toward dissolution. It was determined that reduction will take place in three phases: We will immediately eliminate five members, primarily regional directors and at-large directors. A second reduction would occur at the end of 2018, leaving the current officers plus two more members for a total of five Board members.

The next subject discussed was the current status of our pensions based on the 20F filling by Nokia for 2017. An analysis will be provided to members by email after we receive the Annual Funding notice in late May 2018. Our pension plans are adequately funded and when combined with post-retirement benefits, total assets are slightly in excess of total obligations.

The Board received a report on the current activities of the NRLN including the recent Washington fly-in to meet with elected representatives. NRLN priorities for the year include pension reform, prescription drugs, and Social Security and Medicare protection.

The entire LRO Board sends its thanks to all of our members who have supported the LRO over the years in our efforts to represent the interests of our retirees and protect our benefits.

LRO President Joe Dombrowski and the LRO Board of Directors


A message from MEDICARE.GOV

Tips from Medicare: Stroke warning signs

Do you know the warning signs of a stroke? May is Stroke Awareness Month, a perfect time to arm yourself with information to help prevent and detect a stroke—for both you and your loved ones. Warning signs of a stroke include:

Weakness in the face, arm, or leg
Speech difficulty
Vision loss
Dizziness
Brief loss of consciousness

Are you or a loved one at risk for a stroke? Watch our short video to learn the risk factors for stroke and see how Medicare can help.

YouTube video Medicare & You: Stroke Awareness Month

Sincerely,
The Medicare Team


Find out the status of your new Medicare card

You may have heard that we started mailing new Medicare cards to everyone with Medicare. Hang tight — mailing takes some time across the country, and you might get your card at a different time than friends or neighbors in your state.

We’ve got 3 ways for you to find out when you should expect your new Medicare card in the mail:

Check out the map on Medicare.gov/NewCard. Keep coming back to check the status of card mailings in your state. Remember, once card mailings begin in your state, it’ll take about a month to finish.

Keep an eye on your email. We’ll send you an email update when new Medicare cards start mailing in your state.

Log in to your MyMedicare.gov account to see if your new card has mailed. Don’t have an account yet? Sign up now at MyMedicare.gov — it’s a free, secure, and easy way to access all your Medicare information in one place.

Want to learn more about your new Medicare card? Here are 10 things you should know. Read up so you’re ready before your new card arrives!

Sincerely,
The Medicare Team


BEWARE-- MEDICARE SCAM

THE FACTS

Starting 4/1/18 Medicare will start a year-long project to replace all current Medicare cards for beneficiaries to convert to alphanumeric ID numbers. Currently, the ID number is your social security number. New Medicare cards without Social Security numbers are being distributed from April 2018 to April 2019. The new Medicare card will come to you in the mail. You don't need to request it or do anything. It will just show up.Your existing card is good until the new one shows up.

THE SCAM

Somebody from "MEDICARE " will call to tell you-you are getting a new Medicare card. But until it comes you will need a temporary card. Fee for the card is between $5-50 dollars. They want personal information, bank account or credit card so they can process your temporary card.

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Medicare will never call you unless you ask them to. Medicare does all communications by mail unless you ask them to call.
  • Ditto for anybody saying they "work with Medicare to make sure you get everything you are entitled to".
  • DO NOT give out information over the phone.
  • Spread the word. Feel free to share these notes.
  • Use your answering machine to screen calls or just don't even answer a number you don't recognize.
  • If it has happened to you or your friends or loved ones and personal info had been given out (happens considerably more often than you think so don't feel bad or stupid) immediately take action to protect yourself against identity theft.

NOKIA DEPENDENT VERIFICATION

We have confirmed that Nokia is currently undergoing a dependent reverification to ensure that dependents enrolled in our health and welfare plans satisfy the plans’ eligibility rules.

Not all dependents are subject to reverification; for example, biological children are excluded because once verified, biological children always continue to meet eligibility requirements, unlike spouses who may lose eligibility due to divorce.

Alcatel-Lucent last conducted a full dependent verification in 2008. Letters to retirees with dependents subject to reverification were mailed from Nokia’s Dependent Verification Center last Tuesday, and responses are due within 45 days of the mailing date. The letters contain information retirees need to provide in order to verify their dependents and the various methods by which they can do so (online, fax or mail).

Summary Plan Descriptions of our health and welfare plans are available on www.benefitanswersplus.com.


HELP FOR SURVIVORS

The LRO receives frequent requests for dealing with the passing of a retiree or surviving spouse. Consequently, we have created a document that focuses on communicating with Nokia benefits and pensions, along with links to websites with checklists for other family issues. The document is available here.

The document is printable so that you can keep it in your files for future reference.

You should have received an email on 2/8 containing the above information. If you did not receive it, we do not have your current email address. Check the bottom of this column.


newsletter


Dear Fellow Retiree,

The Fall 2017 LRO Connection newsletter is now available for viewing and may be accessed by clicking here.

As you may recall from our spring newsletter, the LRO Board has been assessing the future direction of the organization. The board met in Dallas in October and formulated a Plan Forward. Specifics of that plan are included in the President's Column.

Among the changes, is the temporary suspension of LRO dues. You will note that, while we will be cutting back in a number of areas to save board work and dollars, we will continue, for the time, performing our basic monitoring of Pension, Healthcare, and Group Life Insurance benefits and respond to retiree questions via email or the website. You will also note that this will be the last published issue of the LRO Connection newsletter. All future correspondence will be accomplished via email and/or the website. We urge you to read the full article to understand the rationale for the planned changes.

The History Corner article features the North Carolina Works.

On behalf of the entire board of directors, I say thank you for your support over the years.

Joe Dombrowski,
President Lucent Retiree Organization.


CORRECTION TO NEWSLETTER

The amount of management pension plan liabilities on 12/31/16 shown on page 2 of the recent newsletter should be 15.86 b Euros and the resulting funding level is 106% rather than the 94% shown. We had previously reported the correct level in our June newsletter but apologize for this error.


SPECIAL NOTICES TO MEMBERS

HEALTH, WELFARE, AND PENSION INQUIRIES

Nokia Benefits Resource Center (NBRC)1-888-232-4111
International Long Distance 1-212-444-0994
www.resources.hewitt.com/nokia    Other links here.


Do we have your current email address?

Other than this website, our exclusive communication method beginning in 2018 is via email. We regularly inform members about important news. If you have mistakenly 'unsubscribed' to one of our emails, you will no longer hear from us unless you re-subscribe. To “re-subscribe”, or to sign up to receive our emails, or if you are not sure we have your current email address, click on the button.

Sign Up Now


Adobe Reader® is required to view some documents. Please download it here.  


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Dem senators ask drug companies to list prices in ads
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Opinion: Retirement Savings Depend on Performance, Not Promises
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Opinion: Dems in denial on why ObamaCare premiums are through the roof
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FDA names drug companies that may 'game' the system to stall generics
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Opinion: Trump Takes First Step Toward Cutting Prescription Drug Costs With 'American Patients First' Plan
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Graham working on new ObamaCare repeal bill
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Court saga over Obamacare payments reaches end
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Court rules Dem states can intervene in ObamaCare lawsuit
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Vermont becomes first state to permit drug imports from Canada
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Opinion: Can The Republicans Replace Obamacare Before The Next Election?
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PhRMA expresses 'serious concerns' with Trump drug pricing proposals
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Trump targets Medicare, PBMs in plan to lower drug prices
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Trump health secretary pushes back against Medicare drug negotiation
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Opinion: Look in the Mirror, America, to See a Reason Drug Prices Are So High
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Opinion: Trump's Drug Pricing Reform Proposals May Be Politically Tepid But Are Eminently Sensible
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Opinion: ‘Let food be thy medicine’
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Opinion: How much does the FDA really do to promote public health?
From Lindsey Stroud; The Hill ~ Apr 23, 2018

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Opinion: How to Avoid a Retirement Disaster
From Barry Ritholtz; Bloomberg ~ Apr 23, 2018

Opinion: Let’s talk about drug costs
From Rick Pollack & Jo Ann Jenkins; The Hill ~ Apr 23, 2018

IRS Tax Day glitch exposes antiquated tech infrastructure
From Morgan Wright; The Hill ~ Apr 21, 2018

Doctors Attack Trump's Short-Term Health Plans Ahead Of Comment Deadline
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Apr 22, 2018

Nokia Teams Up to Fund Canadian Smart Cities
From News Wire Feed; Light Reading ~ Apr 18, 2018

The U.S. Healthcare System Is Back To Its High-Spending Ways
From Peter Ubel; Forbes ~ Apr 20, 2018

The next big thing for Democrats: Medicare for all
From Paul Waldman; The Washington Post ~ Apr 19, 2018

Five things to expect (again) from President Trump’s upcoming drug price speech
By Emma Court; MarketWatch ~ Apr 19, 2018

Doctors have lost faith in politicians supporting a real health care fix
From Dr. Linda Giris; The Hill ~ Apr 18, 2018

Congrats, you filed your 2017 taxes. Now it’s really important to do one more thing.
By Heather Long; The Washington Post ~ Apr 18, 2018

Pharmacies surge on report that Amazon is backing away from prescription drugs
By Danielle Wiener-Bronner; CNNMoney ~ Apr 16, 2018

Opinion: 6 Misunderstood IRA Rules And Strategies
From Bob Carlson; Forbes ~ Apr 17, 2018

Opinion: 2018 marks final season of tax complexity
From Alex Hendrie; The Hill ~ Apr 17, 2018

How Much Should Insurance Companies Know About The Things They Insure?
From Enrique Dans; Forbes ~ Apr 16, 2018

Amazon drops plan to become a major pharmaceutical distributor: 7 things to know
By Alia Paavola; Becker’s Hospital Review ~ Apr 16, 2018

Top Tax-Advantaged Investing Alternatives Beyond Company 401(k) Plans
From Kyle Brownlee; Forbes ~ Apr 16, 2018

Trump to give speech on lowering drug prices this month
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Apr 16, 2018

How To Track Down That Lost 401(k) Or Pension
From David Rae; Forbes ~ Apr 15, 2018

Top House, Senate Dems warn administration on short-term insurance
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Apr 13, 2018

House fails to advance a balanced budget amendment to counter high spending levels
By Eliza Collins; USA TODAY ~ Apr 13, 2018

Nokia Seizes Open RAN Initiative as Ericsson Holds Back
By Iain Morris; Light Reading ~ Apr 12, 2018

Medicare spending projected to climb 7 percent annually after this year, says Congressional Budget Office
By Jeff Lagasse; Healthcare Finance ~ Apr 12, 2018

Study: Tax refunds used to pay for healthcare
By Allen Cone; United Press International ~ Apr 12, 2018

Nokia chosen by China Mobile for optical transport network
Fibre Systems ~ Apr 11, 2018

Why We May Lose Generic Drugs
By Cynthia Koons; Bloomberg ~ Apr 11, 2018

House panel approves bipartisan bills aimed at improving the IRS
By Naomi Jagoda; The Hill ~ Apr 11, 2018

Administration Relaxes Essential Benefits Regulations, Creates New Mandate Exemptions
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 10, 2018

Opinion: Limiting patient choice is the wrong way to address high drug prices
From David I. Daikh & Ralph L. Sacco; The Hill ~ Apr 10, 2018

Eight Tax Goofs To Avoid
By Kelly Phillips Erb; Forbes ~ Apr 10, 2018

Avoiding The 5 Greatest Threats To Your Retirement Security
From Bob Carlson; Forbes ~ Apr 10, 2018

Opinion: Avoid these 7 exercises if you’re over 50
From Linda Melone; MarketWatch ~ Apr 10, 2018

Opinion: Respect For Our Seniors? Let's Put Our Money Where Our Mouths Are
From Bart Astor; Forbes ~ Apr 09, 2018

GOP looks to reduce spending after hearing criticism back home
By Melanie Zanona; The Hill ~ Apr 09, 2018

State solutions to bring down drug prices face steep resistance from drug industry
By Paige Minemyer; FierceHealthcare ~ Apr 09, 2018

Opinion: For Uber And Lyft, Medicare Could Be The Next Profitable Ride
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Apr 08, 2018

Ask these questions to avoid hiring a bad (or unethical) financial adviser
By Alessandra Malito; MarketWatch ~ Apr 08, 2018

A debt crisis is coming. But don’t blame entitlements.
By Martin Neil Baily, Jason Furman, Alan B. Krueger, Laura D'Andrea Tyson & Janet L. Yellen ; The Washington Post ~ Apr 08, 2018

Part of Naperville's Nokia property could be new subdivision
Erin Hegarty, Chicago Tribune – April 6, 2018

U.S. Medicare sets outpatient rate for Yescarta reimbursement
By Deena Beasley; Reuters ~ Apr 06, 2018

Democrats Spurred To Run By GOP Health Law Attacks Plan To Go On Offense During Midterms
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 06, 2018

The 8 Challenges Of Aging
From Katy Fike; Forbes ~ Apr 06, 2018

Could You Be Saving Too Much For Retirement?
From Bob Carlson; Forbes ~ Apr 06, 2018

How Trump's New Medicare Rules Boost Amazon And Walmart
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Apr 05, 2018

Timeline: Despite GOP’s Failure To Repeal Obamacare, The ACA Has Changed
By Julie Rovner; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 05, 2018

Alexa.......What is HIPAA?
By Kristen Andrews Wilson; The National Law Review ~ Apr 05, 2018

Boomers And Gen Xers Skipping Health Care Due To Cost
From Richard Eisenberg; Forbes ~ Mar 27, 2018

People think Obamacare is failing, but they want it anyway
From Jennifer Rubin; The Washington Post ~ Apr 03, 2018

Medicare Advantage Plans Cleared To Go Beyond Medical Coverage — Even Groceries
By Susan Jaffe; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 03, 2018

Here's Why Your 401(k) May Be An Ugly Duckling Right Now
From Robert Laura; Forbes ~ Apr 03, 2018

Walmart eyes Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in Humana talks
By Brittany De Lea; Fox Business ~ Apr 02, 2018

How Startup Parachute Health Is Bringing E-Commerce To Your Crutches
By Michela Tindera; Forbes ~ Apr 02, 2018

Retirees will face tough decisions with reverse mortgages
From Liz Weston; MarketWatch ~ Apr 02, 2018

News: Nokia’s booming licensing business is based on high-quality patents, with filings and acquisitions to help grow its portfolio, exclusive analysis for IAM reveals 30 Mar 18
By Timothy Au; IAM ~ Mar 30, 2018

U.S. Tax Deadline: IRS Refunds Over $180B, Provides Online Tools To Find Your Refund
From Roger Aitken; Forbes ~ Mar 31, 2018

10 Common Financial Myths That Should Be April Fool's Jokes
From Erik Carter; Forbes ~ Apr 01, 2018

How you’re tracked online _ and what you can do about it
By Anick Jesdanun; The Associated Press ~ Mar 31, 2018

21 Unvarnished Truths About Retirement
From Jonathan Look, NA; Forbes ~ Apr 01, 2018

MAIL FROM MEMBERS

Really do highly appreciate commitment of all of you!! Many Thanks!!

After reviewing your email regarding your Board meeting, I wanted to voice my opinion about your proposed plan to move toward dissolution. I’ve copied your note to highlight a number of items. I wanted to let you know that I believe there is a real value to have the Organization continue as it has without cutting back its activity, if you are willing to do so. I believe it represents a key voice to Nokia. As an example, an item that I have not seen the Board consider might be to approach Nokia regarding some type of cost of living increase to those that still have active pensions. Not saying they would consider doing so , but its this type of activity that is of value. Your survivor support information is also very valuable. Regarding cost of operation, the idea of formal dues is not objectionable to me. Others might feel the same way. Please reconsider maintaining your activity. Thank you,

Thank you for all the good work. Enjoy your retirement.

Glad to know you'll be keeping website. Hope you will send out email when important info is added to site.

Joe...and a big thank you for all you have done for us.

Thank you so much for the info you have sent and all you have done. My Husband was a retiree from (Western Electric, AT&T) Lucent Tech., 35 years of service, while I had 18 years of service and should be getting my vested rights ASAP.

Thanks for good work. If LRO wants to help in other educational ways then folks can use info/expertise in financial and medical services/insurance and even CCRC planning! Though that is not in the charter.

I may not access the website that often but I really appreciate receiving the email updates from the LRO. All of the officers have done an outstanding job for us retires and will miss your continued drive to ensure that we are handled appropriately by Nokia and the US government.

You and your board did a great job. Thanks again for all the updates. I'll miss your info.

THANKS JOE FOR YOUR YEARS OF SERVICE.

You gentlemen have my heartfelt thanks for a job extremely well done.

As an early and Lifetime member of the LRO, I will be sorry to see the end of the LRO. I believe the information provided and LRO activity in protecting Lucent retires'benefits over these many years has been yeoman. The organization will be missed. Who will look out for LRO members interests with Nokia in the Future ?

It seems from your newsletter the LRO is going away, or am I reading this wrong. I think this is a GREAT Organization, PLEASE doe NOT dissolve.

Thank you Joe and the entire BOD for a job well done. Like many others, I am proud to have spent a portion of my working career at Lucent and I will always cherish the experience.

I wish to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the LRO Board members both past and present for their tireless efforts and expertise on behalf of the Western Electric,Bell Labs and AT&T Network Systems retirees.During my 39 years of service with Western Electric and AT&T and 31/2 years with Lucent Services I have had the privilege of working with some of you gentlemen and familiar with others through their stellar professional reputations.I wish each of you the best as the LRO begins to wind down it's operations.

Thanks so much again for all your dedication and hard work on behalf of Lucent retirees. Even though I wasn't a hard core user of LRO's resources, I usually read the newsletters, but more importantly, was deeply comforted with the feeling that competent, experienced, and caring managers were at the helm, watching over our retirement benefits. Sorry to see you wrap it up, but I agree it's time, and you all have more than earned a well deserved respite.

Thanks for all you guys have done for us !

And I thank you for all you have done for us.

Many thanks to all the board for the outstanding work that they have provides to all of our retirees. The plan to dissolve the organization seems good.

I have a question. I noticed in this News Letter about the Board meeting that a Pension buy out was cited. Can you tell me what that means and if there is a possibility of another Pension Buyout.

I hereby express my deep appreciation to the LRO, its executives and its board members, for their dedication to the needs of the membership thru the years and for their many accomplishments.

Thank you for all that you have done and accomplished. I wish you nothing but good health in the future.

You did a good job. Enjoy retirement.

Thanks for all you have done. Your advocacy over the years has had a positive impact during these times of major change and your communications have been very helpful to me.

Great job. Thanks for all the great work

Looks like our time till death will be left at the mercy of Nokia. Hopefully they will have a heart.

Sorry to see the LRO go. You gave us the best information you could obtain from Lucent, Alcatel and Nokia for the needs of all our retirees. Especially during the pension buyout. I took the buyout so I didn’t have to rely on lucent going forward. I feel better managing this myself. Thanks again.

A tough decision for you, I’m sure. Thanks to all of you and those who served earlier for your efforts on behalf of the Lucent retirees.

This makes sense. Thank you to all who have invested time and treasure for the sake of employees treated as product. You've been a great comfort to me.

I want to thank you for monitoring and effectively protect our pension benefits and providing Information that allowed me to make informed decisions when choices were required.

I would like to commend you on the many years of excellent service in providing timely information for LRO retirees.

Thank you all. You have provided a great service and a tie to once was a great company starting with Western Electric, Lucent, and Alcatel-Lucent. I had many friends on the board.

Thank you for all you have done to keep us informed and for working for our benefit.

I wish to Thank your organization for its undiluted work for all of us. It has been a pleasure working with you and I want to wish you all a very enjoyable hereafter. I will surely miss the agendas that have been forwarded to me. Great work Team LRO!!!

Thank you for all you have done to keep us informed and for working for our benefit.

I would like to THANK the LRO Board and all support staff for all that they have done over the years in operation. I know it sometimes seemed like no one out here in the LRO membership was not paying attention at times but I would praise all you have done.

You have done a wonderful job and it is most appreciated.