Lucent Retirees’ Responses To LRO Survey – March 2004
Sampling of Concerns & Comments Lifted from 496 Email Responses

The concerns and comments from Lucent retirees shown below came in response to this sentence in the LRO Survey: We need your input as to what your most important concerns are. Please take some time to identify which of your concerns you want us to work on.

“The most important thing to me is the security of my pensions benefits and my medical coverage for the future.”

“All I want is what I was promised when I retired. I am pleased with what you are doing so far. Keep up the good work!”

“The major concern I would like addressed is the elimination of benefits promised to retirees. I think it is abominable that Lucent has been able to break promises they made to retirees at the time of their retirement. If Lucent hadn't been so short-sighted during times when so called excess funds accumulated in employee retirement plans, they wouldn't be having a difficult time meeting retirement obligations today. Even though it was legal, any idiot knows that the growth obtained during the recent boom market was not going to continue forever, and the funds should have remained in the plan to meet needs during lean times we are experiencing now. Corporate executives were more interested in maximizing operating profits by pulling funds from the retirement plan than they were in the welfare of retired workers!”

“I appreciate what you're trying to do to help retirees, but my concern is for the survival of Lucent. The company appears to be struggling for survival and any additional financial burden we put on them will only serve to decrease the chance for their return to profitability.”

“One comment: I believe we should make a LOT of noise publicly about the bonuses paid to Pat Russo and others when there is so little accomplished for the company by these people. Make it known how they are taking monies from the very hands of the people who need it the most. When a company is foundering, it should be economizing in obvious areas of waste before failing to meet current obligations and responsibilities. It should NOT be using the resources to satisfy the greed of higher level executives until those commitments are satisfied.”

“1. Continuation of the pension check. As I enter my fifth year of retirement on March 17 I see a continuing erosion of my net dollars. I wonder if Pat Russo is working for the same money today that she did five years ago? I think not. I realize that maybe it's utopia but what not give the pensioners some type of raise?
2. Although in a lot of respects it's bad at best-a valid GOOD health care plan. The 401 plan is far down the drain and I would hope that the medical coverage doesn't follow it.
3. With Mr. Greenspan's "suggestion" a few weeks ago-Social Security and the continuation of it not as he wants it nor Bush but as it should be. Support the candidates who support SS.”

"I am so PROUD to be a member of this organization and am so thankful that you are as dedicated to this cause as we are. To have people help us stand up for ourselves and at least try to retain our benefits and rights with dignity and character gives me a feeling that all is not lost and we are not just at the mercy of Lucent and their decision-making. Thanks to you, we now have a voice - and a darn good voice it is !!!!"

“Info about how retirees could possibly help Lucent be more financially successful.”

“Info about how Lucent is doing in the market place.”

“1. (highest priority by far): Healthcare benefits for retirees and dependents. I retired in July 2003 thinking that my wife and I would both get our health insurance partially subsidized by LU, but LU broke that promise within months. Also, anecdotally, I've heard several tales of "nickel and dime" cuts in the ongoing benefits (e.g., specific drugs and procedures have been dropped or require a higher co-pay.
2. Other retiree benefits - e.g., life insurance - need protection from Lucent's axe.
3. Lucent is still mired in the past - specifically, the business practices that (perhaps) served it well when it was the in-house vendor for the Bell System, but are woefully inadequate today. After working at Bell Labs for 5 1/2 years, and then (in 1985) moving to AG Communication Systems, which later became a LU subsidiary (and is now being disbanded by LU), I can tell you from much first-hand experience that LU management and culture have changed remarkably little in spite of two decades of radical change in the industry. I own far too much LU stock to be unconcerned about that. I'm hoping that the retirees can use their influence to encourage what has always been unthinkable for LU: new blood in the management ranks, specifically hiring managers from outside the company who explicitly do not know, and explicitly do not care to know, anything about the Lucent culture and traditions.”

“Once the game is over, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.-- Italian Proverb”

“I am worried about the Health Insurance for retirees story that appeared in the Boston Globe.... what is the probability of Lucent eliminating this? What is the chance that the pension given to management in 2001 to take early retirement will also be stopped?”

“1. No more deteriation of health benefits services - visual, dental and health, medicine.
2. A reasonable increase (health benefits) can be expected (2 or 3 % per year) but in the last three years it went from 0 to 300 in seemingly 10 seconds. Pretty soon I will owe Lucent every month not the other way around.
3. Would like to see a cpi reinstitued into our pensions. Cost of living???
4. If we, employees and retirees, don't see increases why do executives get bonuses? Shouldn't their bonuses tied into the profitability or lack there of like the rest of us?”

“1. I have been retired 20 years now and have only had one COLA, therefore it is difficult to prioritize my concerns, they are many. But it is a very large loss to my wife to no longer expect the death benefit of one year salary, when the time comes.
2. Please stop any more changes or losses on my 'traditional medical insurance'. Since my wife and I are on Medicare which pays 0%, as of last year our insurance only pays 80% on everything, including hospitalization and surgical expenses therefore, it will cost us a very large fee every time we have to go to the hospital, which at our age is most likely to be more often than when I was still in the work force.
3. The loss of the dental plan was devastating; again with out any COLA we are still trying to live on the pension I received in 1984, with one small change while I was still receiving my pension check from AT&T.
4. A major concern that our prescription insurance will be getting some terrible change, seems like it changes (for the worse) at the rate of about 10% per year. But lately with the major change to a different management group, some policy changes have taken place. Just please keep the lid on what's left real tight.”

“Keep the pressure on Lucent to not reduce benefits any further. Find out what happened to the money that was in Pension Fund. Was it used properly or for something other than intended? Regardless of political party push government officials to stop Companies from reducing benefits and pensions earned by retirees. Explore and suggest to Lucent alternate means of reducing costs other than benefits and pensions. Use the resources of LRO to help all members regardless of group size.”

“Lucent upper echelon needs to learn to keep the promises that were made at various times to the employees who were planning to retire. The trust they put in the corporate lawyers for an interpretation will not support these promises. I picked up on a feeling last visit with those I left working that Pat Russo feels we retirees are a millstone around her corporate neck!”

“I would like to know where Lucent is standing on the Medicare bill. I am afraid they will drop the prescription benefit due to the Medicare coverage which is much poorer than what we have with Lucent. Like the Medicare coverage for health care you are basically forced to take it and then you loose what you have with Lucent. The prescription benefit is not one I wish to loose or be forced to loose.”

“I am most Interested in what they are going to do with the retiree benefits. I am so afraid I will lose the drug coverage and the supplemental coverage to Medicare. I retired in 1990 under the union; I took a discount pension from AT&T. I lost a lot of money from my pension but was guaranteed paid up health care for the rest of my life. Due to taking discounted pension, now I am afraid of losing these benefits when I am now 65. However my pension is low due to taking the discount. If I had waited 6 months more, I would have kept money but company was in a facility closing and I took retirement early. I think LRO is doing a great job. Please keep fighting for us. I would like to see more articles on health care and on the pensions. Is the union contract up this year in October? I am so afraid they are going to take everything away and we were guaranteed under our retirement plan that we would have these when we got old. Keep up the good work.”

“1. I cannot handle anymore healthcare costs. My husband is self-employed and has no benefits whatsoever. His wages are less than my retirement income. Medical insurance costs are taking too big a percentage of my income.
2. A guarantee of pension benefit.
3. Cost of living increases would be appropriate.”

“As Retirees (1989), we cannot afford any further disintegration of our benefits. I am for any collaboration/s that might help our cause.”

“LRO. Keep up the good work. You're doing great!”

“I believe in the 5+5 case, Lucent offered medical benefits as an incentive to get people to take the package. As an attractor, I believe it becomes part of the contract. They offered a $9000 value per year, and are now taking it away.”

“My concern is my pension and benefits. I went from paying nothing per month last year, to $445.00 per month this year for my health care. This is a critical issue with me. I have prostate cancer and my wife just got out of the hospital after having surgery to remove a brain tumor. I Thank God several times a day that it was not cancer. The hospital charges for that were over $32K. We have not seen the doctor bill yet, and she is going to have to have radiation and frequent doctor visits for some time to come. I have not seen what my charges are for cancer treatments, but the one shot I have to get every 3 months, I have been told is between $1500 and $2000 a pop. You can see my top 10 is health care. I do not have Pat Russo's income and I can't stand much of these kinds of expenses.”

“I still suggest meeting with LU to move the Pension fund under LRO control (or joint control) so that LU can not raid it or underfund it.”

“The LRO needs to concentrate on obtaining proxies from Lucent retirees.”

“Will our prescription benefits vanish when Medicare prescription drug program starts up?”

“Specifically, put Western Electric and AT&T retirees back with AT&T before the new smaller company spun off, namely Lucent, is forced into reorganization or bankruptcy. Primarily, because the small number of active employees will be unable to generate the earnings necessary to fully fund our retirement system for an extended number of years. The math simply does not work and this major issue should be brought before all retirees at large now, for their position on this matter, which will ultimately affect us all. We don't need to fight and win more battles but instead we need to win the war of having a pension with health benefits until we die, as we all I suspect, had planned. Lucent, with their last benefits mailed literature, indicated they felt 2004 and 2005 would be funded but gave no explanation as to what to expect beyond 2005. I know they still do 2, 5 & 10 year planning for pension and benefit expense coverage. Why are we not asking for these business plans so they can be shared and we can all plan our future retirements accordingly?”

“Health care issues is what I find to be the most important and the continued loss of our benefits from a company that needs to find its moral obligation to their retirees. The only way this management team of Lucent will find their way is if they are forced into it. The faith the retirees have in this Lucent management is gone.”

“Don't let Lucent take anymore health benefits away from retirees.”

“The LRO needs to assist the LU benefits department in negotiating Health Benefits with Health Insurers regarding the insurance premiums charged to LU and to retirees.”
“I am most concerned about health care coverage. Per recent shareholder meeting, it looks like we are in for another hit and possibly a big one at that. I really feel this is a commitment that the company made to us (anyone with long service) and they must find a way to support it, at least until (if and when) the government does something. I can see health care costs eating away most of a retiree's pension over time. I have an Uncle who is 84 and he noted his whole pension now goes to pay health care. Will that be our fates if we live long?
Another aspect of health care and also our pensions: If Lucent must cut back support now, can we get a commitment they will add support if and when the business becomes stronger? Why must everything be a permanent loss? I can accept no pension increase while the business struggles, but if it comes back, why can't we receive a pension increase and/or a reduction in health care costs? Of course, what is the evaluator for that? The company probably will always claim the profit level is never enough to strengthen the pension/health care funds. The problem is once we lose something, getting it back will be next to impossible. That's the thought that really upsets me.
I truly appreciate the good efforts put forth by the LRO leadership team. Thank you.”


“1. The preservation of my pension. Explanation: my retirement planning has always included various components, but the Lucent pension is a key element on which I am entitled to rely.
2. Health care coverage. Explanation: Since I was forced by Lucent to retire at 55, I need the health insurance coverage promised to me by Lucent at retirement (explicitly stated in the FMP document) until I reach the Medicare age. Furthermore, the health care situation in the United States is so disastrous that this item must be at the top of the list of any political campaign for me to take anyone seriously, including the LRO. The current White House and the Majority in Congress are totally disqualified.
3. Strength in numbers. Explanation: Isolated attempts to solve the problems that we face will be for the most part futile. I see the LRO as a building block for a larger coalition of retiree organizations that will weigh heavily on the political life of the United States in 2004 and beyond. After all, the 77 million baby-boomers that will follow us into retirement will again represent the largest single segment of the American population. We, as a demographic segment, can still strongly influence the direction of the country. I urge the LRO leadership to ABANDON any attempts to focus on limited issues (in scope and impact) and on issues that will only affect a limited number of people. That is exactly the opposite of what needs to be done.
4. Shareholders power. Explanation: The elimination of the recently publicized corporate governance abuses will never be real if it is left to the SEC and Congress. The greatest impact will come from the organized effort of the owners of these corporations, that is the shareholders. Note what happened at Disney early this month and even our own success in getting a substantial number of shareholders to support our initiatives at Lucent. The corporate Boards are no guarantee of fair play today. They are too entrenched in the corporate clubs and cannot be considered truly independent.
5. Political involvement. Explanation: The issues at hand are of such magnitude that only a concerted effort at all political levels, from the local arena to the Presidency, can produce lasting improvements. By political involvement I mean: (a) A public and well-publicized "platform", stating clearly what we support and what we demand. (b) The formal submission of this "platform", by the LRO leadership (with tens of thousands of signatures) to the presidential candidates of both parties, to the head of the NRLN, to the head of the AARP, to the appropriate Cabinet members (Health and Human Services, etc.) and to the heads of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee. (c) The submission of the same "platform", by the LRO members to their respective representatives in Congress and at the State level. (d) Organized meetings with local representatives (already proposed by the LRO leadership, but apparently not executed yet) all over the country. (e) Joint initiatives (documents, meetings, marches, etc.) with other retiree organizations in order to arrive at a Retiree Agenda for 2004 and beyond. NOTE: We cannot afford to waste the opportunity offered by an election year. Four years later, it would be too late. Lucent would have rolled back most of the benefits that we count on.
6. It is also my priority to be an active member of the LRO and I intend to join the leadership team in the near future, preferably through the electoral process.”

“1. Protect our pensions. If Lucent needs to make changes, they should affect only those still working. Then those employees can make an educated decision as to when they can retire just like we made based on our benefits.
2. Health benefits. I don't have a problem with paying a modest contribution for our health care premiums. (Starting this year, I'm paying $181/month.) That's about as much I can afford on my small pension--particularly since the insurance pays so little and we still have to pay a significant sum for each occurrence. (Example, my husband has an outpatient procedure at the hospital every 7 weeks. After Medicare, CIGNA paid 19 cents, on one occasion, leaving a balance of over $315 for us to pay. What I see now is that the insurance companies are letting Medicare pay the covered amount so what are the insurance companies doing with the dollars that Lucent pays each month along with the premiums we pay? Fortunately CIGNA was not an option for 2004 but I'm not expecting much improvement in United Healthcare. Will have to wait and see. Point is, if we have to continue to pay more, I expect better coverage.
3. I'm so tired of hearing our executives talk about what other companies are or are not offering and we should no longer expect the benefits we have earned. Well, frankly I'm sick of hearing it. I went to work for Western Electric at a young age BECAUSE the pay and benefits were excellent for the times. I was always so proud to be a part of the company. I might add that other companies in the area did not offer equivalent benefits then, but Western Electric didn't use that as an excuse. They treated their employees well and received loyal dedication in return. I believe we do not have the right person in charge of our company and I believe that the top executives are not making sacrifices and taking hits in their pockets like us little people are.
4. I believe our management has consistently stated that our management trust fund has not done as well as the shop/graded trust fund, thus management retirees have to pay more for benefits. Why not get the managers of the shop/graded fund to also manage our fund if it's doing better? Obviously, something is wrong if one is doing better than the other.
5. This brings up another issue. Why are management retirees the only ones having to pay? Shop people made great money because in many cases they worked unlimited overtime with pay, whereas we worked unlimited overtime in many cases without pay. Everyone is not being treated fairly.
6. The death benefit that we lost was unfortunate. I had carried additional supplemental insurance for years thru the company as well as a policy outside the company. I dropped the supplemental upon retirement knowing that I would lose it at age 65 anyway. However, I kept the outside policy but later decided that I did not need all that insurance or the monthly payments. After I cancelled it, our beloved Lucent also cancelled theirs. Now at my age it's not feasible to get more insurance. However, this issue is not as critical as the ones mentioned above. Did the shop people also lose their death benefit?”

“(1) The LRO’s mission and operations -- including growing membership and communications;
(2) finding the most effective ways to insure Lucent meets it's promise and obligations to all retirees and
(3) working in public forums to gain legislative and regulatory support for our goals.”
“I am highly disappointed that the LRO has not started any litigation relative to Lucent's breech of contracts with its retirees. I am however encouraged to see the Oct 23, 2003 filing by Chimicles & Tikellis in the N. J. Courts relative to the elimination of the Death Benefits.
I am anxious to see if they can expand that to the other issues that we are all concerned about. I am one of those retirees for whom Lucent no longer provides subsidy for my wife's medical insurance. I retired in 1995 with a base salary of over $87,000. Although I realize that the universe of those who fit these requirements may be small, I would like to see Lucent taken to task about this as well as the other benefits eliminations.
As a matter of interest, I started at Lex Rd (Actually Chatham Rd & Waughtown)1956, left Lex Rd. for Denver in 69, to 78, then to Orlando in 84, and then to Fed. Sys. in Burl in 86 Retiring from the Gilford Center in 1995 as Manufacturing and Operations Director. The promises the company makes were reinforced with every move and promotion, only to have all my hard work and increases in salary now working against me.
LRO's Appraisal, because of these failures to press our concerns, would be in the middle of the 3rd quartile.”

“Thanks for what you are doing. I just recently joined LRO. I appreciate the work you did at the recent Lucent stockholder's meeting.”

“I try to keep up with what is happening with our organization. What is happening is very important to me. I write or email senator a lot I have talked to Rob Barron in his Des moines Office and senator Harkin is very interested. Rob says articles are important, that is the only way we know what is happening. Telecom industries are important and we should be trying to bring back these as our nation is now in debt up to our eyeballs. If we do not get something before the election we will get 0. That is just how it works. Updates on web site are our communication with each other - very important.”

"I would most like to see what LRO is doing politically to force Lucent to live up to its promises."

"A great concern of mine is that Lucent has axed the Life Insurance & death benefit payments to spouses upon the death of the retiree. My wife signed the waiver to not receive any pension payments after my death & was planning to invest the death & insurance payments for her future. As it stands now, she will get a big fat zero from Lucent. I would like to see Lucent offer
the option again to either receive continued pension payments to surviving spouses or receive larger payments during the life of the retiree."

"I am most concerned about pension and medical benefits. I am in favor of anything that will enhance the long-term safety of those benefits. Anything else is a waste of time."

"1. The safety of our pensions and the funds supporting the pensions
2. Are the retirees going to lose their medical benefits?
3. Will Lucent eliminate the Prescription drug plan now that Congress has enacted the Medicare Prescription Plan?"

"The number one item of interest to me is the restoration of the death benefit which was given to us 15 years ago from ATT and it was assumed that monies were set aside at that time for that benefit; I believe I am in that small percentage of retirees and therefore agree with investing LRO resources to have that benefit restored."

"I would like for LRO to do all that it can to keep Lucent from eroding our benefits in the future. When I hired on, WECo promised that it would provide benefits in retirement after I completed 20 years. I know I retired from Lucent, but it was still the same company."
These benefits are of great concern to me and my family. We've lost the death benefits and the health benefits are slowly eroding. I'm worried about my pension. With the new Medicare bill I'm concerned that my out of pocket drug prescriptions is going to increase.”

"I don't get a warm feeling of great concern from the Lucent Management Team. Lucent keeps telling us the trouble they're in but compensations don't seem to suffer and neither do outrageous fees paid to cost cutting consultants. Government has to step up to the plate and work with all these companies who are reducing benefits that were promised to retires before it's too late. I certainly don't look forward to the fall when the new medical package comes out. Welcome to the golden years. Great job on the LRO web site."

"I think you are doing fine and are keeping retirees up to date on issues. I think one of my current concerns is how the newly proposed drug payment legislation will affect the Lucent retiree drug payment plan. Will Lucent reduce their drug plan contribution such that our net benefits are reduced?"

“#1 Make it known that Lucent will risk adverse reaction and publicity if retiree's benefits are further eroded. This is a serious national issue also affecting many retirees from many other companies. Lucent retirees (specifically the recent retirees who can carry on the fight) will not stand quietly by.
#2 Get a commitment that when Lucent stocks reach a specific profitable level, benefits will not be cut down. This commitment must come from the CEO.
#3 Become active in the political arena; especially now to take advantage of the coming election. Make retirees plight an issue worthy of the Presidential candidates. Tie this in with the #1 and #2 items by setting up action committees staffed by LRO members and Lucent employees (issue impacts their pension too) who can become LRO members after they retire. This would provide succession planning for LRO.
#4 Show Lucent how LRO members can play an active part in contributing to Lucent's bottom line. This would allow LRO members to actively interface with Lucent employees in a common goal.
#5 Align LRO with other retiree organizations of other companies to put retiree issues as a visible political agenda for the President and Congress. Remember, though the economy may be getting better for the working man; the retirees may be suffering which makes the economic
recovery a house of cards that can fall if the millions of its retired citizens can not afford proper (not cheap) health care.
#6 Align LRO with AARP for a common goal. Learn from AARP how to build political clout.”

"I attended the Henry Schacht meeting in Dallas last year and heard Henry say that Lucent was going to try and have similar meetings quarterly with the retirees. Has anything happened on this? I know he said that our benefits will probably take another hit this year, but, a little reaction
time would be good. I was in the group that saw a rise in my medical to $515 per month without dental. We were told that the government made Lucent take the actions they did by groups rather than spread the pain among all retirees. I would just like to make sure we have a voice, or understand fully the reasons why my group takes it in the shorts again this year as opposed to some other group, like those making less than $85,000 per year. I can't thank the LRO enough for stepping up to the plate. No telling how bad the pain might have been without your
intervention. The executive salary issue is still a real sore point with many of us regardless of Schacht's comments on their dedication and competence."

"I have one overriding issue that I would like the LRO to address: Lucent's elimination of the dependent medical subsidy for (some) retirees in 2004. This action resulted in a huge increase
in my monthly payment for retiree medical benefits and is outrageous. In general, the affordability of medical benefits is the most important issue to me."

"Lucent should live up to the promises they made when I accepted an early retirement package in 12/89. If I (or anyone) knew they were going to ultimately screw everyone, no one would have accepted their lies! People planned their lives around these benefits.”

“1. Restore health/dental benefits that were promised. 2. Restore "death benefit". 3. Bring the crooks who ran Lucent into the ground to justice. Let them join Martha in the slammer. 4.The management at Lucent are liars. They only understand litigation. Do what it takes."

"For me the most important issue is watching and acting on Lucent's actions, such as short changing the pension fund through trickery, the cut in health benefits, eliminating the death benefit, unduly benefiting executives (especially those who do not perform) at retirees expense."

"1. Protection of Healthcare Benefits. Ensure that retirees have no further cuts in benefits and the Healthcare Insurance Companies Lucent elects provides coverage to retirees (e.g. United Healthcare is still not accepted at Advocate Hospitals here in the Chicago area -- Big problem to retirees here).
2. Keeping Healthcare Benefits Affordable. Lucent continues to discriminate against retirees by providing Active Employees with cheaper medical and dental deductibles. Should be the same! Eliminate Age Discrimination Practices at Lucent.
3. LRO should seek alternate Healthcare Insurance Group Policies so that we are not dependent on Lucent. (If Lucent has 33K Active Employees and we have 127K Retired Employees, LRO should be able to negotiate a better Group Healthcare Insurance Policy than Lucent).
4. Reinstatement of Lost Benefits.
5. Work with Federal Legislatures to ensure that Pension and Benefit laws are modernized and funded. See my comments below under your Political Support question.
6. Increase the size of LRO's Membership so that most of the 127K retirees become members.
7. Improve LRO communications. Great enhancements were made during the latter half of last year. However, I am still getting notices from retirees who have no knowledge of what LRO is doing.
8. Continue to support proxy issues that are in the best interest of retirees.
9. Endorse Political Candidates who support LRO's actions and views.
10. Consider a slate of LRO candidates who will challenge current Lucent Board Members."

"The Wall Street Journal dated 3/16/04 on the front page column 5 & 6 plus page A-16 col. 1 has an article which reads "How Cuts In Retiree Benefits Fatten Companies Bottom Line". It is an excellent article precisely how the reductions made by Lucent (Lucent was not specifically mentioned in the article) in our benefits elevated their gain (just like cash received) so as to permit Lucent to meet their fiscal goals for 2003. Consequently, bonuses were provided for about 31,000 employees, if my memory serves me right. We need some kind of legislation that will stop these accounting practices that permit penalties for retirees being the sponsorship of company bonuses. Please read the article. You have already been told by at least one corporate executive that some future benefit action may hinge on the legislative scene & that there might be something happening in 2005, to our benefits."

"1. Secure Lucent Pensions
-Closely monitor and report on Lucent's management of its pension funds
- Try to get one or more seats on the boards that manage the Lucent pension funds
- Report on the financial health and status of Lucent pension funds
- Make sure Lucent decisions and actions on the management of its pension funds are subject to proper oversight and review including public review
- Support important legislation that can help protect the security of Lucent pension funds.
- Support candidates and groups that can help protect the security of Lucent pension funds.
2. Maintain and if possible restore Lucent retiree benefits.
-Closely monitor and report on Lucent decisions and actions regarding retiree benefits.
- Try and influence Lucent decisions on Lucent retiree benefits
- Make sure Lucent decisions and actions on the management of its retiree benefits are subject to proper oversight and review including public review.
- Support important legislation that can help protect Lucent retiree benefits.
- Support candidates and groups that can help protect Lucent retiree benefits."

"1.) Secure pension funds at the level they are. With jobs - in the Midwest especially - at an all time low, having the fall back of our pension plan is essential for most of us.
2.) Reinstatement of Medicare Part B. For the older retirees especially this is a big concern. Their pensions are less to start with and expenses are definitely more so any help they can get will help. For those who are just now entering the Medicare age, life does not look too rosy either.
3.) Death benefits for those older retirees who just lost it - those of us who retired in the late 90's/early 2000s knew we would not receive it so it should not be a big concern for us. I imagine that with the added expense of contributing to medical expenses, most of the 80/90 year old population of retirees are suffering sufficiently that this death benefit will hurt them at a time when they least need it. If this is one of the minority issues that LRO wants to/should address, then I'm all for it."

"I would like to know why all Lucent Retirees do not share the expense of medical insurance.
When I retired after 34 years I had to start paying health insurance which I feel is unfair because everyone that retired before me does not pay. Come on now lets be fair about paying our fair share of medical insurance. I thought when I retired I would not have to pay medical (health Insurance) just like everyone else. Is this something you can help with or should I just forget about it?"

"There are a significant number of retirees who continue to work because they/we accepted early retirement. In other words – did not plan on retiring and are struggling to find that second career which is as rewarding and challenging as the years with Lucent (Western Electric, AT&T and then Lucent -- and all with the same organization as it evolved with telecommunications.) Without the Lucent benefits and pension, I/we would be out of a home and on welfare. Protecting what is
left is vital to our very existence."

"There are major issues that concern most of us. I believe we should focus on these, e.g. Healthcare/Drugs/Etc., Protection of our current Pensions from erosion, Spousal Death Benefits.
Above all, a voice within Lucent with respect to the preservation of the Management Retiree Trust Fund. As you folks have pointed out, an absolute imperative is that Lucent continues to grow back into a formidable and healthy company. We must do all we can to promote this effort.
Also, we must continue to involve ourselves with other related retirement organizations, their efforts, and members and influential people of our government, especially the United States Congress."

"The most important issue for me is to continue to receive my monthly pension payment. Therefore, I feel that the most important issue that you can pursue is to determine the financial health of our pension funding. I am very concerned that the funds available may not be sufficient to cover the obligations. I have tried in vain to determine whether the funds that are in the plans are sufficient, but I don't have the knowledge to make an assessment, and, even if I did, I don't believe that we are provided sufficient information from Lucent to do so."

"I think you are doing a good if not a great job. I do wonder why we do not have some grounds to
go back to AT&T for some of the responsibility for what's happening here. We should be getting some kind of increases instead of having things taken away from us which, of course is 'wishing/dreaming' for too much.
I do recall the meeting I attended in Dallas when the Chairman of the Board announced the divesture and his allusion to the legal expenses that AT&T was going to save and the legal staff that could be reduced. (From my observation I don't think they reduced the staff at all) Also the virtual gift of all the assets to the Bell Operating Companies without any payback seems stupid when you get to the point that we are at with Lucent.
I just feel that something is being overlooked as to the responsibility of all parties involved. Something just does not feel right when a good portion of us were retired from AT&T and then dumped over to Lucent whose executive staff sits in a board meeting probably laughing about the whole situation while they figure out how to dump us completely. I know that time
limitations probably preclude the possibility of going back to my retirement date in 1987 but something is wrong when our only resource is Lucent when there is a much wider responsibility. And of course the rewards that the beloved Pat Russo and other staff members are getting that we obviously are supporting is almost felonious."

"One issue that really concerns me is the possibility of Lucent dropping its drug benefits because of the new senior prescription drug plan."

"1. It is true that Lucent is a small company with pension obligations to a much larger number of employees. However, the division of the pension plan was over funded for these obligations when Lucent was created. With prudent management, there should be no problems as these obligations decreased as the employee population grew smaller (vested pensions are less). The problem seems to be that Lucent is no longer funding the pension plan for the obligations of
current employees which diminishes the plan for the total population. Will Lucent continue to reduce pension benefits as a way to inflate corporate profits and upper management pay?

2. Does Lucent intend to fully fund their pension plan during the two-year moratorium recently approved by President Bush?

3. At one time, Lucent considered their employees corporate assets. Then they came out with the statement "you work eight hours, you get eight hours pay, you are even, we are even. We no longer want corporate loyalty" (i.e. long term employees) This illustrates how out of touch our management is with technical employees. Without employee motivation, loyalty, and support, management produces nothing. Is it any wonder the new generation of employees consider
the corporate workplace a depressing place to work? Will this inspire U.S. college students to major in engineering?

4. I worked my last few years with AT&T talking to customers and identifying their needs. I was amazed at the hostility customers expressed pertaining to Bell Labs employees. This was the rule, not the exception. A NAVSEA employee summed it up best by saying, " I will work with Bell Labs but I also have a PHD and I will be dammed if they are going to talk down to me". What is Lucent doing to reduce the monopoly mentality that has been part of out culture
for so many years?

5. Does Lucent’s upper management and board participate in the Lucent management pension plan? If not, why not? Do they provide pension protection and benefits for themselves that they are not willing to provide other management employees?"

"We need counter active information to LU's party line re how lucky we are to be getting whatever they decide to dole out. Specifically since most of us had no choice but to retire from or get our benefits from LU, how the retirees at predecessor companies are doing.....specifically ATT, baby
bells etc. LU loves to benchmark against the entire country…however, perhaps more specific comparisons that are more generic and "kind" to us might counter their claims."

" a) maintaining our current level of benefits. our retirement checks are depleting as the company is pushing the burden of payment on retirees.

b) the so-called 'trust fund' established for Lucent benefits. maybe I don't understand 'trust fund'. why will this fund be depleted? was it not up to Lucent management to oversee this fund and insure the funds were placed somewhere - perhaps gaining some type of interest/income so that they do not deplete?

c) tired of hearing Russo/Schacht pitching the line - 'Lucent is not the same company'. They are the ones that are responsible for the decisions that have brought Lucent to the level it is now - not the employees and/or retirees. I believe McGinn./Schact/Russo and company all had a hand in the companies demise when they tried to become something that they were not – a Nortel, Cisco, etc. Because of this mismanagement and because it fits into their plans - they now say Lucent is not the same company - of course not. Western Electric/Lucent was once a proud company - and I was proud to tell people who I worked for - not any more."

"I just want you to do everything that you can to protect our "pensions'' and our ''medical and drug coverage". Please keep up the good work, and keep us posted as you have been doing."

"(a.) finding the most effective ways to insure Lucent meets it's promise and obligations to all retirees. This should be our primary, if not only, mission. Lucent made promises to recruit, retrain, and then incent people to leave. Now they have broken those promises and it appears they will eliminate all of those promises.
(b) working in public forums to gain legislative and regulatory support for our goals. This is 1 method. I know we are trying to get a larger collective voice by joining with other Retiree Organizations. I'd like to see us partner with the AARP to encourage the support of all retirees since so many of our issues are now becoming common with other retirees. We should push AARP to create resources for a "Department" or "focus group" dedicated to reversing the trend of corporations reneging on promised retiree benefits and seeking whatever legislation is required."

"Thanks for doing a great job for the retirees of Lucent. My highest priority is protecting my pension, for obvious reasons. I want someone to be a watchdog for any reasons that Lucent could hurt the pension plan
Secondly - my health benefits
Third - I hope we keep a watch on the executives - the compensation they receive, if they sell a lot of stock, any irregularities that could be a precursor to something that may not be right
Fourth - I want you to continue to advocate on our behalf - I like having an organized retiree group watching out for us and I want us to be as strong as we possibly could be."

"I am most interested in the LRO working on the following via communicating with Lucent Top Management:
1- Work to Secure the benefits (health insurances) and pensions for retirees that Lucent promised us as retirees. We all worked so hard for these benefits over the years and were told we would have them when they presented them as retirement incentives. Retirees are beginning to feel the hardship due to loss of coverage for their dependents in addition to the spiraling costs they face for their own coverage. And 2004 was only the beginning! We still may face many more changes and costs for our benefits that Lucent management will no doubt initiate in the coming years.
2- Stay on top of Lucent Top Management. Try to keep them honest and accountable to retirees and shareholders via open dialogue, written communications, media, etc. Ensure the compensation packages, retention payments, severance payments and LOANS to OFFICERS/Executives are in the best interests of the shareholders and retirees.
3- Work with other interest groups, legislators and regulatory agencies, more proxy proposals, etc., to help secure our health benefits and pensions. I don't think you can just trust it to leave it to Lucent Management. Based on the recent media articles, (lawsuits, penalties, etc,) and my prior experiences at work, I think they need watchdogs over them!
4- Actively take steps to increase the membership of the LRO. There is strength in numbers. We need to encourage new membership as the good work you do impacts all retirees in most cases.
5- Maintain the LRO website. I think it is a critical source of information and means of communication for members of the LRO. "

"I am very happy with LRO and it's stance of retiree issues. Keep plugging!"

"I have sent letters to congressmen and AARP (also Mr.Bush) letting them know how we need to stop the loss of benefits and to protect those of us giving 30 years or more (unlike the "short term managers" with full pockets) of service and to lock in what we went out with. The U.S. hourly employee should be helped, not punished by greedy managers and lack of compassion
for our long term hard work."

“My priority items include:
1) Corporate governance issues, particularly related to pension and benefit

2) Legislative issues which are inimical to retiree interests (such as the
Medicare prescription drug plan which encourages companies to drop drug
coverage without penalty).

3) The Lucent health care trust(s) and the way they have apparently been
grossly misused and/or misappropriated.

4) The ability of Lucent and other companies to use pension funds to
"manage" earnings and to influence management pay.

5) The use by Lucent management of Henry Schacht to interface with LRO and
the public. This approach seems to be driven by a management perception
that there are no real issues, but only a public relations problem. Lucent
has long had this problem. There is a long history of company efforts to
spin information and misinformation to "keep the troops quiet" without even
remotely thinking there might actually be serious problems in need of

“Personal Thought: Just one time, I'd like Lucent executives and board of directors to take some responsibility for the downfall of Lucent. I'm well aware of the economic conditions and the down turn in the telecommunications industry but no one ever mentions the bad decisions that were made at the executive level/board of directors. What gives?”

“I think you are doing a good job. You certainly have my support. Probably, the most important thing you can do is to keep the spotlight of publicity on actions and proposed actions, from the Company and the Government, affecting retirees. This requires monitoring and follow up.”

“Take proactive stands on pension and benefit preservation is high on my list. Prevent further erosion or elimination of medical plan and prescription drug coverage. Reading between the lines of company correspondence, elimination of medical benefits is almost a foregone conclusion within a year or two.
Assuming the LRO cannot impact the company's decision on this subject, then lobby diligently so all health care premiums and medical costs can be taken as either tax credits or deductions.
Many of us have retired based upon the promises and claims offered in the 5+5 retirement packages. One of the big "selling" features of this offer was that a person could "lock-in" their medical retirement benefits. Virtually everyone expected that inflating medical costs would erode the value of this benefit over time, but few thought that the benefits would be so drastically reduced in less than two years. This has significantly compromised the "security" that the retirement package offered.
Keep a close eye on the pension plan funding and help ensure that these funds are not pilfered. The loss of this income would be devastating, especially to "early" retirees not yet eligible for Medicare or Social Security.
Continue to notify LRO members regarding critical legislation and company benefit issues so we can respond and support the collective effort.
Thanks for your vigilance!”

"First of all, thank you so very much for your efforts on the part of Lucent retirees. It is wonderful that some of us have will and time to devote to helping so many others who may need the help but for whatever reason can only offer verbal/financial support.

I would like to see the LRO keep looking for opportunities to get its point of view into the media. It is most important that we keep a dialog with Lucent's management so we keep our considerable presence in their minds when they think about cutting our benefits again or endangering our
pensions in any way. We should do anything we can to support the progress of the company, but I hate to see U.S. jobs continually moved overseas."

"The top priority is preserving our existing pensions and benefits, restoring the death benefit and dental subsidy. Thus keeping the promises made while we were employed and believed that these benefits were deferred compensation."

"I am very concerned about the rapidly diminishing healthcare benefits I receive from Lucent."

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."

"Concerns -
1. Health care benefits cuts
2. Dropping health care coverage subsidies for dependents of employees over set earning levels. The income level selected was unbelievably low. People close to the cut point were not
raking in bundles of money during their employment.
3. Giving people that retire some kind of assurance that benefits won't be cut the day after they walk out the door. When you plan to retire (or take a voluntary retirement sooner than planned)
you look carefully at the retirement plan to see if you can make it on what you will receive. They could have something in the plan where the benefits you have the day you retire will be guaranteed for 5 years or something like that. I really feel that your benefits when you retire should be the ones in place when you were hired, but I realize that this will never happen.
4. Lucent sending jobs overseas. I know this can add to the bottom line, but I also believe that we need to build a strong future for our children and grandchildren. I see bright kids unable
to find jobs. There are companies that don't do this, make good profits, and have great employee benefits. I believe SAS is one of them. I know it is not publicly traded, but I am sure they have
some management philosophies that would be transferable to Lucent.
5. Management of pension fund resources. I am not sure that the funds have been managed in a manner that is in our best interests. Perhaps more LRO involvement in oversight/review of the fund direction.
6. Lucent and other high tech companies bringing workers from overseas here, because they claim they can't fill the jobs with American workers. There are plenty of high tech workers available here.
7. Lucent claiming that they must do all of these things for the shareholders. Well, we are the shareholders and sometimes I am not particularly proud of it. I want a company that is not just
guided by greed, but by high sense of moral responsibility.
8. Executives that continue to reward themselves handsomely, while everyone else struggles. I admit that Pat Russo has helped Lucent recover, but we must not forget that she was part of the team that got us into this mess in the first place. I am tired of hearing that this is needed to attract good talent. In this economy, it appears there is plenty of talent ready to sign-on for less. It looks
bad, and is nothing more than a method for greedy execs to reward themselves and their buddies.
9. Having input on who is nominated to the board of directors.
10. Receiving more respect and recognition based on our contributions to the company. In answering questions about healthcare and retirement plans, the company makes me feel
like we are lepers standing in the way of corporate profitability. We are not the ones that ruined the company. It was some of the gifted execs that need big bonuses as retention incentives."