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For Compaq Alumni         (Updated Apr 8, 2021.)  Comments about this page to: info@hpalumni.org

Select the links below that fit your situation...

- Current HPInc or HPE employee: Networking and Information for Current Employees. Join Ex-Compaq* group on LinkedIn.

- HPInc or HPE employee in the process of leaving: use the ASAP checklist. Join Ex-Compaq* and HP Connections groups on LinkedIn.

- Former Compaq employee who never worked for HP: Join Ex-Compaq* and HP Connections groups on LinkedIn.


If you received a "Potential Private Retirement Benefit Information" notice from Social Security, it is based on years-old information, as indicated by the "Year Reported" box. The key word is "potential." Here's how to decode it -- and who to contact if you are not sure what happened with that account.

Compaq 401(k) plan:

- Name: "Compaq Computer Corporation 401(k) Investment Plan"

- EIN: 76-0011617 Plan number: 001 ("EIN" = IRS Employer Identification Number)

- Abbreviated as: 76-0011617-001

- Administrator: HPInc Retirement Service Center administers pension and 401(k) accounts for HPInc (formerly named Hewlett-Packard Company.) Also administers any pension or 401(k) accounts that Hewlett-Packard predecessor companies (such as Compaq, Digital, and EDS) may have had. Operated by Fidelity Investments.
1-800-457-4015, M-F 7:30 AM to 11:00 PM Central Time. Outside the U.S., call 1-508-787-9902 collect. Website: https://nb.fidelity.com/public/nb/hp/home

- Administered by Vanguard before Compaq was sold to HP.

- Be sure you have a valid beneficiary designation on file at Fidelity.

- Benefits under 401(k) plans are not insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC.)

- For details of the plan, see the last SEC report on the Compaq 401(k) Plan


HP Breakup. On Nov 1, 2015, the Hewlett-Packard Company was renamed HP Inc. and a new, independent 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 companies. Details: HP Breakup

HPInc is the legal successor to the companies acquired by the Hewlett-Packard Company before the company was split into HPInc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE.) Responsibility for any commitments to former employees of Autonomy, Compaq, Digital, EDS, Tandem, etc. remain with HPInc -- regardless of whether the employee's last business unit ended up in HPInc or HPE. This includes employment verification and any retiree health coverage, pension, 401(k), etc. plans. HPE is responsible for any commitments to former employees of companies acquired by HPE, such as Cray, Nimble, etc. (About the HP Breakup)

Which HP-related companies am I a retiree or former employee of? (Not always obvious.) Given HP's complex history of acquisitions, divestitures, and spinoffs, the company or companies that you are legally a former employee of may not be obvious. If any doubt, check here: Which Company

HPAA's main directory of HPInc contacts

Make sure that HPInc has your current postal address. Even if not classified by the company as a "Retiree" or if long gone -- in case of class-action settlements or other issues. Update address at former company

Check your LinkedIn profile! You may be surprised. LinkedIn has changed how employers are identified -- dropping employers and modifying profiles without notice. In addition, HP positions were changed to HPE. You want recruiters to believe your profile -- and former co-workers to find you. Step-by-step instructions:  https://www.hpalumni.org/LinkedInPositions

Time to untangle your stock! No one but you really cares about your employment-related stock. You may have stock in up to seven HP-related companies (HPQ, HPE, A, KEYS, DXC, MFGP, PRSP.) Your stock may not all be in the same place. You may need to retrieve lost stock or dividends, find stray accounts, or estimate your cost basis. An HPAlumniteam has developed a step-by-step process to find and protect your stock. Employee Stock  

Stock Decoder tables for: Compaq   DEC    Tandem

If you bought CPQ shares under the Compaq employee stock purchase plan, those shares were automatically converted to HPQ shares at the time of the merger. Unless you have sold or transferred them, the shares (and your corresponding new Hewlett Packard Enterprise and other spinoff shares) are being held by the last administrator of the plan, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney -- which is no longer being paid by the company for this work. Details and HPAA advice for former CPQ employee shareholders

Morgan Stanley customers are getting different results from different divisions of the company -- depending on whether they were participants in the Compaq Employee Stock Purchase Plan or had transferred their HP stock to a personal account at Morgan Stanley's local-office-based retail brokerage division. Morgan Stanley issues reported by members

Service at predecessor companies. Of HP's many 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, Palm, 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. (Predecessor service does count for FTO.)  Details: Digital  EDS

Employment verification and experience letters for Hewlett-Packard, HPInc, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, predecessor companies, and successor companies. How to provide current and past employment status and salary to potential employers, financial institutions, and government aid agencies. Employment and Salary Verification   Experience Letter

Compaq news:

- October 25, 1991: "The Day Everything Changed at Compaq" LinkedIn "Pulse" article by Sean Burke

- "Open: How Compaq Ended IBM's PC Domination and Helped Invent Modern Computing" by Rod Canion. "...a series of risky and daring decisions often facing criticism and incredulity that allowed the open PC standard marketplace to thrive and the incredible benefits of open computing to be realized." BenBella Books (October 15, 2013) ASIN: 1937856992  Author's website: The Compaq Story

- Documentary based on Rod Canion's "Open" -- "Silicon Cowboys"

Other links:

- Networking Directory of HP- and Compaq-related networks and groups around the world.

- Contacts for former HP, HPInc, and HPE employees  

Compaq history:

- Compaq company history (via the Internet Archive)

- Gordon Bell's Compaq/DEC timeline

- Compaq Wikipedia article with references and links. Note: Wikipedia articles change over time, may not cover all aspects of the topic consistently, and may not be written from a neutral point of view.

* The informal Ex-Compaq Employees group on LinkedIn is operated by Compaq alumni, not by the HPAA.

The Hewlett-Packard Alumni Association is operated by former employees who volunteer their time. Not officially endorsed or supported by any company. More about the HPAA

Rod Canion, Jim Harris, and Bill Murto

Rod Canion, Jim Harris, and Bill Murto 1982. 


For more mutual help on this topic and many others, join the independent HP Alumni Association. If you were formerly a regular, direct employee of HP, HPInc, or HPE -- or are in the process of leaving -- join the HP Alumni Association. No charge, thanks to HPAA members.


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