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Old 06-01-2014, 12:07 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by hankster View Post
Rumor has it the retiree medical will be converted to cash in an HSA type account with the retiree responsible for purchasing their own insurance on the market. No word yet on the amount. Hopefully this gets sorted out and becomes a known quantity over the next 18 months
Legally, an employer can only contribute a relatively small max to an HSA. Make sure you understand fully what the 'account' is that they put these funds into and potential implications to you down the road. I highly doubt they're looking at just putting a few thousand into such an account if it's intended to buy retiree medical for a long time (I assume it would be a much larger amount)...which begs the question just what is the account? (i.e. unsecured asset of the company, subject to the creditors in the event of bankruptcy? Is it investable, or just cash that will sit there earning nothing?)
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:07 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by jime444 View Post
Golden handcuff......sheesh. You guys.........

1. No pension, nada
2. No retiree health insurance, nope
3. no stock options, only for the non value added few
4.no buying company stock at reduced prices, are you kidding me
5. takes 10 years to get an extra week of vacation, 20years for one more; plus you'll be cashiered long before that.......
6. 401k - you put in 6% , they match it; lousy fund choices, 0.5% fees at a minimum, they're talking now about 50% match.................again. back to the future......
7. salary increases, merit based only, half of the CPI, over 50 you don't get them or at best 1/4 CPI
8. 8 holidays paid; no one else is working those days, anyway
9. $12k out of pocket before med insurance kicks in.
10. dental pays 1/3 maybe, vision.....you got to be kidding.....
I hear you. Mine is about the same except the followings:
- no match in 401K
- $500 deductible and 20% out of pocket (after deductible) on medical
- $1,000 max payout on dental per year
- 20 days of PTOs (vacation, sick days, dental/medical and any other appointments)
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:10 PM   #23
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wow, Spanky, your job's benefits suk, too. I'd call it a pick'em.
Didn't think anyone was even close to us.....my old megacorp's been working the employees over now for about 15 years, continuously compounded pounding.

There's a turnstile at the front door now, by the way. I took it and ran like hell. Best thing I ever did, And their latest products, suk. I mean really suk, it's embarrassing, so I don't tell anyone I ever worked there.......


Counting slave/prison labor, I think we were/are damn close to the bottom.....eh?

No wonder I wanted out so damn bad.....

Good luck, my brother.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:10 PM   #24
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I had the golden handcuffs at my old job, I took them off voluntarily. That was a tough decision and one that was involving a lot of variables in the equation. Not all of those variables were pure money related for me. It would have been financially good to continue, but the job location was away from home. That cost in both financial and emotional terms was not acceptable to me. So I quit and effectively froze my pension and benefits at a lower level than I was planning for. So my three sources of retirement income (Pension, IRA, SS) means that I now have to rely more on the IRA portion since pension is now froze at a smaller amount. The pension is approx $250/mo less for each year that I am not working at old job, which for me is about 2 more years until retiring. I now have a pretty decent 401k match of 6% on my first 9%, plus an additional 6% the employer just gives for being an employee. I figure a 21% savings on 9% is a pretty good deal and should be able to offset some of that $500/mo pension shortfall. I actually save more than my 9%, but no more employer match.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:16 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by jime444 View Post
wow, Spanky, your job's benefits suk, too. I'd call it a pick'em.
Didn't think anyone was even close to us.....my old megacorp's been working the employees over now for about 15 years, continuously compounded pounding.

There's a turnstile at the front door now, by the way. I took it and ran like hell. Best thing I ever did, And their latest products, suk. I mean really suk, it's embarrassing, so I don't tell anyone I ever worked there.......


Counting slave/prison labor, I think we were/are damn close to the bottom.....eh?

No wonder I wanted out so damn bad.....

Good luck, my brother.
Yes, you are right that the benefit package is mediocre at best. It's not the worst, however.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:07 AM   #26
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This year-
Froze pension 12/31/2013, no colas. Give 10% of compensation to 401K in lieu of the freeze for old timers.
Created a PTO system, taking away 5 days from those with 5 weeks vacation, and robbed the sick bank days, requiring short term disability to use them.
Took away two holidays, Good Friday and Election day used to be floaters.
Max out of pocket med deduct to 2,000 from 1,200.
Reviews go from 12 months to 18 months, but it will go back to 12 I heard.


Diversity goals, certain percent must be "diverse" for promotions. This means white males will never get promoted.
Massive off-shoring to lower cost areas, since I am in a high cost area, a lot less opportunity for advancement.

Decided enough is enough, told them I am leaving this year. Was told my position will be moved to a low cost area, hopefully I will be fired this fall.
Severance will be a year (2 weeks a year up to max 52), was told it probably will not have medical attached like in times past.

And the funny part is my company has loads of money, but you would think they are on their last legs the way they are taking things away.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:02 PM   #27
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While some of my employer benefits may be depreciating, reading some of the responses here gives me a renewed appreciation for how good my benefits are compared with those of many others. No wonder some of you are so interested in retiring early! I almost feel guilty for wanting to FIRE when I enjoy my job and the benefits are comparatively generous. Almost.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:10 PM   #28
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In IT I always thought acquiring marketable skills provided more long term financial security than any one employer's benefits. Of course major stock options would trump that, but I never worked any place where the stock options were a game changing amount of money.

My first job out of college was at a golden hand cuffs type utility. Along with some of the other college hires, I left rather quickly for more interesting and marketable work and never regretted that decision.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:14 PM   #29
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teas'n me

ok, Spanky....you got me hooked, tell me what benefit packages for anyone near a professional, career oriented occupation are worse than ours.........?

c'mon, now ........don't be shy..........as you can imagine, I watch NASCAR for the crashes........

Plus, I really want to feel better about all the years (14 btw), I wasted dealing with the demons at megaCorp.............
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:14 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by jime444 View Post
ok, Spanky....you got me hooked, tell me what benefit packages for anyone near a professional, career oriented occupation are worse than ours.........?

c'mon, now ........don't be shy..........as you can imagine, I watch NASCAR for the crashes........

Plus, I really want to feel better about all the years (14 btw), I wasted dealing with the demons at megaCorp.............
Here's one example:
DW's work benefits:
- no defined benefit plan
- no retiree medical benefits
- no 401K match
- no bonus
- short-term disability: max $300/week up to 12 weeks.
- no stock option
- $1,500 deductible per person on medical
- dental $1,000 max per person per year
- 8 paid holidays
- 1 week of sick days
- 2 weeks of vacation for the first 5 years (additional week after 5, 10, 15) up to 5 weeks
- annual raise 2 -3 %

I guess that the paid holidays and vacations are in par with most companies, however.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:12 AM   #31
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In IT I always thought acquiring marketable skills provided more long term financial security than any one employer's benefits.
Acquiring and maintaining skills does improve your marketability and longevity in IT, but the earlier one retires, the less valuable this is. If anything, keeping your skills relevant may enable OMY syndrome.

In all seriousness though, having a relevant skillset is a good idea even if FIRE-ing. It gives you a bit of wiggle room to pursue side interests or even supplement retirement income should the need or desire arise.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:52 AM   #32
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If anything, keeping your skills relevant may enable OMY syndrome.
We work part time at home now at our own businesses, so we don't really have the OMY issue. I just have always personally felt there was more long term financial security in multiple customers, multiple products and unique skills than relying on a single employer. It would be less likely to have your cheese moved all at once that way. YMMV.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:33 PM   #33
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For DW, the golden handcuffs are:

- high income. Those handcuffs have started to loosen after taxes went way up last year, making a big dent in our net income.
- stock options. Those handcuffs are loosening up as well. The easy money has been made. New stock grants have a pretty high strike price and are unlikely to pay off as handsomely as older grants.
- healthcare. Still handcuffed as we watch how Obamacare shakes out.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:54 PM   #34
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We work part time at home now at our own businesses, so we don't really have the OMY issue. I just have always personally felt there was more long term financial security in multiple customers, multiple products and unique skills than relying on a single employer. It would be less likely to have your cheese moved all at once that way. YMMV.
I grew up in a middle-class family whose members stayed at the same employers for years/decades. When I first graduated from college, I thought the same, that I'd find a company to work at and then be there for 40 years.

Boy, did that change once I saw how the "real world" worked.

Once I saw that there is no loyalty anymore in corporate America, I became very mercenary with my own career. I decided that my employer was only buying my loyalty and my skills two weeks at a time, with every paycheck. No longer than that.

I always made sure to keep my skills up, go to training on my own dime, and always keep my ear to the ground and ready to jump ship to a better opportunity, which I did several times.

For me, it definitely was true that it was far more lucrative for me to only stay somewhere for 2 or 3 years then jump ship to a better paying job. Salary increases staying in place were a pittance compared to getting a much better offer from another employer.

Even where I am right now, if it weren't for golden handcuffs (stock vesting) I still have, I'd be out the door because my salary increases have been insufficient to keep me here. Based on the skills I've acquired over the past 3 years here, I feel confident I could get at least $30k a year more going someplace else. But for now, the golden handcuffs are worth more than that, so I stay. But that will change early next year when I walk out the door.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:39 PM   #35
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I did leave some unvested as well as some underwater stock options when I left Megacorp, but decided it wasn't worth staying once I had reached the age/service combination that got me to an unreduced pension (if I deferred taking it for 5 years) and reasonable retiree medical premiums. Best decision I ever made.
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:00 PM   #36
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The golden handcuffs are tightening further. I ... must ... make ... a ... run ... for ... the ... door ... before ... it is too lateeeeeeee!
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