Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lucent Retirees Organization Demands Protections

The Lucent Retirees Organization, which represents the interests of 235,000 retirees and dependents from Lucent, Bell Labs, Western Electric and/or the old AT&T Network Systems and subsidiaries, expressed its concern on the potential merger of Alcatel and Lucent.

"No one should want a foreign company to own a $34 billion pension fund -- worth more than twice Lucent's market value--unless safeguards are in place to protect the pension and benefits of 235,000 retirees and their dependents," said Ken Raschke, LRO president.

The LRO believes that the U.S. Government should not approve the merger unless the pension plan has fiduciaries that are independent of both Lucent and Alcatel.

"We call upon Lucent and Alcatel to commit to publishing financial and actuarial data on the pension plan that shows the basis for current levels of funding. We also request their prompt action to bring the funding level to 100 percent on the management pension plan that is underfunded by more than $1 billion based on Financial Accounting Standards Board rules. This must be done prior to a merger closure date."

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