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For DEC Alumni (Digital Equipment Corporation)  (Updated July 14, 2022)

Website operated by volunteers. Not officially endorsed or supported. Comments: info@hpalumni.org 

"Potential Private Retirement Benefit" letter from Social Security. If "Type of Benefit" is "A" -- you rolled to a different plan, bought an annuity, or took cash. How to decode and what to do: hpalumni.org/PotentialBenefitLetter.

DEC sale to Compaq. DEC's first quarterly loss was in 1990. In Jan 1998, after several years of declining revenues and heavy losses, DEC negotiated a $9.6 billion sale to Compaq at a
26% premium over the current stock price -- which was completed on Jun 12, 1998.

HP Breakup. On Nov 1, 2015, the legal name of the Hewlett-PackardCompany was changed to HP Inc. and a new, completely separate company -- Hewlett Packard Enterprise (no hyphen; singular; green-rectangle logo) -- was spun out. Portions of HPE were later spun out into DXC and Micro Focus, which have spun out other separate companies. Details: HP Breakup 

HP Inc. is the legal successor to the companies acquired by Hewlett-Packard before the company was split into HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Responsibility for commitments to former employees of Compaq, EDS, etc. remain with HP Inc. -- regardless of whether their last business unit ended up in HP or HPE. Includes employment verification and any retiree health, pension, etc. plans.

Make sure that the legal successor to every company you ever worked for has your current postal address. Even if not classified by the company as a "Retiree" or if long gone -- in case of pension plan changes, employment lawsuits, settlements, or other issues. Update address at former company

Which HP-related companies have me classified as a retiree or former employee? Given HP's history of acquisitions and spinoffs, this may not be obvious. If any doubt, check here: Which Company

Info and contacts for those from:  Compaq 

Contacts at HP Inc. -- the successor company: HP contacts

Facebook groups. The best place for advice on DEC issues is on the very active and helpful DEC groups on Facebook. Reliving the good times, reconnecting with people you worked with, and remembering those who have passed. Leading examples -- and how to find Facebook groups that match your career experience: Facebook groups for HP, HPE, EDS, DEC, CPQ  Join the independent DEC Connection DEC alumni social group.

Service at predecessor companies. Of the many Hewlett-Packard predecessor companies, only HP and DEC had retiree healthcare programs. Only HP, DEC, and EDS had pension plans. Over the years, HP, DEC, and EDS set aside money in dedicated trust funds to pay for those programs. Compaq, Tandem, Autonomy, etc. did not have retiree healthcare or pensions among their benefits programs. Their employees did not have those expectations and there were no corresponding trust funds to pass on to an acquiring company. Therefore, employees of those companies do not get credit under HP's retiree healthcare or pension programs for service at the predecessor company. (DEC employees get retiree health credit for DEC and HP service but not Compaq service.) Confusingly, predecessor service counts for vacation/FTO.

Pension:

- Pension change. If you have been receiving monthly U.S. HP, DEC, or EDS pension payments that commenced on or before November 1, 2020 -- your pension is probably among the 41,000 converted in September 2021 from a company pension administered by Fidelity to an insured annuity provided by Prudential. Details: hpalumni.org/pension2021

- If you were employed by DEC prior to March 1, 1996: You may have a benefit under the HP Cash Account Pension Plan. Plan details in this HP document, which may be out of date: 2008 HP CAP Summary Plan Description  How to use an SPD

- The HP Retirement Service Center is the primary administrator for HP U.S. pension and 401(k) accounts, including any accounts that HP predecessor companies (such as Compaq, DEC, and EDS) may have had. Operated by Fidelity Investments.1-800-457-4015 (Outside US 1-508-787-9902 collect.) Don't go to a local Fidelity office. Member advice: hpalumni.org/contacts-HPI-financial

- Benefits depend on the choice the employee made. At various times available pension options may have included lump sum, monthly payment, reduced monthly payment with survivor benefit, etc.

- UK -- HP, DEC, EDS. HP Limited Retirement Benefits Plan, administered by Equiniti. https://hprbp.com

For details of a U.S. employer retirement or health plan, obtain a copy of the legal Summary Plan Description ("SPD"). Log into the plan administrator's website or call. They are required by law to provide the SPD upon request. The current SPD takes precedence over any other written, online, or verbal information you may be given -- but is still subject to change. How to use an SPD

Retiree Health Program:

- DEC retirees report that Compaq -- and now HP -- have lived up to DEC's retiree healthcare commitments.

- We have a copy of HP's official table to determine if you are qualified for health coverage. hpalumni.org/Pre2003

- Annual Benefits Enrollment. Details and advice from members: https://www.hpalumni.org/Annual

- Why HP group plan costs are going up. hpalumni.org/health-cost

- Join the HPAA Benefits Group Covers topics such as COBRA and retiree health benefits, annual enrollment, and transition to Medicare.

Time to untangle your stock!

- Compaq acquisition of DEC: For each share of DEC owned on June 11, 1998, DEC shareholders received $30.00 in cash and  0.945 share of Compaq stock. DEC stock was retired. Source: SEC 8K filing

- HPAA's detailed Stock Decoder tables for: DEC   Compaq  

- Depending on when and how you acquired HP or HPE stock, you may now have stock in up to six completely separate HP-related companies in various accounts -- or have missed cash payouts. An HP Alumni team has developed a process to determine what stock you should have and how to find it. hpalumni.org/stock   

Employment verification and experience letters for Hewlett-Packard, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and related companies. Employment and Experience Verification

For those in the workforce, select the links below that fit your situation...

- Current HP or HPE employee: Networking and Information.

- HP or HPE employee in the process of leaving or being laid off: ASAP checklist.

- Former DEC employee who never worked for HP: Join the independent DEC Connection.

Check your LinkedIn profile! Profiles were changed without notice. HPE changed many decades-old HP positions to HPE; LinkedIn deleted many employers. Recruiters and hiring managers view entries that don't make sense -- such as HPE employment before Nov 2015 -- as signs of a fake profile. You may wish to emphasize (or de-emphasize) some of your background by breaking out (or merging) separate positions. Step-by-step: hpalumni.org/LinkedIn


DEC history and culture

Original DEC Business Plan: The DEC Connection has a copy of the 1957 document: Ken Olson's Business Plan

Urban Legend:

Did Ken Olsen say there was "no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home"'?
"Legend. The out-of-context misinterpretation of Olsen's comments has been promulgated for decades. What Olsen was addressing in 1977 was the concept of powerful computers that controlled every aspect of home life. The fear that computers might even try to take charge altogether was widely experienced." --Snopes, the urban legend and misinformation reference site  snopes.com article

Videos and articles:
- Gordon Bell's "CyberMuseum for Digital Equipment Corp Documents, Photo Albums, Talks, and Videotapes"
- Website of Gordon College: http://www.gordon.edu/kenolsen

Where to sell or donate DEC equipment and memorabilia: http://www.decconnection.org/DECdonations.htm

Digital Technical Journal: hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/dtj/past.htm

Articles:

- "Compaq Computer Corp., seeking to expand into the lucrative enterprise computing business, agreed Monday to acquire Digital Equipment Corp. in a blockbuster deal worth $9.6 billion. ... $57.41 a share in cash and stock, well above Friday's closing price of $45.44." Source: CNN Money  Article

- "Lessons from Ken Olsen and Digital Equipment Corp." MIT Sloan Management Review. "How many current Fortune 500 executives will be remembered fondly by their former employees?"
MIT Sloan Management Review

- "Ken Olsen: Faith, Work, And Charity Support A Computing Career" Doris Kilban, Electronic Design
Electronic Design article

- "Computer pioneer Ken Olsen dies" Boston Globe
Boston Globe article

- "Ken Olsen, Who Built DEC Into a Power, Dies at 84" New York Times
New York Times article

- "Ken Olsen Founder Digital Equipment Corp Passes Away" Silicon Angle
Silicon Angle article

Books:

- "DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equipment Corporation" Edgar H. Schein et al
Amazon (Look inside the book at Amazon to read the appendices: "DEC's Technical Legacy," "DEC Manufacturing: Contributions Made and Lessons Learned," "The First Knowledge Organization," "The Strategic Failure," and Gordon Bell's "What Happened?")

- "Digital at Work: Snapshots of the First Thirty-Five Years" Jamie Parker Pearson, ed.
Amazon    Amazon

- "The Ultimate Entrepreneur: The Story of Ken Olsen and Digital Equipment Corporation" Glenn Rifkin and George Harrar
Amazon

- "Learn, Earn & Return, My Life as a Computer Pioneer" Harlan E. Anderson. ISBN 0615305458. [DEC badge #2] Amazon

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Ken Olsen 1988

Ken Olsen, 1988

PDP-8 Ad in Scientific American


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