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Asking for an early retirement package
Old 07-18-2018, 11:17 AM   #1
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Asking for an early retirement package

Does anyone have suggestions for/experience of asking their employer for an early retirement package? Proís and conís, does and doníts, etc.

I plan to retire within a year or so but would very happily stop earlier if I was offered a package. Given I work in a large IT company that is undergoing significant change, there may be opportunity to suggest that I leave early and provide them flexibility with the spare headcount. But should I suggest this to someone? To whom do I speak? How do I safeguard myself from ďhe wants to retire so letís just eliminate that job and make him redundant in the next cutsĒ?

Fortunately, I can afford to stop work and can survive on my pension so, from a financial perspective, continuing for a year or so provides an extra cushion but is not essential.

Has anyone else taken such a step? What suggestions do you have?
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:22 AM   #2
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I would speak to your Manager or Director, this is what I did..... As they may know what is coming down the pipeline with regards to an early out...... Normally if an early out is in the pipeline, FTE will be reduced along with the budget for the following year
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:33 AM   #3
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If you TRUST your current manager, then talk with her/him.
Whatever you do, do not talk with HR.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:52 AM   #4
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First, educate yourself. Get all the info on how packages work in your MC. I had been doing this for years, and checked every few months for any changes in the terms. This should all be documented somewhere.

In my MC there was no "early retirement package". There was layoff/severance, and a qualification for retiree medical with certain age+tenure. I wasn't eligible for the latter.

I was ready to RE, but I wanted a chance at the severance package, which was more than a year's salary, including full benefits, bonus, paid vacation. I had earned the max allowance for my tenure, but had to get laid off to get it.

I spoke with HR for tips for positioning myself. I made friends there and sought a private consultation. I know she didn't blab. I then very softly floated the idea with my boss, about my career options - it was true I was kind of hitting a wall where I was, by design as I took my last role knowing it was my glide path. I didn't hint at ER, rather, the idea of looking outside MC for my future, but that a package to help me out might give me more options.

I don't know if that was a key driver, or if the next rif-round would have caught me anyway, but I expect if there was any doubt it would have helped put me on the list. I was virtual and there was a big push for "core campus only" about 90 days later, I was told I'd need to move across the country, or find another role in another area...(or RIF/package).

I had to wait another 6 months before they finally communicated specifics and end dates, which was really frustrating, but once it all came to fruition I could barely contain my glee.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:30 PM   #5
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X2 do NOT speak with HR. HR is there to protect the company, they are not there for you. Agree if you trust your mgr or higher, and can ask about upcoming plans without an outright obvious information that you are planning to leave. Maybe word it as concern for your future planning, and your wondering about head count.


I doubt mgmt will admit if there is a RIF in play, as that will kill what little morale may be in place. But it may allow you to hint that mgmt could view you as OK with leaving and able to save a younger person.
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:02 PM   #6
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Tough call. I volunteered for a package, but had the inside scoop that it was coming, so I didn't offer up any hints before the decision that it was going to be announced to us senior managers.
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:06 PM   #7
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IMO asking for and getting a severance / retirement package is a low probability event with a fair risk of alienating management, unless one has a senior management position.
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmwh7626 View Post
I plan to retire within a year or so but would very happily stop earlier if I was offered a package. Given I work in a large IT company that is undergoing significant change, there may be opportunity to suggest that I leave early and provide them flexibility with the spare headcount.
What kind of package are you imagining here?

Why should they offer you a package? What leads you to believe they would value this flexibility sooner, rather than having you around a bit longer? Has someone else in your group already done something similar?

If you are extremely friendly and comfortable with your boss and confident that he will take your side, you could broach the subject. I've done that when planning to quit a job and sought out my bosses advice.

But if you don't 100% trust your boss, don't do it. Companies underdoing significant changes may not wish to do favors for short-timers planning to leave anyway - figuring that your situation will resolve itself soon enough without their doing anything.
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:29 PM   #9
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With the economy humming along pretty good and record low unemployment, the average megacorp probably won't bite right now, but you may be in an uncommon situation.
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:30 PM   #10
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It depends on your manager/director. I worked for a MC that went through frequent rifs... One coworker let our (common) director know he wouldn't be hurt if he was part of the next rif.... the director chose to torment him... giving him horrible assignments... riding him hard. He ended up quitting without the package. I learned from that experience and never gave a clue to that director. I did however let a senior manager know that I'd be ok, financially if I was on the list compared to some of my less solvent, more in debt, coworkers. He laughed, said my name would go on the list after his.... since he wanted a package also. Never got any repercussions from that conversation. Didn't get laid off, either.

I kept hoping for a severance package.... but my department kept getting spared since we had money making products that needed support.... No layoffs in my department for the 5 years I'd hinted I wanted a severance package... They finally had a layoff 18 months after I gave up and quit without the package.

I agree - avoid talking to HR unless you have a close, personal relationship... HR represents the company, not you. Only talk to your manager or boss if you *know* they will not be punitive.
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:38 PM   #11
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Agreed. People seem to forget that the Human Resources department is charged with managing some of the company's resources that just happen to be human. Other departments manage other resources, such as tools, vehicles, fuels, etc.

DW spent nearly 40 years in HR at two different companies. She was a systems analyst, so she dealt mainly with the data side of the job, but she was certainly privy to all the chatter in the department. The bottom line was that they were always going to do what was best for the company. If that worked out well for some people, that was a bonus.
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:15 PM   #12
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There was.a.big difference in someone retiring at our megacorp at 30 years/55 years old versus their mandated retirement when they choose to go a different direction. In 2008, everyone 55 and older.were.sent to the house at my company.

One way, you leave and you can begin drawing your pension whenever you wish--depreciated monthly by the Life Expectancy Table. They will allow you to purchase insurance thru them until age 65.

The Golden Goose is when they make.the decision for you. 1 year severence pay, unemployment by state laws (50 weeks for me), a supplement salary until you turned 62 and can draw.social security, ability to buy their great health insurance until age 65 ($425 mo.) and 5 weeks vacation pay even though I had already taken all my vacation. I had a.Retirement Health Savings.Acct. that paid 5 1/2 years health premiums. Sometimes it pays to sit back and keep your mouth shut.
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Old 07-18-2018, 03:04 PM   #13
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When I gave notice for retirement, I hinted around that I could be flexible if there was a package involved. For years my Megacorp paid you two weeks salary for each year worked, and since I'm at 30+ years, that would have been a nice chunk o' change. Boss man informed me that they had ceased offering packages. If they want you gone, you're fired. So be careful who you mention it to.
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:37 PM   #14
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It really depends both on your relationship with management and HR policy/timing. If your management sees you in a good light and as someone, even through disagreements, as an achiever and not a troublemaker, they will work with HR to do you right. OTOH, if the news of your retirement falls along the lines of "good riddance", do not expect a package.

If there is a planned layoff coming up it might help you, if management decides it is easier to " lay off" someone with a severance package who wants to go, as it saves them from having to deal with a potentially disgruntled employee.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:08 PM   #15
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We have been going thru a reorg and I do not think the first line managers had a clue what was coming, so they could not have helped someone in your shoes. Some departments offered opt in or out but IMO unless you are made the offer don't mention it. YMMV. Why would they pay you to leave if they can get you to go for "free"?
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:24 PM   #16
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If a company is laying off employees, they are doing it to cut costs. It is unlikely that they would give you a package and incur more expense if they know you are planning to leave anyway.

The only argument you might be able to make is if you are a high wage earner and they could cut one high salary rather than two low salaries and therefore have more manpower for a similar expense (not quite apples to apples because of benefits).

I suggest you say nothing and just say a silent prayer that you get called.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:04 PM   #17
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Hehe, yeah, if I was a boss and an employee asked for an early retirement package I'd have HR write up his last check at the end of the week and walk him to his car, shake his hand and say you're retired!
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Old 07-19-2018, 02:45 AM   #18
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If you ever read the site Financial Samurai, this is a big topic that he talks about. He feels its essential to negotiate a early retirement deal with your company before you just quit, or before you slack off so much that they feel you are a poor employee and just want to fire you.


It seems very challenging to pull off. It also seems risky as once your boss or an employer knows you are not a long term employee/colleague, I'm sure people will treat you differently.
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:19 AM   #19
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If you ever read the site Financial Samurai, this is a big topic that he talks about. He feels its essential to negotiate a early retirement deal with your company before you just quit, or before you slack off so much that they feel you are a poor employee and just want to fire you.
I suppose in a very few cases, it's possible to go to the boss and say "Hey boss. I'm going to retire in a year or so. How about making it worth my while to leave now?"

But in most cases, the boss would just laugh and say "Sure. Here's your deal. Leave today and don't let the door hit your a$$ on the way out!"

Quote:
It seems very challenging to pull off. It also seems risky as once your boss or an employer knows you are not a long term employee/colleague, I'm sure people will treat you differently.
There's no doubt that short-timers are treated differently than those who plan to stick around. And that's exactly as it shoud be.
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:32 AM   #20
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I would only discuss it with my direct boss, never HR or upper levels, and only then if you have a good trusting relationship with him/her. Basically I would just say "I'm planning on retiring in the not too distant future. If a round of RIFs comes through I would volunteer to take the hit, saving you headcount as I would be leaving anyway". It becomes a win/win situation, and bosses love those. That's what I did, and I got lucky. It actually allowed me to leave a bit earlier and saved someone else's job (until the next RIF).

But I wouldn't do it unless you can trust your boss, and only you know that.
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