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 Message Boards » » Quitting Job - Advice needed (benefits edition) Page [1]  
TaterSalad
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I was offered to start a new job on July 2nd, so I went ahead and turned in my notice to my current job for the end of the month. I'm moving on to a much better job/company, so I'm not concerned about any of that, but I need help on some other issues I've come upon.

Today I began looking into rolling over my 401K and finding out how vested I am in my profit sharing. For an employee with 2 years experience, you are 20% vested in the company's profit sharing, and 20% vested in the company's matching contribution to your 401K. If you have 3 years of continuous employment with the company, both of these percentages changes to 40%. I started working for them on July 1, 2009, so I'm coming up on 3 full years of continuous service.

The worry I have is that they're going to say that I only had 2 years of service, thus paying me only 20% of these amounts (the difference between 20% and 40% of these is >$5k). Currently my last day of employment with them is scheduled as June 29th, which is the last weekday of the month.

My question is this: How should I go about ensuring that I get the 40% from each of these funds? I don't feel like I can talk to anyone at work about it, because my intentions will then be obvious. But at the same time I've already turned in my notice to quit on the 29th so I wonder if trying to change that to July 2nd (a monday) would raise an eyebrow. I'm concerned about this, because I can easily see this company telling me "No, you only worked here for 2 years and 364 days, therefore you're not entitled to your 40%". Has anyone else been in a similar situation? What did you do? Even if you haven't, what would you do in my shoes?

Note: I think it's important to note that when I started in '09, the company policy on the 401K contributions was that each employee was entitled to 100% of their account at any time (the employee handbook still says this). They recently sent a memo summarizing our benefits stating that the company match was subject to the vesting schedule.

6/13/2012 6:42:24 PM

Chief
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Our company did the same thing but made sure to note for all the old timers that got worried easily that it only applied to new hires hired after a certain date. Are you sure that wasn't stated somewhere? It doesnt hurt to ask HR about 401k concerns. I didn't think they could legally retroactively require that.

6/13/2012 6:49:32 PM

skywalkr
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Contact HR or the company that handles you 401k. They should have a call center that can answer this exact thing.

6/13/2012 6:52:00 PM

TaterSalad
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Well I did talk to "HR" today, and that's when they informed me that the policy had changed to a "vested scheduled" plan. I'm not 100% sure when this policy changed, but the memo is date 1/1/12. All of the original documentation I have states that I have 100% access to the funds once I enroll in it.

I put HR in quotation marks because there's one lady who is pretty much just a liaison for the actual HR department which is located in another state. Any question I ask her just gets forwarded to the other location, which is why I didn't want to ask. I don't think it's right that they changed this benefit, but I'm at least trying to make sure they don't screw me over even more by not giving me the 40% I feel that I've earned.

^ When I check my statement online, it shows me as being 20% vested in the company's contribution.

[Edited on June 13, 2012 at 7:09 PM. Reason : ]

6/13/2012 7:08:14 PM

lewisje
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shoulda thout about that before you quit

6/13/2012 7:51:15 PM

duro982
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Sounds like you're kind of hosed unless you can get them to make your last official day July 2nd. Do you have any PTO coming to you? Perhaps you can talk them into extending your last day until the 2nd and using leave that day.

Obviously they may not be inclined to do so since it means money out of their pockets. But assuming your supervisor A) likes you, B) is kind of cool) and C) is not the owner of the company, you may have a shot there.


I wonder if it could even be that your last official day as an employee is July 1, 2012.


I don't see any other way around it, so it's probably worth asking someone. Worst they can do is tell you no, right?

6/13/2012 8:18:06 PM

PackBacker
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If the policy was 100% vesting when you started, I don't think they can change it can they? Wouldn't they have to "take back" the money they matched in your year 1?

They can't just give you a benefits package when you accept the job then just say "we were kidding about all of that!" and change the policy I wouldnt think. If they offered 100% vesting when you started, I'd make sure you were 100% vested when you leave.

The change of policy should only apply to new hires after the policy change, right? What am I missing here?

[Edited on June 13, 2012 at 10:08 PM. Reason : A]

6/13/2012 10:06:03 PM

QTPie
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Usually on things like that they're pretty cut & dry... Especially if it's in writing from the 's behalf.

You did not work there 3 years.... 2 yrs & 364 days, as much as it is 'close,' is still shy... and the cut-off sadly doesn't work in your favor.

The only real way to ensure you get 40 vs 20 is to actively be employed on the books past your 3 year anniversary (any way to swing that?) - - unless they're just REALLY nice, or you have someone slightly lazy on paperwork and effective dates of employment.

6/13/2012 11:25:33 PM

TaterSalad
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Thanks all for your input.

^^ That's not a bad plan. I don't see why my last day couldn't (on paper) be July 1st since it's a Sunday.

^ You aren't missing anything. Those are my thoughts as well, but I have no backup for my argument other than to say it's a crappy thing for them to do. All I can say is that it isn't right, since I don't know if it's actually in violation of anything besides common decency.

6/13/2012 11:25:39 PM

specialkay
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Quote :
"All I can say is that it isn't right, since I don't know if it's actually in violation of anything besides common decency."


It is right, you did not work three years and you didnt think any of this out before you quit. this all falls on your shoulders and the company is just doing what is correct. If you worked 7 hours on your last day, do you feel like they should pay your for 8 hours?

Also if you are too scared to ask about it you are not going get anything changed. A reasonable person will understand that this is important and involves money and will not harbor bad feelings. Worst thing they can say is no.

6/14/2012 7:42:00 AM

TaterSalad
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^ that statement was in reference to them revoking their matching contribution to the 401k until you are fully vested, which is 6 years of continuos employment. When I was the hire, I was told the company matches 3% of my 401k contributions, and that I was 100% vested in it at all time.

In my defense, before I put in my notice I reread the employee handbook, and it states that I am 100% vested in my 401k at all time (it hasn't been updated since the change). The memo that "published" the change had to be requested from HR, since it was not obtainable via our HR document webpage. In other words, I was not aware of this change prior to putting in my notice, and I was also unaware that there was ANY change to our benefits policies.

6/14/2012 7:51:40 AM

skokiaan
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Move your end date. Only way to solve this

6/14/2012 8:07:33 AM

Str8BacardiL
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If it makes you feel any better when I got laid off from my last company it was >2 months shy of my 3 year anniversary. (at which point you get 100%) I asked about it and they said there was no way around it, only solution would be to find another position prior to my last day.

I did not really bellyache about it because my severance package was more than I would gain in 401k match. I left the 401k alone until the date passed checked it and it still said I was not vested, checked a month later and they had not only vested it, but put in a pro-rated annual bonus as well. I then promptly moved the money.

I am not sure if this was because somebody messed up paperwork, or because a layoff they just did not screw me. If you are this close there is a possibility they will still let you slide even if its on accident.

I would really be trying to work until July 2nd if possible so you can assert a claim to it, cant you volunteer to help train the new person or something? Help with transition? Clean the back room? I am not sure what the situation is with your position but if its a sizable amount of money its probably worth trying to get it by working a couple more days.

6/14/2012 8:52:53 AM

wolfpack0122
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Cancel your notice and tell your current company that you are staying with them and not taking the new job. But still take the new job. It'll take at least a few days of you not showing up before they fire you and by that time it'll be after the 1st and you're golden

possibly...

6/14/2012 8:53:00 AM

wlb420
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It's anniversary based...i.e. the date in their system drives the matriculation of benefits...You need to find a way for that date to move to atleast July 1 in the system however that may be.

depending on your job an relationship with your boss you may just want to talk to him/her about it and see if they can help you pull some strings...maybe move the technical term date to monday and just use vacation time for it or something.

[Edited on June 14, 2012 at 9:51 AM. Reason : .]

6/14/2012 9:50:14 AM

PackBacker
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Quote :
"^ that statement was in reference to them revoking their matching contribution to the 401k until you are fully vested, which is 6 years of continuos employment. When I was the hire, I was told the company matches 3% of my 401k contributions, and that I was 100% vested in it at all time.
"


Yeah, I'm almost certain they can't do that....but I am no lawyer

6/14/2012 11:38:17 AM

Str8BacardiL
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Sounds like a self-pwn to me. :/

6/14/2012 3:54:08 PM

TaterSalad
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I disagree. A policy was changed without notifying the employees, or posting the change anywhere. How was I supposed to know they made 401k matching a vested benefit?

[Edited on June 14, 2012 at 4:32 PM. Reason : ]

6/14/2012 4:32:05 PM

Str8BacardiL
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good point.

Print off everything that contradicts the current policy.

Also you might be grandfathered under the old policy, most companies only apply changes like that to new hires.

6/14/2012 5:51:14 PM

mikey99cobra
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Did you sign an offer letter when you were hired or maybe even sign the handbook that stated you were fully vested? I would fight like hell to keep those benefits.

6/14/2012 6:01:14 PM

Lionheart
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seriously though, if you are vested 100% you can take any of that money out at any time and its yours to do with what you want (penalties yes).

For them to come in change your vesting and say thats not yours to do with what you want is stealing from you.

6/14/2012 9:44:19 PM

duro982
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it may be worth getting in touch with a lawyer and asking. You signed a contract to work there, but of that was the benefits. Some benefits you renew your contract on every year (health care for ex.), but part of the deal you agreed to was the 401k and the details as stated when you were hired.

That is why people are typically grand-fathered in in that situation. I'd start with "this is what the deal was when I was hired, why does it no longer apply?"

Then I'd ask the boss to just extend your last day to the 1st or 2nd.

And in the mean time, I'd call a lawyer and try to get a solid answer so you can decide how to proceed.

6/15/2012 9:42:39 AM

wlb420
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If you can prove that the policy hanbook reflected the 100% vesting at some point in the recent past, you can get them to roll. They would not want to take that to court, as they would certainly lose and either have to retroactively vest everyone 100%, or risk losing qualified status on the plan, which would scare the bejesus out of them.

6/15/2012 10:09:24 AM

forkgirl
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My company counts 1001 hours of work time as a year. So my first year I started in April and it was counted Jan. 1. A cowork started in August and she was at year 0...January 1st.

I would read through your plan you received when you started contributing (if this is different from your start date). There is usually a detailed document from the advisor. You can skip HR and call whomever is holding your account for the program details and how they apply to you.

6/16/2012 10:59:52 PM

StTexan
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Couple questions on this, so what if over 6 years of employment but only 3 years of doing 401k? Also, my job has 1k lifetime toward adult ortho which many other places don’t. I think ortho office said 100 a month so used about 6 months so far…does that mean if i change jobs i am on the hook for $400 more? Is there a way to stay on to current plan after switching jobs before new job has open enrollment, kinda like cobra?

5/11/2021 7:20:29 PM

OmarBadu
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cobra will cost you more than $400 - you didn't think it was free did you?

5/11/2021 11:02:45 PM

StTexan
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I knew i’d pay. Coworker had cancer and boss said she paid out of pocket while off. My deduction is like 80 per paycheck, figured until new benefits kick in i pay 80 out of pocket per 2 weeks?

[Edited on May 12, 2021 at 12:02 AM. Reason : Lets just say moving jobs shouldn’t be THAT much of a burden?]

5/12/2021 12:01:16 AM

HaLo
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Typically your insurance benefits end when your employment voluntarily ends with a company. (Read the documents though for your exact workplace). Once you start with your new company you won’t have to wait for open enrollment to enroll you can enroll typically as soon as you start.

Insurance is a benefit you should consider when looking at a new job

5/12/2021 4:13:58 PM

wolfpack0122
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Cobra costs a lot. You have to pay your share, the employer's share, and then probably some magical number above that that they make up. When I left my last job, I was paying about $400/month for my families health insurance. Cobra was going to be around $2K/month to keep that insurance.

My new job had benefits starting the first of the following month you started so I wasn't interested in Cobra so I didn't pay attention to any of the specifics, but it was pretty close to those numbers.

5/18/2021 11:19:39 PM

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