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Leaving Your Current Employer Prior to a Layoff

As your company merger comes to an end, there are many things you must consider. If you have already decided to accept a severance packet or have found a new position outside the organization, you will need to make decisions that will place you in the best position to ensure a smooth transition. Although it is difficult to plan for the unknown, you can better prepare for unexpected situations by evaluating your options. After all, for many individuals, a layoff or starting a new job is a major life changing event.

Health and Welfare Benefits – For many people, this remains to be an item on the top of the list. After all, the last thing you want is for you or your family to experience a break in coverage. It is important to evaluate your COBRA options as needed in order to continue your benefits. In addition, if you are married or have someone that can enroll you on their benefits, you will want to look into your eligibility for mid-year enrollment through a qualified life event. You will also need to find out if your benefits will end your last day of employment, throughout your severance or through the end of the month. Keeping in mind, each employer’s policy will vary. Lastly, for any voluntary benefits you may have, you will want to consider your options to convert or port any of those policies.

401k Rollover – Many employees will find they have invested a great deal of their income into their employer’s savings plan. You will need to assess your options in maintaining your 401k with your current employer or rolling your 401k over to an IRA or another company sponsored plan. Keep in mind, penalties and other guidelines may greatly influence your decision. For those employee’s that have not yet been vested into their company contributions, they will need to consider the consequences of leaving the employer or asking if the severance agreement will include the employer contributions.

Final Pay – Many employers have different policies regarding final pay. You will want to know if you are paid current or in arrears to determine the amount of your final pay. In addition to this, you will want to consider vacation payback, sick or vacation payout, benefit premium deductions, sign on bonus payback, tuition reimbursement payback and even relocation payback.

Rehire Eligibility – If you receive a severance package, you will want to know when you would be eligible for rehire with the employer if a position becomes available down the road. This is because oftentimes if you receive a severance package, there are guidelines which govern when you can be rehired back without having to pay back income received through your severance agreement.

By implementing these simple tips you will be on your way to a smooth ride into a new adventure.

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