New Change in date for PBGC Letter for In-Pay Salaried Retirees: May 3, 2018

(This message is for Avaya Salaried Retirees and information only for Avaya Represented Retirees.)

The PBGC sent me an update email today informing me that another unavoidable date change was needed.

Sorry for any inconvenience but the mailing date for the in-pay payees had to be changed to May 7, 2018. We are adding the following to our website:

Trusteeship letters for retirees are scheduled to be mailed on May 7, 2018. The non-payee letters will be issued around the 4th week of May 2018.

Functionality, to set-up your own My Pension Benefit Account (MyPBA) account is temporarily unavailable.

If you are trying to set up a MyPBA account and have received a trusteeship letter, please contact the Customer Contact Center 1-800-400-7242.

Please do not contact the Customer Contact Center until you have received a trusteeship letter.

Regards,
Vern Larson, President
NRLN Avaya Retirees Chapter


Update on PBGC Information for Avaya Salaried Pension Participants: April 26, 2018

(This message is for Avaya Salaried Retirees and information only for Avaya Represented Retirees.)

After receiving numerous questions regarding what will happen when and several from surviving spouses on what they can expect, I contacted the PBGC managing staff responsible for the takeover of our Salaried Pensions. The to those questions and concerns should help clear up most of the items below.

The letters for ONLY in-pay participants will be mailed on May 4th, next Friday.

Once an in-pay participant receives a letter, they can call the 1-800 number outlined on the letter to have our Customer Contact Center assist them in setting up a MyPBA account. The MyPBA account can’t be set-up until they are loaded into our system. This won’t occur until shortly before May 4th.

The PBGC cannot correspond with anyone until they are loaded into their system. They explained that when several Avaya pensioners had called in, the PBGC Customer Contact Center team said there was no information on the Avaya plan. This information will be available by end of next week.

The PBGC has been coordinating with Avaya’s current administration team, Alight Solutions, to hand-off the administration of the in-pay participants at the same time the PBGC is sending out the letters. Their contact center will begin instructing in-pay participants to contact the PBGC next week. Also, please be aware that Avaya’s website for the retiree portal will have a pop-up message stating to contact PBGC. Retirees will no longer be able to make any updates or use the Avaya online system.

The PBGC is currently experiencing some technical difficulties with new users setting up their own MyPBA account. However, participants can still set-up an account by calling the PBGC’s Customer Contact Center. They will set-up the account while on the phone and then you will be able to login and use it from there. However, participants should NOT contact PBGC to set-up an account until they have received their letter.

For the not in-pay participants, PBGC is targeting the end of May to send out a similar notification letter. Similar to the in-pay participants, they aren’t able to have the Customer Contact Center assist them with any questions until they are loaded into the PBGC system. For the not in-pay participants, the Avaya contact center will still be available to answer any questions they may have prior to the notification letters being sent out by the PBGC.

The PBGC appreciates our patience during this transition period. For the in-pay participants, the wait is almost over. For the not in-pay, it will be another month.

I would like to add a note that Avaya and the PBGC are coordinating closely to resolve not in-pay participant’s requests to go into pay. The PBGC is sending recurring files back and forth and have already processed people into pay with PBGC during this transition period.

Reminder excerpted from my earlier post:

From June 1, 2018, State Street Corporation, PBGC’s paying agent, will issue your pension payments. If you use direct deposit, State Street will deposit your pension payments into your account. The PBGC will withhold federal income tax from your payments at your current rate. However, PBGC does not withhold state and local taxes, medical and life insurance premiums and other non-federal deductions. If you have any of these deductions, you will need to make other arrangements to pay them. You will need to make quarterly tax payments.

Under Avaya’s sponsorship, we received a monthly benefit payment that covered our benefit for the previous month. For example, your payment for May 2018 is for your April 2018 benefit. PBGC’s benefit payments cover the benefit for the current month. For example, you will receive your payment for July 2018 on July 1, 2018.

You will receive two payments in June 2018. One payment will be your final payment from Avaya to cover your benefit for May 2018. The other payment will be your PBGC benefit for June 2018.

Court Approved Avaya's Calculations on Supplemental Pensions

Below is the site that you can track the progress of the Avaya bankruptcy filing in court. This will provide information about the case, including access to court documents.

As you know Avaya has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. For those of us who filed a Proof of Claim when on Feb. 1st 2018 Avaya stopped paying our Supplemental Pensions the answer to our claims is in now.

Check out Docket # 1964, yesterday April 25, 2018, the court approved Avaya's calculations of the value of our supplemental pensions. Also, they voided all the OPEB claims that we had submitted.

An exception to this are those few individuals who took the time to file an objection to Avaya's valuation, those will be handled individually by the court. They each were overnighted a letter directly to them. Our settlement will be whatever the court approves to pay out from the bucket of money that was set aside for unsecured debt. Pennies on the dollar. A couple of the lawsuits that have been holding up the courts final order have been cleared by the court. One major suit is still pending.

https://cases.primeclerk.com/avaya/

Visit Chapter’s Webpage

Check out this webpage often for new information.

Vern Larson, President
NRLN Avaya Retirees Chapter
Email: vernlarson@cox.net
Phone: 402-203-6899

NEWS FOR AVAYA MEMBERS


Avaya Brings Back IBM, AT&T Vet to Drive Services Adoption
By Edward Gately; Channel Partners ~ Apr 06, 2018

Mobile at EC18: Avaya Shakes Up the Service Provider Business
By Michael F. Finneran: No Jitter ~ Mar 30, 2018

Avaya Creates Unique Mobile CX Solution
By Sheila McGee-Smith; No Jitter ~ Mar 12, 2018

Avaya emerges from Chapter 11 after restructure
By James Pearce; Global Telecoms Business ~ Dec 18, 2017

Avaya to pay PBGC $340 million as part of restructuring agreement
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Nov 29, 2017

U.S. judge clears Avaya Inc to exit bankruptcy
By Jim Christie; Reuters ~ Nov 28, 2017

S&P 500’s Biggest Pension Plans Face $382 Billion Funding Gap
By Brandon Kochkodin and Laurie Meisler, Bloomberg - Jul 20, 2017

Extreme Networks Completes Acquisition of the Networking Business from Avaya, Inc.
Avaya Press Release – Jul 17, 2017

Avaya, bankruptcy and the state of the changing communications market
By Justine Brown; CIO Dive ~ May 23, 2017

Avaya sells networking business to Extreme Networks for $100 million
By Natalie Gagliordi ; ZDNet ~ Mar 07, 2017

Avaya's Chapter 11 filing sends waves of disruption
By Guy William Clinch, NetworkWorld - Feb 10, 2017

Legally & Practically: What Avaya's Chapter 11 Means to Customers
By Marth Buyer, No Jitter - Feb 8, 2017

Avaya Partners Relieved by Chapter 11 Filing, Decision Not to Sell Call-Center Business
By Edward Gately; Channel Partners ~ Feb 01, 2017

Avaya granted $425m loan from US court
By James Pearce; Capacity Media ~ Jan 23, 2017

Avaya files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, won't sell contact center assets
By Larry Dignan, zdnet - Jan 19, 2017

Telecom Company Avaya Files for Bankruptcy
Reuters report in Fortune – Jan 19, 2017

Multibillion-dollar phone firm deal may fall apart
By Josh Kosman, New York Post - Jan 4, 2017


NRLN Avaya Retirees Chapter Working to Protect What We’ve Earned


Another important release from August 25, 2016


The NRLN Avaya Retirees Chapter has been working database


June 16, 2017
The article below is only for information relevant to the NRLN’s agenda but not necessarily a reflection of the NRLN’s position on issues. Vern Larson, President – Avaya Chapter of the NRLN The NRLN is nonpartisan and its positions on retirement issues are presented in its Legislative Agenda and white papers that can be accessed from the Legislative Agenda tab at www.nrln.org.

Trump White House at work on executive order tackling drug prices

By Eric Sagonowsky; FiercePharma ~ Jun 14, 2017

If President Donald Trump can’t count on Congress to pass legislation targeting high drug prices, his administration may have to go it alone. The White House is working on an executive order on the issue, according to BioCentury, with eyes on value-based contracting for executive agencies.

The executive order would also seek trade policies that protect American drugmakers’ intellectual property rights abroad, according to BioCentury’s sources. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request to confirm the details.

Since winning the U.S. election, President Trump hasn’t been shy about criticizing pharma, saying back in January that the industry has been “getting away with murder” with high drug prices. At the time, he said the government would implement competitive “bidding” to save billions in costs—not a popular proposal in the drug industry.

RELATED: Trump to pharma: You're 'getting away with murder,' and I'm the one to stop it

Some of the president's other ideas are favored by pharma, however, including a potential tax repatriation holiday, a tax overhaul, fewer regulations and trade policies that defend U.S. pharma’s IP rights.

The BioCentury report comes a day after the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee convened a hearing to discuss drug pricing; two follow-up hearings are planned later this summer.

Also on Tuesday, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., introduced the SPIKE Act aimed at deterring the large drug price hikes that have made so many headlines over the last two years. Sen. Wyden’s bill would force drugmakers to justify price hikes above a certain threshold. It could require some companies to disclose R&D and marketing costs, another unpopular idea in biopharma.

RELATED: New FDA commissioner Gottlieb unveils price-fighting strategies

The bill targets not only sky-high price hikes like Turing Pharma’s notorious 5,000% increase on Daraprim but also smaller hikes on big-selling drugs that can hit Medicare and Medicaid budgets hard. It would allow drugmakers to roll back their price hikes if they don’t want to release information justifying the underlying costs.

And while the FDA can’t regulate drug prices, President Trump’s new agency chief recently unveiled some of his own tactics aimed at lowering costs.

RELATED: Pharma CEOs, eager for tax breaks and regulatory help, make nice with Trump

Last month, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency will publish and update a list of medications that are off patent and have no competition; work to improve generic review times; and seek to “curtail gaming” of regulations by the industry that allows companies to extend patent monopolies.

On the first strategy, Gottlieb said such a list could “entice competitors into the market” and ultimately lower costs.

A number of proposals, including Medicare price negotiations and drug importation, are pending in Congress, but none has been taken to a vote this session. Meanwhile, lawmakers in more than 30 states are trying to pass their own bills to rein in pharmaceutical costs.



National Retiree Legislation Network – Avaya Retirees Chapter Contribution Form The NRLN is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Contributions are not tax deductible.

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