Welcome to Nortel Pensions UK
The pension resource for former employees of Nortel Networks UK Limited and other acquired companies
Final transaction – December 2023 update (This update is only for members who have not received a final lump sum payment from the Plan)
We are pleased to confirm that the Trustee has entered into a contract with Legal & General to secure the final benefits for our remaining Plan members. This is an important milestone in the Plan’s wind-up.
A number of procedural steps need to be completed before final benefit amounts can be confirmed, and before formal responsibility for these benefits passes to Legal & General. However, as previously explained, the benefits will be in the same form as those already secured (i.e. additional pension, and if applicable, arrears and back-payment lump sums).
We will write next year to confirm your final benefit amount and, where relevant, when payment of the final benefits will commence. At this stage we’re unable to provide a specific date. However, to help members plan, we can confirm that it will be after the end of the current (2023/24) tax year.
Final transaction with Legal & General – update
We are pleased to confirm that the small one-off payments from the Plan have now been made to eligible members and we have now started the process of securing final benefits for remaining Plan members with Legal & General. We expect to wind up the Plan next year.
The final benefits secured for members with Legal & General will be based on the residual Plan funds, which includes interest and investment returns on the underlying assets. The vast majority of Plan funds (over 98%) were previously allocated so, for most members, the final benefits will be a small fraction of those secured in 2021. These benefits will be in the same form as those already secured (i.e. additional pension, and if applicable, arrears and back-payment lump sums).
If we wrote to you earlier this year about securing your final benefits with a small one-off payment from the Plan this Summer, we are pleased to confirm that most of the payments are expected to be made to eligible members on either 1 July or 1 August. We will write ahead of the payment date to confirm the amount payable and the actual payment date.
We then intend to start the process of liaising with Legal & General to secure final benefits for the remaining Plan members later this year.
Time is running out! Do we hold your current address?
Please notify the Plan if our records may be out of date or if you move house. This is essential as we are now entering the final stages of the Plan’s wind-up. As explained in our February update, personalised update letters have been issued to members and the final allocation of assets and securing benefits is expected to take place during 2023. If you have not received any letters from us in the past few months and think you should have (or are not sure) then please contact the Plan’s administrators using the above contact details. Following payment of these remaining benefits, the Plan will be wound-up and will cease to exist.
For the avoidance of doubt, the wind-up of the Plan will NOT affect benefits already secured (or yet to be secured) with Legal & General.
Update February 2023
We have been issuing personalised update letters to members over the last few months and are pleased to confirm that the final group of update letters were issued at the end of January. If you have not received a letter from the Trustee by mid to late February, please get in touch with the Plan’s administrator using the above contact details.
We still expect the final allocation of assets and securing benefits to take place during 2023. Following the payment of these remaining benefits, the Plan will be wound-up and will cease to exist. Therefore, it remains extremely important that we (and Legal & General) have your latest address. Please notify the Plan if our records may be out of date or you move in the near future.
Thanks to all members for your continued support and understanding – the light at the end of the tunnel is definitely getting brighter!
Update September 2022 – next steps
As you’ll be aware, the vast majority of funds have already been allocated. However, before we’re able to allocate the final funds to the remaining c13,300 eligible members and wind-up the Plan, we have been addressing two issues arising from recent legal judgments:
- Additional benefits to members affected by the Hughes judgment. We have been working hard to assess what the judgment means for the Plan and individual members. As part of this process, we have sought clarity from HMRC on the tax treatment of these benefits and are now in a position to finalise these additional benefits during 2023.
- Historical transfers affected by the Lloyds judgment. In common with most occupational pension schemes, following a legal judgment from another pension scheme, we have had to review certain historical transfers out of the Plan since May 1990. This has been a complex exercise, particularly given the time that elapsed since these transfers were paid. Top-up payment amounts have been determined for more than 800 transfers and we have started to contact these former members to arrange payment.
Further information is included in the Buyout FAQs: QB-8 and QB-9
We currently expect to be able to write to most remaining members towards the end of this year with further personalised information regarding next steps. At this stage, we expect the final allocation of assets and securing of benefits for members to take place during 2023.
Following the payment of these remaining benefits, the Plan will be wound-up and will cease to exist. As we move towards this final conclusion, it is extremely important that we (and Legal & General) have your latest address so please notify the Plan using the Nortel Pensions UK details above if our records may be out of date or you move in the near future.
The Trustee thanks all members for their continued support and understanding – we really are on the last lap!
Recoveries now finalised ……
We have now received all recoveries in respect of the global Nortel insolvency processes. When we first joined this process way back in 2009 our objective was to maximise the Plan’s share of available Nortel assets. The principal objective set out in our 2010 Update Letter was to secure better benefits than the minimum level guaranteed by the PPF. The same letter warned that concluding recovery proceedings might take more than another 12 months!
We are now delighted to report that the total recoveries from all sources are almost £1.27 Billion – a figure that would have been considered extremely optimistic in 2009.
Do check out The Nortel Story which gives details of the recovery process and the invaluable contribution made by our legal and financial advisers both in the UK and North America.
Administration changes – March 2020
Since the Plan left PPF assessment in October 2018, Willis Towers Watson (WTW) have been providing transitional administration services on behalf of Legal & General (L&G) to all members who had a policy secured with L&G.
This transitional arrangement is now ending, and administration of these policies will pass from WTW to L&G on March 1, 2020. L&G are sending a letter to all policyholders to formally advise them of the new arrangements.
This means that the contact point for any questions you may have may be different from March onwards depending on the nature of your query:
- If you have any question about your ongoing or future pension with L&G (e.g. change of address/bank details, change of beneficiary or notification of a death) or do not receive the letter referred to above then you should contact L&G on 0345 766 0813.
- If you have a question about the additional pension benefits referred to in the Member update below then you should contact WTW on 01707 607601 who will still be providing administration services to the Trustee.
- If you do not have a policy with L&G or are still unsure who to contact then you can call WTW for further guidance.
The Plan has left PPF assessment…
On October 8, 2018 the Plan left PPF assessment and members’ Plan benefits have now been secured in a number of different ways.
The benefits for most members who were already in receipt of a pension (together with some new pensioners) were secured with our chosen insurer, Legal & General, who became legally responsible for paying these pensions from November 1, 2018 onwards. The final monthly payment from the Plan was made on October 1, 2018 and some existing pensioners also received a one-off back payment arising from restrictions during PPF assessment.
Legal & General also assumed responsibility for most deferred members for whom a future pension has been secured.
A number of members (including some dependants) who had small pension benefits elected to receive a one-off lump sum payment instead of an ongoing pension.
Finally, a number of members who were not in receipt of a pension elected to transfer their Share of the Funds to approved alternative pension providers.
Members were sent a ‘discharge’ letter setting out details of amounts and how his/her pension benefits were secured. In March 2019, Legal & General sent a policy document to each member who had an ongoing or future pension secured with them.