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January 2021

A letter to all members from Joe Dombroski, LRO President:

A Happy New Year to our members from the LRO Board of Directors

This wish is joined by news from Nokia Human Resource management that they will be transferring sufficient assets from our pension plan to the Group Life insurance fund to add two more years to the funding level of the Group Life Plan.

The LRO became concerned about the continued viability of the group life assets a number of years ago and raised the funding issue in our regular discussions with Nokia. Shortly after Nokia obtained control of Alcatel-Lucent assets for the plan it was noted that there were sufficient assets to fund the plan for only five more years. Joe Dombrowski, as LRO President, wrote a letter to the Nokia Chief Executive expressing our significant concern over the decreasing number of years we expected the group life assets to last. He reminded the Company of the increased dependency of our retirees on the Group Life Plan, particularly because the loss of our death benefit left group life as the remaining benefit at death for a retiree.

Over the following years we have observed the decline in group life assets from about seven remaining years to some 3-4 years now. As part of the effort to secure additional funding the LRO worked with Nokia in an effort to modify federal law that would help with the funding level.

That federal law is a provision of ERISA which permits companies to transfer excess assets from their pension plan to provide assets for group life and medical costs. Currently, that law requires the pension asset level to be 120 percent of pension liabilities but several efforts with the US Congress have attempted to lower the threshold level to 110 percent. Although those efforts have not yet succeeded help came from the improved funding level of the pension plan.

At the end of 2020, pension plan assets were above 120% which is sufficient to allow Nokia to transfer part of the excess over 120 percent to fund the group life plan. That transfer added another two years to the current three remaining level in the Group Life plan to a total of five years.

Nokia continues to work with Congress to change the ERISA threshold from 120% to 110% and this would allow Nokia to continue transfers of pension assets on a yearly basis to fund the Group Life plan. The NRLN is supportive of these efforts and will also work to seek this change for the benefit of our retirees. You can be assured that these transfers will not endanger our pension plan in any way while ensuring that our retirees will receive the promised Group Life benefit.

Yes, this is another reason to celebrate the New Year.

Joe Dombrowski, LRO President


  • Be an active member. Respond to Action Alerts. Congress does listen to what constituents are saying. Your letters supporting NRLN lobbying efforts make a difference. Congress knows that those letters and emails are from retirees trying to protect retirees.

  • Reach out to other retirees that you know through clubs, your emails or Facebook. We need them to join us to gain strength. Ask them to sign up for emails here.

  • Volunteer your time. We need folks who are a little younger than mid-eighties to help in small ways. It’s time for the next generation -- you know, you 60- to 70-year-olds, to step up! Bob Martina needs Grassroots volunteers. . If you have HR experience, you could be very helpful in the benefits area. If you think you would like to help, even a few hours a week, email me at

  • Support us financially. Your contribution of $25 or more is important to finance the work of the new chapter. Click here to make your contribution by credit card or send a check to NRLN Inc., and mail to PO Box 69051, Baltimore, MD 21264-9051.

Let’s get our new chapter off to a strong beginning!


Life Insurance Benefit: The LRO has been dealing with Nokia for years to secure additional funding for the underfunded Group Life Insurance Trust (GLI). Recently Nokia announced it plans to transfer up to $76 million of the excess pension assets to pay for Group Life coverage for eligible Lucent / Nokia retirees. The current pension funding exceeds the current law's threshold of 120%. The NRLN, LRO and Nokia continue to lobby members of Congress to pass legislation that would make it possible for Nokia (and other companies) with pension plans funded at 110% or more to use surplus funds to sustain benefits.

Pension Recoupment: The NRLN is also advocating its pension recoupment proposal. Recoupment is when a pension plan sponsor finds an error in the pension payment calculation and forces a retiree (some Lucent retirees have experienced this) to pay back thousands of dollars and suffer a cut in his/her pension benefit. The NRLN wants to limit on the number of years that retirees can be exposed to paying back overpayments and the percent that can be taken from their monthly pension checks to repay the pension plan.

Corporate Mergers: We have gone through the corporate mergers with Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia. The NRLN has developed a whitepaper and is lobbying Congress for legislation to protect retirees in corporate mergers, acquisitions and spin-off.

Social Security: Beginning in 2020, Social Security will pay more in benefits than it takes in from taxes and interest. Social Security will deplete its $2.9 trillion reserve fund in 2035. While the program will not go bankrupt due to payroll taxes, benefits would be cut by about one-fourth. To prevent a cut in benefits and fund the program for the next 75 years, the NRLN is supporting passage of Social Security 2100 Act in Congress.

Medicare & Medicare Advantage: Original Medicare’s Hospital Insurance program (Medicare Part A) is pointed toward insolvency by 2026. At that time, Medicare Part A will only have enough funds to pay about 87% of costs. Congress is allowing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to use taxpayer dollars to subsidize insurance companies for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to serve as a move toward privatization. The NRLN opposes the use of MA plans to privatize Medicare. The NRLN is also advocating that original Medicare participants have access to the special benefits being offered in MA plans. If Medicare is privatized, current MA plan participants should be grandfathered to protect their benefits and subsidies.

Prescription Drug Prices: The NRLN is lobbying to allow Medicare to do competitive bidding for lower prescription drug prices; end pay-for-delay and other brand name drugmakers’ tactics that keep generic drugs off the market, and allow importation of safe and less expensive drugs from Canada.


In view of the possible threat to the US from the coronavirus and for the welfare of our members, the LRO Board has decided to cancel the LRO Member meeting scheduled for March 25, in Dallas, TX. The meeting will be rescheduled to a later date with ample advance notification to our members to allow for travel accommodations. Thank you for your understanding of this postponement and your vigilance in remaining cautious and healthy.


We receive 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.

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This column contains media links to articles of particular interest to Lucent and Nokia retirees.Please visit for a wider range of retiree news.

NIST, Nokia to Collaborate on 5G Architecture Security Demo
By Nichols Martin; GovCon Wire ~ Jan 19, 2021

US agency taps Nokia for 5G security
Via “News Wire Feed”:; Light Reading ~ Jan 15, 2021

Nokia signs up Google for building cloud-based 5G network
By Reuters Staff; Reuters ~ Jan 14, 2021

Meet Nokia's new North American boss
By Mike Dano; Light Reading ~ Jan 08, 2021

Nokia replaces Ricky Corker with Ed Cholerton as US chief
By Mike Dano; Light Reading ~ Jan 04, 2021

Opinion: Finland's Champion Nokia Is Letting the Side Down on Huawei and 5G
From Alex Webb; Bloomberg ~ Dec 29, 2020

Nokia names Motley crew member for fixed networks
By Iain Morris; Light Reading ~ Dec 23, 2020

Opinion: Is Nokia a 5G Stock to Buy in 2021?
By Herve Blandin; The Motley Fool ~ Dec 20, 2020

Nokia Appoints Nishant Batra as Chief Strategy and Technology Officer
By Dominic Chopping, – Dec 17, 2020

Nokia CEO comments on Verizon relationship
By Linda Hardesty; FierceWireless ~ Dec 17, 2020

Is Nokia Heading For a Split?
By Matt Kapko; SDxCentral ~ Dec 17, 2020

Nokia is making a risky bet on open RAN
By Iain Morris; Light Reading ~ Dec 16, 2020

Nokia managers at risk as CEO warns 'it may be time for change'
By Iain Morris; Light Reading ~ Dec 16, 2020

Nokia sees flat margins at 5G networks business in 2021
By Supantha Mukherjee; Reuters ~ Dec 16, 2020

Nokia global head to go as executive exodus continues
By Chris Donkin; Mobile World Live ~ Dec 09, 2020

Opinion: Wait and See If This New CEO Can Help Move Nokia Stock
From Larry Sullivan; InvestorPlace ~ Dec 10, 2020

Home of Nokia Passes 5G Security Law Banning Suspect Gear
By Kati Pohjanpalo; Bloomberg ~ Dec 07, 2020

Nokia Leads a 6G Wireless Project for European Union
By Scott Moritz; Bloomberg ~ Dec 07, 2020

Opinion: Nokia Needs a Win Now or Risks Serious Hemorrhaging
From Josh Enomoto; InvestorPlace ~ Dec 04, 2020

Blog: Pekka pulls no punches on Nokia progress
From Chris Donkin; Mobile World Live ~ Dec 05, 2020

Nokia Confirms C-Suite Exits
By Matt Kapko; SDxCentral ~ Dec 03, 2020

Nokia hails 'native' green credentials of 5G networks
By Anne Morris; Light Reading ~ Dec 02, 2020

AT&T to support Nokia's WING for IoT
Via “News Wire Feed”; Light Reading ~ Dec 01, 2020

Opinion: As a Regulator Cracks Down, Nokia Stock Bulls Get a Major Boost
By David Moadel; InvestorPlace ~ Dec 01, 2020

Nokia's new CEO may face leadership brain drain
By Mike Dano; Light Reading ~ Nov 25, 2020

Basil Alwan, Sri Reddy join Nokia exodus
By Ray Le Maistre; TelecomTV ~ Nov 24, 2020

How 5G Is Changing the Landscape for Nokia
From Dana Blankenhorn; InvestorPlace ~ Nov 24, 2020

Nokia’s latest top table team change: Marcus Weldon out as CTO, head of Bell Labs
By Ray Le Maistre; TelecomTV ~ Nov 23, 2020

As Its Free Cash Flow Perks up Nokia Stock Has Breakout Potential
By Mark R. Hake, CFA; InvestorPlace ~ Nov 17, 2020

UScellular's new ConnectHQ IoT service powered by Nokia WING
Via “News Wire Feed”; Light Reading ~ Nov 16, 2020

Nokia Stock Continues to Struggle to Rise Above $4
From Will Ashworth; InvestorPlace ~ Nov 13, 2020

Nokia (NOK) Modernizes Deutsche Telekom's Networks for 5G Era
Via Sacks Equity Research; Yahoo Finance ~ Nov 12, 2020

CommScope, Nokia team up on 5G antennas
Via “News Wire Feed” ; Light Reading ~ Nov 11, 2020

Nokia breaks the French connection as CMO quits
By Iain Morris; Light Reading ~ Nov 06, 2020

Setback for Nokia in German patent battle with Lenovo
By Douglas Busvine ; Reuters ~ Nov 02, 2020


Nokia Benefits Website

Retirees can use the YBR website for benefit-related activities such as:

  • Enrolling in Nokia’s health and welfare plans (e.g., medical and dental);
  • Making and/or changing Nokia Savings/401(k) Plan elections;
  • Updating dependent or beneficiary information
  • Projecting pension benefits and/or electing to commence pension benefits.

Nokia Benefits Resource Center (NBRC)1-888-232-4111
International Long Distance 1-212-444-0994   
Other links here.