Denver Retiree Dick Kemp responds to WSJ Article: 'Alcatel's Merger With Lucent Stirs Cultural Questions'
In reading this front page article I have to take issue with the point made regarding retirement, since I had taken an early retirement in 12-89 when I was 60. At the time retirement was considered, we where told we would lose long term company benefits if we did not take the offer then. Any consideration to stay longer to continue building personal finances along with increasing my social security benefits where overshadowed by the consequences of losing benefits in that offer.
When I retired the company had a very sound retirement fund, one in which retirees would get periodic percentage increases in their retirement income. Since retiring this has not occurred. Further, there has been a significant erosion of other benefits. The comment that the company used funds from an "over funded" pension I found un-researched and repugnant. Apparently the company reached rock bottom limits permitted by the government giving themselves bonuses in the process. I understand the company did not contribute once to the pension fund since it's inception as Lucent.
According to USA Today, 8,000 U.S. employees will lose their jobs and I certainly feel very sorry for them, but except for the Lucent Retirement Organization [LRO], not to many seem to be overly concerned about the 235,000 Lucent retirees and their dependents and I wonder why? Often it seems like we are at the mercy of the stumbling incompetence of company management. Hopefully our government will protect us from a total disaster.
Questions that might be of interest:
How secure is the pension fund [specifically the monthly retirement check]? Could this income be eliminated or reduced in any way?  Can the French get into our fund in any way?
Loss of this income or any part of it would have disastrous consequences for me, now 77, and my wife as I am sure it would be for many of the retirees.
My very best.
Dick Kemp

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