This document is aimed at members, and their dependants, of the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan (“Plan”). It provides answers to many of the commonly asked questions about the Plan.
The Plan provides pension benefits for most former employees of Nortel Networks UK Limited (“NNUK”) together with employees of other Nortel UK companies and companies that have become part of the Nortel group over the years, such as STC and ITT. You can find a list of such companies on the Acquired Companies page of our website.
The definition of members’ entitlement to benefits is set out in the Trust Deed and Rules (“Plan Rules”). The Plan Rules govern the administration and conduct of the Plan. On January 14, 2009 NNUK, and most other Nortel companies worldwide, went into administration. This automatically triggered the involvement of the Pension Protection Fund (“PPF”) which is a statutory corporation established under the provisions of the UK Pensions Act 2004.
In brief, the PPF’s main function is to provide compensation to members of eligible defined benefit pension schemes, in the event of insolvency of the employer and where there are insufficient assets in the pension scheme to cover PPF levels of compensation.
The Plan Rules now operate subject to the PPF rules. All members now in receipt of pensions will be aware of the compensation to which they are currently entitled.
The Plan is still in the PPF assessment phase and so we do not know whether or not the Plan will become the responsibility of the PPF. While the insolvency proceedings continue, members’ current and future pensions are, and will be, secured in accordance with PPF rules. Whatever the outcome of the insolvency, members will continue to be entitled to applicable PPF-level compensation as a minimum.
The assessment phase will continue until it is clear what the Plan will receive from the global Nortel insolvency proceedings. This document will not address the recovery activities that are currently underway. Notification of significant progress or changes will be posted on the Home Page and summarised in member letters that can be found in the Communications section of the website. If you have not received such a letter through the post in the past year, please check that we have an up-to-date address for you.
Much of the information in this document deals with the operation and level of PPF benefits. The information is given in good faith and results from interpretation of information published on the Pensions Regulator and PPF websites. Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure accurate information is given it must be assumed to be for guidance only and not a definitive statement of entitlement or the law.
Any member who is considering drawing pension benefits from the Plan is strongly advised to seek professional guidance. Neither the Trustee nor NNUK can provide advice on your personal financial circumstances. To find an independent financial adviser go to http://www.unbiased.co.uk/ and type in your postcode. This will give you a list of IFAs in your area.
Please note that the PPF does not hold details about Plan members and cannot comment on individual cases. They will be unable to help you if you contact them directly to ask about your personal circumstances. They will, however, be able to assist you if you have general queries about the PPF.