August 20, 2004
Ms. Patricia F. Russo, Chairman and CEO
600 Mountain Avenue
Murray Hill, NJ 07974
Dear Ms. Russo:
I am writing to you about my deep concern about continuing to receive my monthly pension checks from Lucent and other concerns that truly trouble me.
I read almost every day in the newspaper about companies that stop contributing or put off contributing to their pension funds for their retirees. I have even read that bankrupt Enron's lawyers are trying to keep monies in their pension funds from going to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation for the benefit of Enron's retirees.
It is a scary time for people like me. I find that prices are up in the grocery stores when I shop around for bargains, pay more for gas for my older model car, spend more for my prescriptions, and just about everything else it seems. I fear a time when I might not be able to buy my prescriptions because I have checked and the discounts the new Medicare plan provides are not very favorable.
My health is still pretty good, and I am grateful for that. I can't afford a private insurance policy for drugs or Medigap coverage on my pension. God help me if I had to be hospitalized if I understand how little Lucent pays of the 20% after Medicare. Hospital bills are among the most worrisome of all. At thousands of dollars a day, and little paid by Lucent, I would be bankrupt in no time. When I worked for Western Electric, the thought never crossed my mind that someday I might have to become dependent on my children.
I never thought I would have these worries either about my pension and my promised medical benefits. With what you're paid, you can't even imagine what it is like to be advancing in years and have to worry about your pension check, prescription drugs, doctor's bills and hospital care. I am glad you don't. You must be good or you wouldn't be where you are. But in the high position you hold, I wish you would show some financial compassion and caring for retirees. So many like me gave years of loyal service, and now the Company is acting disloyal to us. It is sad and worries me every day.
Can you at least give me some real assurance that my pension check is going to keep coming? That would relieve one of my big worries, and that sure would help some.
Also, I hope that you can tell me that I don't have to worry about large increases next year for my health care and prescription drug benefits. I would appreciate an answer from you that is from your heart rather than from a bunch of lawyers.
10304 Goldenrod Lane
Oklahoma City, OK 73162