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Nortel Plan-specific FAQs

You may retire any time after you reach age 55, as long as you were vested in your plan benefit when Nortel filed for bankruptcy (January 14, 2009).

In the past, PBGC did not pay pension benefits to workers who continued to work for the company that had sponsored the pension plan. PBGC rescinded its working retirement rule as of June 1, 2021. If you are entitled to a Nortel pension benefit and start receiving payments on or after June 1, 2021, you may receive that benefit even if you are still working. You may work for any company, including those related to Nortel.

PBGC will continue to apply the provisions of your plan regarding severance payments. If you are receiving severance payments from Nortel, you cannot begin your retirement benefits until the severance payments have ended. If your severance payments end on or after your 55th birthday, you can begin to receive your retirement benefits at any time after your severance payments end. If your severance payments end before you reach age 55, you can begin to receive retirement benefits at any time on or after the first day of the fifth month following the date your severance payments end, but not before age 55.

No. Generally, PBGC will only pay pre-retirement death benefits to a participant's surviving spouse in the form of a Qualified Pre-retirement Survivor Annuity (QPSA). You can find more information about pre- and post-retirement death benefits and your PBGC benefit options on our Your PBGC Benefit Options FAQ page.

Last Updated: November 3, 2021