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Anyone Penalized For Early Notice?
Old 01-09-2016, 11:37 PM   #1
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Anyone Penalized For Early Notice?

My planned retirement date is 4/1 (@ age 49). I'm within 90 days and am planning to give my boss an early heads-up this coming week. We are kicking off some big initiatives that will last a year or two and he wants me to lead them and be the "face" of the projects throughout MegaCorp.

I have some money coming due in Feb & March and could keep my mouth shut, but the money is less important to me than the being upfront. I'm close to my boss and don't want him to feel blindsided.

Anyone ever been "penalized" when they've given notice? Lose a bonus or stock option/401k vesting? Should I give him a heads-up without a formal date?
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:54 PM   #2
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Yes, I've seen folks walked out the door the minute they gave notice.

I would not risk it, all you need to do is give at most 1 month notice, tell him who you think would be a good person to take over, and then offer to train that person the last month.

Maybe it's your ego that is saying you need to give him 90 days notice, and it's fine to be proud of FIRE, but realize most folks won't understand it and will resent it.
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:45 AM   #3
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Keep your mouth shut, give 2 weeks notice.
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kickernick View Post
Anyone ever been "penalized" when they've given notice? Lose a bonus or stock option/401k vesting? Should I give him a heads-up without a formal date?
Where I worked this was standard operating procedure. Division execs had a bucket of options and bonus money to hand out, so denying money to someone leaving meant they had more to hand out elsewhere.

They can't change the vesting schedule of options already assigned, but they can terminate you now to prevent options from vesting. Your manager may not be the only one involved in this decision.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:46 AM   #5
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I think it all depends on the culture of the employer and your relationship with your boss. I gave many months notice informally and my boss and I jointly agreed on an end date, however the culture of the organization was not one to penalize people (to my knowledge) and the timing of my leaving was good in relation to when bonuses crystallized and were paid so it wasn't an issue for me.

However, given your near term plans to leave and the money on the table, your situation is a tough call. I assume that the money is discretionary, so they could screw you if they knew you were leaving.

Are you aware of other similarly situated people being penalized in similar situations?

What you might do is not give him notice per se, but informally give him a heads up that your timeframe is short enough that you should jointly be grooming a successor to be the face of these projects.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:51 AM   #6
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to answer the question of the title of this thread:

Yes. Lots. From a management perspective the money not yet vested to you is there as an incentive to KEEP employees, not reward you for what you did in the past. If you are leaving, there is no point in giving you money to keep you there. That money would be better spent by management trying to KEEP the other employees from following in your footsteps.

On the other hand, you may feel like that you deserve that money based upon what you did in the past. You are no more right or wrong, morally, than management. If you feel that way, there is nothing wrong with sticking around until that money is vested to you, then giving your notice. If they want you to stick around and train someone, you can do that. IF they terminate you immediately, it's on them.
But don't give them 3 months notice and expect them to say "Well we WERE going to give you this money if you stayed, so we'll give it to you anyway"...
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:59 AM   #7
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Take heed of all of the prior replies. 'nuf said.
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:01 AM   #8
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I told my boss over a year ahead of time about my planned retirement. Had worked for thirty years, had my replacement already trained and was retiring just after a stock vesting date that gave me several hundred thousand dollars in stock. They could have pushed me out the door earlier and kept the stock in the company, but the company operates in a culture of respect and trust for employees, customers and suppliers.
Not your typical megacorp culture, but it was good for me and many others who were willing to work hard and be upfront in all matters.
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickernick View Post
My planned retirement date is 4/1 (@ age 49). I'm within 90 days and am planning to give my boss an early heads-up this coming week. We are kicking off some big initiatives that will last a year or two and he wants me to lead them and be the "face" of the projects throughout MegaCorp.

I have some money coming due in Feb & March and could keep my mouth shut, but the money is less important to me than the being upfront. I'm close to my boss and don't want him to feel blindsided.

Anyone ever been "penalized" when they've given notice? Lose a bonus or stock option/401k vesting? Should I give him a heads-up without a formal date?
I think this is a little tough if you really would lead and serve as the face of the projects so I can see why you're conflicted, but even just telling your boss informally means he will have to find someone else to be the face and probably have to tell the higher ups why it won't be you, as his allegiance is with the company. OTOH they might offer you a bucket of money to stay for another year--maybe that would be appealing to you.

But since you say the money is less important to you than being upfront and presumably won't affect your retirement plans, probably you should go ahead and let your boss know--you'll feel better about yourself and whatever happens will happen.
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:23 AM   #10
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:26 AM   #11
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If the money is less important, then don't worry about it. But don't be surprised if your boss' boss sees things differently than your immediate boss.
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:36 AM   #12
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I've had employees working for me give relatively long notice that didn't work out very well. I had them on my budget for the previous year's bonus payouts, but higher management pulled their bonus and reallocated it, in one case after the employee had already received an award letter with details.

Personally, I will never give any notice or even hint I'm leaving until I have had actually receipt of any money that should be due me. Things I think I have earned by my hard work are not necessarily viewed the same way by management.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickernick View Post
My planned retirement date is 4/1 (@ age 49). I'm within 90 days and am planning to give my boss an early heads-up this coming week. We are kicking off some big initiatives that will last a year or two and he wants me to lead them and be the "face" of the projects throughout MegaCorp.

I have some money coming due in Feb & March and could keep my mouth shut, but the money is less important to me than the being upfront. I'm close to my boss and don't want him to feel blindsided.

Anyone ever been "penalized" when they've given notice? Lose a bonus or stock option/401k vesting? Should I give him a heads-up without a formal date?
Interesting thread - I find myself in EXACTLY the same situation! Same timeline. Same dilemma. I will be reading very carefully......
For what it's worth, I'm currently planning on giving the boss a heads-up sometime this month.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:16 AM   #14
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to answer the question of the title of this thread:

On the other hand, you may feel like that you deserve that money based upon what you did in the past. You are no more right or wrong, morally, than management. If you feel that way, there is nothing wrong with sticking around until that money is vested to you, then giving your notice. If they want you to stick around and train someone, you can do that. IF they terminate you immediately, it's on them.
But don't give them 3 months notice and expect them to say "Well we WERE going to give you this money if you stayed, so we'll give it to you anyway"...
Depends on the specifics. In my case, the money at stake is the 2015 performance bonus, which in my opinion clearly is an EARNED component of my 2015 total salary, and not an incentive option.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:19 AM   #15
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Something I haven't seen mentioned is that 2 days after you're gone ( if not less) , they'll be saying "Kickernick WHO".... if they even say that.

Think about people who've retired before you. How often did YOU think about them after they left? And I can almost guarantee NO ONE is saying...."Gee, he thought about the company and his boss ahead of himself and left money on the table!!!"

I'd take the advice given so far on NOT saying anything till all the money is in your hand. I think the Boss's BOSS aspect ( not to mention wonderful HR) is more important than what YOUR boss thinks or says.

A year from now you will be GLAD you waited, especially if there's a chance you could lose that money.

I will say one thing. I was lucky I guess...I gave about 6 months notice, retired on March 31, but my last work day was January 4. ( I vacationed out). The next year I got a bonus for the three months I was on their payroll the year I retired. But I think that is the exception not the rule.

But, on the idea of "incentive" bonuses, I think Megacorp would be wise to give you what is expected, as the empoyees who are remaining behind will be watching. It wouldn't do to have employees give thier all, then when they announce retirement, deny them a bonus if that bonus is, in part, an incentive to perform.

Good Luck!!!!
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:31 AM   #16
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Remember that a bonus is inherently discretionary, even those described as a performance bonus. If you are counting on that money don't communicate your intent to leave/retire until the check has cleared.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:45 AM   #17
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I'd find a way to your boss know you don't want to be the lead in this project, without actually giving notice. Maybe you say for personal/health/whatever reasons you don't want the extra work, travel, pressure, whatever. Maybe you want to take a big vacation this summer and know it'd be during a critical time. Or you think someone else deserves the chance, and you're willing to help that person. No doubt you'll get some pressure to do it anyway, but now it's on him to get someone else up to speed, and you'll be less critical when you do give notice. And you haven't put him in a spot where he tells his boss you've said you're leaving, which could push you out the door early. He may figure out you're leaving but as long as you don't say that he doesn't have to do anything.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:50 AM   #18
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Depends on the specifics. In my case, the money at stake is the 2015 performance bonus, which in my opinion clearly is an EARNED component of my 2015 total salary, and not an incentive option.
In my experience, my "opinion" matters for squat when it comes to management and HR decisions. They don't "do the right thing" and if you assume your employer will, you may be in for a rude surprise.

When I give notice, it will be after all funds due me are deposited in my account, and it will be two weeks notice.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:13 AM   #19
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If the money is less important, then don't worry about it. But don't be surprised if your boss' boss sees things differently than your immediate boss.
+1
While you may feel your relationship with your boss is solid, do not forget there are likely others above him/her who may have other agendas; especially given the role they have slated for you on the projects. It is likely a bunch of political capital is involved and typically the upper echelon will not want to see theirs mis-spent.
As others have noted company culture is critical in making this decision, so exceptions apply. However, as most are recommending, you have nothing but downside from too early of announcement.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:41 AM   #20
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We are kicking off some big initiatives that will last a year or two and he wants me to lead them and be the "face" of the projects throughout MegaCorp.
This should have zero impact on the timing of your retirement. Doing these things is your job. Management knows what your job is and that you are free to leave at any moment. Managing that eventuality is their job. Let them do it by announcing your retirement within a "normal" timetable.
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I have some money coming due in Feb & March and could keep my mouth shut, but the money is less important to me than the being upfront. I'm close to my boss and don't want him to feel blindsided.
This is the real problem. You want to leave 4/1 but have money coming due in March. To wait until the March money is in hand (unless you're talking about very early March) and then giving notice would be on the short side. You'll have to decide what to do about that. Perhaps give notice March 1st for an April 1st retirement which would be reasonable notice and minimize the amount of money at risk.
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Anyone ever been "penalized" when they've given notice? Lose a bonus or stock option/401k vesting? Should I give him a heads-up without a formal date?
Just as retiring employees pick dates to maximize their benefits in regard to vacation time, bonuses, vesting dates, etc., employers rightly might change your requested retirement date to something earlier if it benefits the company. The rules are there for both sides. Read and understand them and assume you and your employer will act in your own behalf. Neither side is right or wrong in doing so.
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