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Old 01-09-2018, 11:50 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by retiringby50 View Post
It's been almost 10 years since I've started a post on this board, although I think of y'all from time to time. I was hoping to retire by 50, but then I realized that if I waited till 55, I would have SO much more benefits.

So why am I back on the board? Because like many of you, I've gotten to the point where I can't stand my job - I actually really like my manager, and I'm well-compensated; it's the clients (and their ungratefulness), the system, the tasks, the politics (mostly the politics), the long hours, which all creates the STRESS that I can't stand. The stress affects my personal time (for example, two weeks when I had to deal w/a difficult client, who I know was purposely being difficult or reading that unpleasant email on Friday right before I log off that ruins my entire weekend - that would be this past weekend). Now I know how you all feel! My, how things change over time!

If I wait another 3.75 years and retire when I'm 55, I get the following benefits:

- retiree medical benefits: my husband and I get a total of about $135,000 to use for health premiums (the plan includes spousal benefits)

- I would get approximately $2,000/month in pension

My understanding is that if I leave prior to my turning 55, I will lose both benefits (I already have enough years of service), so the dilemma is whether I can endure the stress for that long or not. My manager has been "shopping" my client group and my projects with my co-workers, but no surprise, no takers! If I stay with the company, I will need to figure out what to do: look for another job internally, "force" my manager to give my client group to someone else, etc.

Meanwhile, I was curious to see if anyone else had walked away from future benefits, how did that decision come about, and whether it was worth it. Any advice/encouragement would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Pretty simple calculation - can you retire with out the benefits, and have a good margin of safety built in? If you have what you need plus 50%, you may want to leave early. If you are just barely there, hanging in there is good.

Of course that is just numbers. Part of this is the emotional roller coaster you are on right now. There are emotions after leaving too, so keep in mind that part of it. How will you answer "what do you do?" when you leave?

Another dimension is health-that can change quickly. Good luck in your decision!
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:21 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by retiringby50 View Post
My husband and I went to the Fidelity financial planner today (we had a scheduled appointment as I have all of my 401(k) there), who did a comparison between sticking it out and quitting now. While she is using conservative numbers, it does show a shortfall around age 85. I'm not worried, but staying seems like the most prudent thing to do.

In the meantime, barring anything health related or any other negative personal stuff, I'm going to stick it out. Counting down the days to October 1, 2021! My birthday present to myself when I turn 55 is turning in my resignation.
Smart to use the services of a professional to run the numbers for you!

Good luck in your last few years of work! Trust me - knowing your end date will make the days go by faster.
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:01 AM   #23
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Following the thought of, "My, how things change!" I'm sharing an update... it's been almost 2 months since my original post and:

- my manager quit
- I have a new manager
- With this move, I have a different client group
- I am trying hard not to work extra hours, and the sky hasn't fallen
- In another month, a co-worker will return from leave, and I can share my work with her
- for fun, I bought myself a digital countdown calendar I have 1,310 days and 10 hours left
- within 45 minutes of helping the first of my new client, she told me I was the most knowledgeable person in the department she's ever spoken to I almost cried
- before she left, my manager gave me my review and was able to share some positive comments from my problematic clients, and I told her I was shocked to hear anything positive

To the several people who encouraged me to check, thank you again! Yes, I will be eligible for my pension even if I left early. Of course the amount would be slightly less because it's based on the last 36 months of salary. However, I would lose that $135K that would pay for my husband and my retiree medical benefits.

In the meantime, I am maximizing my days off, and I will be incorporating a few mental health days as well. But when things get rough, I just think about some of your comments on how to not take things so seriously, and I feel better. I'm really grateful for that.
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:10 AM   #24
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I've thought of this post from time to time and can't believe it's been almost 2 years. My countdown calendar says 601 day It's been a roller coaster in the past 2 years. Early last year, we didn't get our bonuses, so that was a lost of maybe $13K-$15K. 2019 was the busiest year for our department. Everyone was overworked, tired, grumpy, etc. Many of us got sick, seeked counseling, threatened to quit, talked to our HR rep, etc.

I got my review yesterday. I am rated below target. I have been rated exceeds and meets but never below, and I'm very sure that if any of my peers knew, they would be shocked. I'm the person everyone goes to for answers, to run things by, etc. My manager said they are not taking metrics into consideration (not how much work I've done or even how well things were done). Managers get into a room, talk about their employees, and have to defend their ratings.

In my case, they talked about how I performed against others at the same level (such as senior or associate), and based on my level, the other managers' perception is that I should have done more to help the department as a whole (examples would be send out emails of info that would benefit the department AND the potluck type stuff for employee engagement). I did missed a deadline of 1 web-based training out of maybe 12 I had to do all year. In our company this is actually a big deal, but if I'm working nights and weekends, training is going to be low priority. I probably missed it by 1 business day (deadline was a Friday and I realized it on Monday).

It is also true that I didn't clean up my reporting throughout the year, but everything was completed before the end of the year. This was also low priority to me because the active items are more important than closing things out and also a problem that other faced as well.

The fact that I worked nights and weekends to accomplish my work, that everything was cleaned up by the end of the year, the work was done well, compliantly, and correctly with no complaints didn't count for anything! I am below target because of the perception of other leaders in the department. My manager said he didn't put down the reason for below target because he didn't want to say it's due to perception by others (so there's not really any reason), but apparently he was forced to rate me lower because someone had to be lower in the group of my peers. I told him that it's very political to be rated by perception, and he didn't reply. I just think it's a sad time when you are not rated by your actual ability to get the job done but by who likes you, what others think they know about you, etc.

I was too shocked to yell or cry, which is a good thing, so I just went back to my desk and continue working <sigh>

Anyway, responses are welcome, but if not, this was therapeutic to write, and I can look back on this some day and laugh. 601 days and counting... October 1, 2021 can't come fast enough!
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:17 AM   #25
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Hi RB50. I reread your opening post and then the update. I'm glad you got this far and will hopefully qualify for your extra benefits. Yes, you are closing in. I worked for a Megacorp that had the same rating system exactly. There was really nothing that I felt I could reasonably do to affect my rating. I was passed over for promotion for about 8 years after one of my managers said he thought I deserved it but he couldn't get it through the review group. It finally came through after the co announced that our division was being sold off. It is easy for someone else to say that it is not worth it and you should RE now, you can't get the time back, etc. While there is much truth to that, I also know the peace of mind from having the benefits/income cushion. One time about 20 years ago, I was having a rough patch from stress and anxiety and I got some counseling/treatment for it that really helped. Give that a try if you haven't yet. The light in the tunnel is not another train.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:44 AM   #26
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Good luck and hang in there. I know what itís like to put in the extra effort and be good at a job and be under appreciated or worse evaluated below average. It most certainly sucks. Kudos to you for continuing to do your best in a world that more often than not tries to drag people down.

Try and think of the good times you will have after 10/01/2021. Keep the updates coming to encourage those of us that will still be working on 10/02/2021!
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:45 AM   #27
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Hang in there. You are getting closer to the promised land.
Megacorps are strange in their thinking and processes much of the time.
I am sure your results show you are successful.

ETA - since you are in your 50's, perhaps you are being targeted for an eventual layoff. Don't tell anyone at work about your retirement plans and perhaps a timely severance package can come your way.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:34 AM   #28
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Having your rating lowered after many years of service is a big warning flag.

Did you ever find out about the actual rules on pension at 55 and healthcare access / subsidies? I always found that many megacorp HR folks don't really know plan minutia and I always read the plan documents myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by retiringby50 View Post
I've thought of this post from time to time and can't believe it's been almost 2 years. My countdown calendar says 601 day It's been a roller coaster in the past 2 years. Early last year, we didn't get our bonuses, so that was a lost of maybe $13K-$15K. 2019 was the busiest year for our department. Everyone was overworked, tired, grumpy, etc. Many of us got sick, seeked counseling, threatened to quit, talked to our HR rep, etc.

I got my review yesterday. I am rated below target. I have been rated exceeds and meets but never below, and I'm very sure that if any of my peers knew, they would be shocked. I'm the person everyone goes to for answers, to run things by, etc. My manager said they are not taking metrics into consideration (not how much work I've done or even how well things were done). Managers get into a room, talk about their employees, and have to defend their ratings.

In my case, they talked about how I performed against others at the same level (such as senior or associate), and based on my level, the other managers' perception is that I should have done more to help the department as a whole (examples would be send out emails of info that would benefit the department AND the potluck type stuff for employee engagement). I did missed a deadline of 1 web-based training out of maybe 12 I had to do all year. In our company this is actually a big deal, but if I'm working nights and weekends, training is going to be low priority. I probably missed it by 1 business day (deadline was a Friday and I realized it on Monday).

It is also true that I didn't clean up my reporting throughout the year, but everything was completed before the end of the year. This was also low priority to me because the active items are more important than closing things out and also a problem that other faced as well.

The fact that I worked nights and weekends to accomplish my work, that everything was cleaned up by the end of the year, the work was done well, compliantly, and correctly with no complaints didn't count for anything! I am below target because of the perception of other leaders in the department. My manager said he didn't put down the reason for below target because he didn't want to say it's due to perception by others (so there's not really any reason), but apparently he was forced to rate me lower because someone had to be lower in the group of my peers. I told him that it's very political to be rated by perception, and he didn't reply. I just think it's a sad time when you are not rated by your actual ability to get the job done but by who likes you, what others think they know about you, etc.

I was too shocked to yell or cry, which is a good thing, so I just went back to my desk and continue working <sigh>

Anyway, responses are welcome, but if not, this was therapeutic to write, and I can look back on this some day and laugh. 601 days and counting... October 1, 2021 can't come fast enough!
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:13 AM   #29
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Good news is the answer is the same regardless of these 2 scenarios: 1) You underestimated what your company deems important and that is reflected in your appraisal or 2) They're looking to squeeze you out.
Either way, 600 days is relatively easy to survive. Keep your nose to the grindstone, be sure to meet those deadlines, and you'll likely be there 601 days from now to give your wonderful retirement notice.
2 pieces of advice: 1) As already mentioned, don't say a word to ANYONE in your office about your retirement plans. 2) Don't cite working nights and weekends as evidence of your loyalty or hard work. 9 times out of 10 an employer targeting someone will use this as "proof"" that you're just not working efficiently.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:13 AM   #30
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My gut says they want you to quit. That saves them a LOT of money. I would do what BeachorCity recommends and get copies of all of your plan documents. I would also hire a lawyer. I'd bet a dime on a donut you have a PIP in your future. In my company, if you are rated below meets, you must go on a PIP.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:17 AM   #31
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Getting rated lower as you're nearing the exit can be a blessing in disguise. If you can arrange to be laid off just as you reach your target date then you may be able to stack unemployment and layoff severance benefits with retirement.

I believe you retain your retirement benefits if you are laid off within 5 years of your retirement date (though benefits do not commence until that date). This may vary among different companies in different locations, and so is worth verifying for your peace of mind. The risks really drop off 18 months prior to age 55 - when COBRA can bridge healthcare until retirement. If the rules are the same in your situation that's only 5 months away.

If this is indeed the case then you can just start caring less and less about what your bosses think - an attitude that is one of the greatest benefits of retirement.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:50 AM   #32
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The megacorp I work for uses the same rating system.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:54 PM   #33
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Thank you all SO much for your support This is helpful in keeping me sane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRoy View Post
One time about 20 years ago, I was having a rough patch from stress and anxiety and I got some counseling/treatment for it that really helped. Give that a try if you haven't yet. The light in the tunnel is not another train.
I got counseling in mid-2019 when I thought I was going to have a mental breakdown. She gave me a couple of things to think about when I'm stressed, which has helped. Makes me crazy that the reason for counseling is work! Love that saying!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RxMan View Post
I know what itís like to put in the extra effort and be good at a job and be under appreciated or worse evaluated below average. It most certainly sucks. Kudos to you for continuing to do your best in a world that more often than not tries to drag people down.
Thank you. I remember how excited I was when I got my first megacorp job! And now it's come to this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dtail View Post
ETA - since you are in your 50's, perhaps you are being targeted for an eventual layoff. Don't tell anyone at work about your retirement plans and perhaps a timely severance package can come your way.
Oh I would be so happy if this happened! it doesn't make up for the retiree medical benefits, but it's close AND I get to leave early.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachOrCity View Post
Did you ever find out about the actual rules on pension at 55 and healthcare access / subsidies? I always found that many megacorp HR folks don't really know plan minutia and I always read the plan documents myself.
Thanks for asking. I'll still be eligible for pension. For retiree health benefits, I have to work till I'm retirement eligible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
2 pieces of advice: 1) As already mentioned, don't say a word to ANYONE in your office about your retirement plans. 2) Don't cite working nights and weekends as evidence of your loyalty or hard work. 9 times out of 10 an employer targeting someone will use this as "proof"" that you're just not working efficiently.
Thank you. I was planning to let them know after I get my 2021 bonus in early 2021. I noticed that another lady did this, and she got progressively less work (they took work away early and mentioned "she's retiring" when her name was volunteered), BUT in my case, they might show me out the door early so glad you cautioned me. AND yes, sadly I can see them using my long hours as being inefficient.

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I'd bet a dime on a donut you have a PIP in your future. In my company, if you are rated below meets, you must go on a PIP.
This really would be the nail in the coffin... so NOT the way I want to end my career. I'm going to speak w/my friend who is also one of the HR people who "help" w/performance management on potential PIP and getting a smaller/no bonus and merit increase.
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:46 PM   #34
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Sorry for the below target rating and new BS. Mentally prepare for low to zero merit and bonus due to the rating and possible PIP. Finish training early and view it as a priority, as it's easily graded and held against you.

"other managers' perception is that I should have done more to help the department as a whole" - sound like your manager's lacking ownership and not carrying their weight unless you are a Lead or Supervisor and could be yours too.

"(examples would be send out emails of info that would benefit the department AND the potluck type stuff for employee engagement)." - examples, easy to address, beginning of each month, send out an example as a friendly reminder. Pot luck every quarter... Spring, Summer, Fall kick off and get the Managers to cover the primarily entrees $$ personally or on company budget, employees can bring chips and soda hahaha.

600 days left...should go quick, hang in there
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