The government in Ontario will allow retirees from bankrupt Nortel place their pension funds with private financial companies, reversing an earlier decision.

“Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told a committee representing retirees that they will be allowed to pursue their proposal to transfer their pension money into an investment fund where it will remain actively invested,” CTV reports.

“But the government will also allow plan members to choose to stay in the pension plan and have their pensions wound up as part of the company’s bankruptcy process. That means those plan members would be eligible to have their pension payments topped up by the province’s Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund, which is only available for pension plans in liquidation.”

The handling of retiree pensions and benefits for disabled workers have been among the most controversial in Nortel’s bankruptcy, which was announced two years ago this month.

U.S. retirees’ pensions were protected by U.S. law.

Nortel has liquidated most of its assets but faces a continuing legal battle in the United Kingdom over billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities for pensions.

Read the details about the Ontario decision here.

Nortel once employed thousands of people at its campus in RTP.

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