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  1. #1

    Don't forget Vesting Requirements for late career job changers

    Looks like I will now have to work a few months longer than I was planning.

    I started my current job a little over four yeas ago. I was planning to retire in early to mid 2019 at age 62 or 63 with 5+ years seniority. Every quarterly 401(k) plan statement I receive from the employer's Plan Manager has baffled me with the Vested Balance amount. Since this company has no pension, and has substituted a 401(k) plan for the old pension plan, I naively assumed the Vesting Guidelines of the 401(k) plan would match the Federal Govt's 5 year maximum vesting period for Pension Plans.


    My current employer has a 6 year vesting period for their 401(k) plan. Zero percent vested after one year, 20% vested at the end of each of the following five years. Unless I want to throw away 20% of their contributions, contributions which equal to 10% of my salary each year, I need to stay a few months longer to be certain to pass the 6 year seniority mark.

    This will also affect younger people hopping between jobs although I doubt any of them will be reading this Board.

  2. #2
    This happens with health insurance also. You can retire with but may have not worked the needed 20/25 years.

  3. #3
    Working until Oct 15, 2019 will guarantee me the 100% vesting of my 401(k) with a time buffer so that HR shouldn't be able to screw it up.

    But if I work until Dec 1, 2019 I will qualify for 100% of my 2019 Performance Bonus which will be paid out in March/April of 2020. This bonus will be pro-rated if I leave earlier making this forfeiture much less than the 401(k) Vesting forfeiture if I chose to not stay through November.

    I do not qualify for Health Insurance in retirement from this job - no one does. I do qualify for the right to purchase Health Insurance in retirement from my previous employer. My wife also qualifies for the right to purchase post-retirement health insurance from her employer. Under existing regulations, if she stays working until age 60 she/we qualify for the minimum premium cost.

  4. #4
    Well. This is rather a first-world type of problem. Although, I am glad you brought it up, you have probably saved somebody some serious grief if they didn't consider this.

    While my pension and 401k have vested long ago, right now if I work past New Years, besides getting the Christmas holidays, if I work one day in 2018, I get 2 "Personal Holidays". If I work 1000 hours, I get another year of seniority, and at about that same time, (July, I started in July 1991) I get 5 days of "Anniversary Leave" vacation. (unused vacation, up to a point, can be "cashed in" at retirement.) So I would be leaving all that on the table, if I retired this year, even though I am, at 60, at "Full Retirement Age". So, there I would be in mid-July, the pace of work tends to speed up as the end of the fiscal year looms, end of September. So it would be a bit rude of me to bail out on my comrades until at least after September. Then in October, well, it makes sense to stick around through Thanksgiving and Christmas at least. Then, well, all the good stuff I would miss in 2019.

  5. #5
    I'm crying crocodile tears over this. I've never had access to a pension. For almost all of my career, my employers contributed 0% match to my 401(k). Recently, I've had a 3% safe harbor. Whining about a vesting period because you failed to read the paperwork when you hired in sounds pretty pathetic to me. That takes what? 30 minutes to be totally up to speed on all company policy?


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