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My turn may well have come
Old 01-17-2012, 06:37 AM   #1
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My turn may well have come

For the last couple of years we've had a very a small number of layoffs, based on taking people who volunteer to go. I threw my hat into the ring a year ago, because we have an exceptionally generous payoff system(*), which I think is probably unsustainable.

Last January, my boss talked to his boss about it for the 2011 round and got a "no".

In September, when 2012's and 2013's layoff quotas were announced - still small, but larger than last year's - my boss asked me if I was still interested. I said I was. He went to his (new) boss, but came back with the report that she thought that my position was too politically visible (vis-a-vis the rest of the staff - I'm called HR Development Manager, and we "can't be seen not to be doing staff development") to be removed.

Then, in December, he told me that my job was back on the table. The numbers will have been very tempting for him and his boss, as our sector (admin) needs to cut proportionately more posts *and* save a minimum amount of money per post, and although I'm probably only in the top 200 in the place on seniority, I'm in the top 100 on monthly remuneration, as I get a lot of benefits.

Well, I got the news today. My job and name are on the head honcho's desk. Being a public organisation, we still have some more hoops to jump through, but my boss told me that there was a 90% chance that I would be chosen - apart from anything else, they don't have enough volunteers, and every involuntary departure will be like pulling teeth.

So, even allowing for the shenanigans and the notice period, with my accumulated vacation entitlement, I could be out by May 31.


(*) One month's pay, with most benefits and no deductions, for every year of service up to 24; I have 19 months service and will walk away with something just short of 200K, once I've bought 19 months of extra pension entitlement (which is a no-brainer - it works out at about 8% per year return). I can take a fully COLAed pension of 30K/year now, or wait until 60 and take 45K/year. And 12K/year of benefits will be transferred to DW, who works at the same place and currently is excluded under our double-dipping rules.
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Age 56, retired July 1, 2012; DW is 60 and working for 2 more years. Current portfolio is 2000K split 50 stocks/20 bonds/30 cash. Renting house, no debts.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:48 AM   #2
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Looks good. Hope you get what you want.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:36 AM   #3
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Congrats - if all works as you expect. I hope that I will be able to do the same in 3-4 years if we keep with layofffs every year. My company does 2 months pay for every year service up to 26 weeks of severance pay. They froze pensions like 4 years ago, so that isn't in the cards any more. Only item I would get by staying for 8 more years is a medical benefit that would last till 65, and being retired Army I can already get that particular benefit.

When would the DW retire?
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:28 AM   #4
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Congrats, sounds like a win-win. It would be nice if all early retirement scenarios were like yours. Best of luck...
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:37 AM   #5
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:38 AM   #6
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When would the DW retire?
She joined 5 years ago at 49. Her pension will vest in 5 more years. That's worth doing because it will represent a 12% annual return on the pension pot which she will have built up - she does a fairly lowly-graded job and we have a system where your pension per year of service cannot be less than a minimum amount.

So she may be about to have five years of home-cooked dinners waiting for her when she gets home from work. Well, I had 15 years of that until she went back to work (albeit dinners cooked while chasing kids round the house as well!), so it's only fair.

I have several plans for how to spend my time. None of them are more than a 15% probability at this stage, but I'm confident that I won't be bored.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:48 AM   #7
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:52 AM   #8
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I remembered you were going back to school (Going back to school at 50)--will you continue with that if you leave the company?

But congrats if you get chosen to walk away!
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:58 AM   #9
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Perfect! My layoff was a little early by half a year, but I wasn't complaining. It was better than w*rking another year.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:20 AM   #10
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Congrats!! After a short/long adjustment period, you'll wonder how you had the time for a j*b!! Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:35 AM   #11
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Congratulations! I hope you do get laid off!

How often do you get to say that?
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:07 PM   #12
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Sounds like you have hit the jackpot. Hope it all works out as planned.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:34 PM   #13
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Right! "Layoff" can often mean months of unemployment payments before your own cash kicks in.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:44 PM   #14
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I remembered you were going back to school (Going back to school at 50)--will you continue with that if you leave the company?
Yes - but I probably won't get the 3K contribution which they would have made to the tuition feed. I do get 15 days extra vacation per year of study, so my mission is to get those validated for the first year (which started a few months ago) before my notice period starts!

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Right! "Layoff" can often mean months of unemployment payments before your own cash kicks in.
We don't have unemployment insurance - hence the generous one-off cash handout.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:49 PM   #15
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:58 PM   #16
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Congrats BigNick, sounds like it will work out great.
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:28 PM   #17
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Looks like a good deal...take it and RUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:29 PM   #18
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Just curious. Are you going to take the 30K now or wait? Seems obvious if the 45K is future value.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:01 PM   #19
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Just curious. Are you going to take the 30K now or wait? Seems obvious if the 45K is future value.
I think I will take the 30K. I might wait until my next birthday, as the actuarial reduction is about 4% per year between current age and 60 with, as far as I know, no pro rata for half a year. But I've done the calculations and, if I wait until 60, I won't have received more money in total until I get to about 74. The only thing which might make a difference is if I'm going to have more income than expected from "other stuff" over the next few years, since that will mean that more of the 30K is effectively lost to tax.

I don't currently think that the overall future viability of the pension scheme is in question - although, when I joined in 1993, I decided to work on the basis that my pension would default, which is why I have this big pile of cash to be able to RE. But, if it did run into trouble, custom would dictate that existing pensioners would be best protected. So that's another reason to start taking the benefits now.

PS: Off to edit my profile - I'm up 30K since the start of the year!
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:55 PM   #20
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Congrats and I hope you are laid off!
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