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NOKIA ANSWERS LRO LETTER

nokia
nokia letter nokia letter2

LRO LETTER TO NOKIA

June 1, 2018

Mr. Rajeev Suri
President and Chief Executive Officer, Nokia
Karaporti 3
ESPOO, Finland 02610

Dear Sir:

You may recall that I wrote to you shortly after the merger of Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent to introduce you to our organization, the Lucent Retiree Organization, a wholly volunteer group of former employees. It has been our privilege to assist the some 104,000 Lucent retirees now receiving or entitled to receive pensions and other benefits from Nokia.

In my earlier letter, we specifically expressed our continued interest in the protection of the Group Life Insurance (GLI) benefit for our retirees, a fund which currently does not have sufficient assets to cover all eligible retirees. Mr. Hickey responded on your behalf with no commitment to fully fund the GLI, but did indicate that the funding matter would be reviewed as the time of depletion of fund assets.

Unfortunately, that response continues to leave our retirees in a very uncomfortable position not knowing whether the GLI will be available for their spouse at the time of their passing. We think it important to point out that at the time A.T.&T. split off Lucent in 1996 Lucent received substantially more in assets than liabilities, and the current underfunded state is the result of direct actions taken by Lucent. We ask you once again to make a commitment that all currently eligible retirees will indeed receive their earned Group Life Insurance benefit at their passing.

On a second issue for our retirees, we point out that a pension cost of living increase has not taken place in almost 20 years. Again, when Lucent was spun off from A.T.&T. in 1996 the pension plan was well funded; however, Lucent decreased the pension funding level in the early 2,000 period, much of which was used to pay substantial early retirement incentives. They also cancelled the A.T.&T promised and fully funded Death Benefit that would have paid a surviving spouse one year’s salary directly from the pension fund. The loss of that benefit makes retaining the GLI benefit critical as in many cases it is the only remaining insurance for a retiree.

In reviewing your recent 20F for the year 2017, it appears that our management pension plan is well funded at about 111%. Since Nokia has already adopted the new actuarial tables for accounting purposes, we believe the reported funding level to be accurate. In our review of your pension footnote, we also observe that your total pension and post retirement assets are some 400 million euros greater than their associated obligations for all plans.

We understand that a recurring increase in pensions would have a significant impact on funding, so we are asking specifically that you consider and grant a one-time 10% pension cost of living payment to all of our retirees. Such a payment would only reduce pension assets by about $150 million, resulting in about a 1% reduction in the reported 111% funding level.

Also on the 20F, we observe a 63 million euro pension expense in 2016 and a 75 million euro pension expense in 2017 resulting from the Cash Balance Plan put into effect in recent years for active employees. We are not actuaries, but an annual pension expense of those amounts could be viewed as the present value of almost a billion euros in pension liabilities. We are also aware that there have been no contributions to the assets in the plan for this large increase in obligations nor for the 2,000 additional employees added in 2016. We are not objecting to the provision of pension benefits to active employees, only that retirees should receive some modest increase after waiting almost 20 years.

We respectfully urge you to carefully consider these two requests that would be of significant benefit to your 104,000 Lucent retirees. We wish Nokia much success in the world market place.

Yours truly,

Joe Dombrowski, President, Lucent Retiree Organization


PENSION STATUS REPORT

Recently you should have received from Nokia the Annual Funding Notice (AFN) reporting the status of your pension that they are required to send you each year on April 30. In this status report we will provide some comments on the data in the AFN and also on the information Nokia reported to the SEC earlier this year. The current data in the two documents will probably be the last new current pension status data for this year.

The AFN data provides data at both the beginning of the year (2017) and the end of that year. The beginning of year data covers a three- year period and the following is for the year 2017:

Funding Target Attainment Percentage

Assets $17.628 billion     Liabilities $12.863 billion     Funding Level 137%

Two significant causes are described for the reported funding level. (Also covered in the second paragraph under plan liabilities on page 2 of the AFN). Under Federal Law which was effective in 2011, companies with defined benefit pension plans were allowed to calculate pension liabilities using a 25 year average of interest rates rather than a 2 year average. Currently the 25 year average is greater than the 2 year average, therefore the higher rate reduces the pension liabilities and increases the funding level. Nokia reports that using this average rate adds about 20.5 percentage points to the funding level. The second item is that Nokia has not yet adopted the new actuarial tables for this calculation which also overstates the funding level by about 10%.

The second funding status shown in the AFN is at 12/31/17 as follows:

Assets $18.422 billion     Liabilities $15.636 billion   Funding Level 117.8%

This calculation does not use the 25 year interest rate average but uses the PBGC interest rates. It also does not reflect the use of new actuarial tables which have about a 10% effect on funding level. This funding level is about two percentage points lower than 2016.

Earlier this year, Nokia also filed a Form 20F with the SEC that reported the funding level of our pension plans (in euros) for year end 2016 and 2017.

  2016 2017
Pension Assets  16.9 billion euros 15.3 billion euros 
Pension Liabilities  15.9 billion euros  13.8 billion euros 
Funding level  105.7 %   111.0 % 

Please note the reduction in both assets and liabilities for 2017. Since pension recording for our pension plans is done in dollars, it must be converted into euros for financial reporting by Nokia. The exchange rate from dollars to euros increased from about 1.05 to about 1.20 during this period thereby significantly reducing both reported assets and liabilities. You should also note that Nokia has adopted the new actuarial tables for financial reporting.

When Nokia reports total assets and liabilities for all US pension plans and all US post retirement benefits total pension assets (management and represented plans) exceed total liabilities by 2.4 billion euros. Post retirement benefit plans covering both healthcare and group life insurance benefits liabilities exceed assets by 2.0 billion euros. As reported on the 20F (when all plans are added together) some of the positive increase resulted from the improvement in the euro/dollar exchange rate.

The AFN also reports total participants in the pension plan, both active, retired, and entitled to future benefits. Total participants declined from 117,260 on 1/1/16 to 115,150 on 1/1/17 although active employees increased by 2006 during the year 2016. That is of interest to retirees as Nokia increased pension expense by 63 million euros in 2016 and 75 million euros in 2017 in connection with reinstatement of a cash balance pension plan for active employees. Up to now no assets have been contributed to the plan for this expense.


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.

Medicare coverage outside the U.S., click here


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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Trustees Report Warns Medicare Finances Worsening
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Opinion: 3 ways you can keep your Social Security number … secure
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Editorial: Trump's drug plan is not a prescription for savings
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Feds: Skimping can’t save seniors from rising med cost
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Jun 04, 2018

A Surgical Approach To High Prescription Drug Prices
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Hold Harmless Has Come Back to Haunt Many Social Security Recipients in 2018
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Doctor: high drug pricing kills patients
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States defy Trump on ObamaCare
By Nathaniel Weixel ; The Hill ~ Jun 02, 2018

Trump Plan to Lower Drug Prices Could Increase Costs for Some Patients
By Robert Pear; The New York Times ~ Jun 02, 2018

Opinion: 5 Legal Ways To Get Tax-Free Income For Retirement
From David Rae; Forbes ~ Jun 01, 2018

How to divvy up the inheritance — and keep the family together
By Thomas Heath; The Washington Post ~ Jun 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.