You can 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). However, until you reach your normal retirement age of 65, you cannot receive benefits from PBGC while you are still employed at 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.