Author Topic: Workplace Retirement Failure's  (Read 18353 times)

Cromacster

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Workplace Retirement Failure's
« on: July 30, 2013, 07:04:52 AM »
So I attended a meeting at my place of work regarding our companies retirement plan.  They announced they are dropping our pension in three years and switching to a 401(k) contribution, everyone was excited (pension capped at 8.5%, the 401(k) contribution will be 3% whether or not you contribute).  They also match 4% if you contribute 5%.

Point of the story....

HR revealed that 20% of employees do no contribute to their 401(k).....on top of that they said a significant amount of people only contribute 3% (which is what you are automatically enrolled in when you start).

GAH!  Then they have to gall to say "we encourage you to contribute at least 5% so you can get the full match, but if you can't afford 5% do what you can afford.  We understand everyone situation is different"

This is a company of degree'd professionals.  At my salary a 5% contribution takes around 100 off of my paycheck...which puts 125 into my 401(k) with a company match of 100........so I lose 100 off my paycheck but I get 225 in my 401(k).  HOW DOES ANYONE SAY GEE I CAN'T AFFORD THAT!?!?!?! Always amazes me that people have put themselves in such holes they can't even contribute to get free money.

/end rant

acc7x3

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 07:09:57 AM »
I have a TSP (similar to a 401(k)). I know of one girl at work that only contributes 2% of her salary. The kicker is we have an automatic matching of 1 % and then a tier up to 5% matching when contributing 5%. She claims she cant afford it, but drives a new car. On which she said "Well I can get an Audi! it is only an extra $150 a month!" It just shocks me on what people thank they can get by with.

Forcus

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 09:26:16 AM »
I am not surprised, what you are going through now happened 4 or 5 years ago at my company. In fact the non-contributor level for 401k was much higher, somewhere north of 50%. Reason? Everyone had pensions, and folks tended to to stay with the company until retirement so no reason to contribute to 401k, and thus spent their entire paycheck on whatever floated their boats. As a general observation, it seems that people at my company, now having to contribute to their retirement, are much more restrained on purchases. Not mustachian, but more cognizant of the trade offs of spending now vs. saving for later. Of course, you still have folks who, like you observed, have all kinds of toys but can't (won't) put 5% pre-tax in to retirement. I expect that those folks will always exist.

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 09:58:34 AM »
I have a coworker who contributes nothing to his 401k because he "can't afford it." I told him he can't afford not to.

Albert

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2013, 11:36:58 AM »
We have government run pension plans here with mandatory contributions, but in addition a company gives us an option to buy once a year company stock for half a price (ca 5500 $ in value) and I've heard several times of co-workers not taking it up because they don't have enough spare cash. Let me add that no one here makes less than 70k a year...

dragoncar

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2013, 01:27:13 PM »
I have a coworker who contributes nothing to his 401k because he "can't afford it." I told him he can't afford not to.

I think that if you believe social security will survive, you really don't need to save more.  I mean look at you SS estimates.  Mine are more than I spend. So someone who spends a lot early in life may have to led a mustachian retirement, but they are not going to starve.  They may have to move to a lower col area.  I think we sometimes are too conservative on this front, and forget that most people will just work until 65 or whatever normal retirement age is.  And that's their choice.

Mark31

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2013, 11:44:23 PM »
With reference to Mortgage Mutilator, you don't have to be over 55 to get benefit from putting extra into super, especially when you consider someone in their 40s, super only started at 3% in 1992.

If you do it as a salary sacrifice, you only pay 15c in the dollar tax, rather than 32.5c or 37c tax. Then the earnings in your super get taxed at a lower rate as well. There's a limit of $25,000 a year, including what your employer puts in.
It's a balancing match, so that you don't put too much in and so can still retire early. Also, if you're retiring early you won't be getting that 9% for as long.

Also, some people do get contribution matching in Australia too. For 5% in, I get an extra 3.75%, more if you consider the different taxation rate.

Partner a part time income earner? Add $1,000 to their super, and the government will throw in an extra $500.

Super funds can be a little stodgy performance wise, but if you max your perks putting money in, it makes sense.

Sorry, gone a bit off the main topic here....

dragoncar

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2013, 12:39:13 AM »
Btw you Aussies make a shit ton on average

Edit: and apparently Swiss, although I'm having some trouble verifying either $70k claim
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 12:51:26 AM by dragoncar »

Albert

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2013, 01:07:29 AM »
Btw you Aussies make a shit ton on average

Edit: and apparently Swiss, although I'm having some trouble verifying either $70k claim

Average income you'll find in official stats is lower (ca 50k), but that's because most married women with kids work part time or not at all. That is part of the reason why unemployment stays very low (ca 3%). The average full time salary is about 80k, flipping burgers for McDonalds will net you about 45k. There is a smaller difference between a high skill and a low skill work than in US, but before you call it a paradise remember that grocery prices are close to double US average and dinner in town for two is easily 80$.

pom

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 04:15:59 AM »
I used to work as a pension consultant in the US. Most coworkers did put in the max allowable but some of them did not save anything at all.

You are a goddamn pension consultant and you don't contribute to your 401(k) ... what's wrong with you?

dragoncar

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2013, 08:30:43 AM »
Btw you Aussies make a shit ton on average

Edit: and apparently Swiss, although I'm having some trouble verifying either $70k claim

Average income you'll find in official stats is lower (ca 50k), but that's because most married women with kids work part time or not at all. That is part of the reason why unemployment stays very low (ca 3%). The average full time salary is about 80k, flipping burgers for McDonalds will net you about 45k. There is a smaller difference between a high skill and a low skill work than in US, but before you call it a paradise remember that grocery prices are close to double US average and dinner in town for two is easily 80$.

Interesting... It looked like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_average_wage corrects for full time employment but who knows.

Albert

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2013, 08:55:07 AM »
Your numbers are adjusted for purchasing power, mine were gross salary in absolute dollars. It seems to me they corresponds quite nicely considering that life is quite a bit more expensive.

I've lived in US before and quite subjectively it seems to me that people are richer here. Part of it is that there are virtually no poor, rundown or dangerous areas to be found anywhere here.

bo_knows

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2013, 10:25:04 AM »
Just be glad you still have a match. My company just completely eliminated our match on July 1st because they weren't making "enough" profit (they were profitable since their inception 2 years ago).  The fact that we're owned by a venture capital group makes it different I guess... but people in our industry expect a 401k match.

Sigh.  I'm still maxing it out to the legal limit.

dragoncar

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 02:05:34 PM »
there are virtually no ... dangerous areas to be found anywhere here.

Unless you count the wildlife :-)

Albert

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2013, 02:43:37 PM »
there are virtually no ... dangerous areas to be found anywhere here.

Unless you count the wildlife :-)

Are you thinking about our only bear or perhaps the lone heard of wolves? :)

dragoncar

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2013, 02:53:13 PM »
there are virtually no ... dangerous areas to be found anywhere here.

Unless you count the wildlife :-)

Are you thinking about our only bear or perhaps the lone heard of wolves? :)

I'm talking about drop bears.

Oh, and this: http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/spider-eating-bird.html#cr

Albert

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2013, 02:56:33 PM »
there are virtually no ... dangerous areas to be found anywhere here.

Unless you count the wildlife :-)

Are you thinking about our only bear or perhaps the lone heard of wolves? :)

I'm talking about drop bears.

Oh, and this: http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/spider-eating-bird.html#cr

I live in Switzerland so Australian animals don't scare me all that much :)

Zamboni

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2013, 05:05:52 PM »
Anyone who doesn't at least put in an amount to maximize the match ought to have to report to the loo every payday to watch that cash being ceremonially flushed.

ender

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2013, 05:07:08 PM »
I don't even want to know what percentage of people don't contribute to my company 401k.

There is a very generous match this year (effectively matching 10% if you put in 6%, most of it coming on the first 2%). Anyone not taking advantage of that is a complete fool.

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2013, 10:05:49 AM »
Anyone who doesn't at least put in an amount to maximize the match ought to have to report to the loo every payday to watch that cash being ceremonially flushed.

I think that is great. I even lol'd a little.

renbutler

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2013, 11:48:43 AM »
Our company just got bought out, and our old 401(k) was terminated last week. We can't start the new 401(k) until January.

Anyway, we had a group meeting of about 30 people. We were asked how many contribute to their 401(k), and probably 90% raised their hands.

But then they gave us our options for what to do with our old 401(k), including rolling it over to an existing IRA. When they asked how many have an IRA, only two of us raised our hands. Um, what? We are a professional computer engineering company!

On the bright side, they are compensating us for missing out on the company match over the next five months. They're going to give us a lump sum of whatever they would have matched, plus 25% to cover the taxes!

wakkowarner

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2013, 02:37:08 PM »
Wish there was some way to take advantage of this, some way of being able to make use of someone else's company match that they aren't using because they can't "afford" it.

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2013, 02:54:42 PM »
Wish there was some way to take advantage of this, some way of being able to make use of someone else's company match that they aren't using because they can't "afford" it.

That would end people not being able to "afford" it. No one would be able to stand watching other people get rich at their expense.

MilwaukeeStubble

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2013, 03:18:56 PM »
Wish there was some way to take advantage of this, some way of being able to make use of someone else's company match that they aren't using because they can't "afford" it.

That would end people not being able to "afford" it. No one would be able to stand watching other people get rich at their expense.

I might argue that's still a net-good both overall and for me personally

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2013, 03:20:33 PM »
Wish there was some way to take advantage of this, some way of being able to make use of someone else's company match that they aren't using because they can't "afford" it.

That would end people not being able to "afford" it. No one would be able to stand watching other people get rich at their expense.

I might argue that's still a net-good both overall and for me personally

And I would agree with you :)

ender

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2013, 06:55:56 AM »
Wish there was some way to take advantage of this, some way of being able to make use of someone else's company match that they aren't using because they can't "afford" it.

This is a really interesting idea!

Financial Threedom

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2013, 09:27:47 AM »
I also work in a pension administration environment and I have to say that a lot of the decisions people make are mind boggling.  The biggest one that gets me is taking a commuted value (a lump sum payout that equals the current value of your future pension for anyone who isn't familiar with that term) instead of the pension 5, 10 or 20 years down the road.  These people are leaving low premium health and dental coverage on the table as well that would come with the fully indexed pension plan (Im Canadian so the health means less here than in US but still...).  Not to mention the large tax bill many will get because the payment is only partly tax sheltered.    It often leaves me shaking my head.

FiveSigmas

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2013, 08:09:39 PM »
On the bright side, they are compensating us for missing out on the company match over the next five months. They're going to give us a lump sum of whatever they would have matched, plus 25% to cover the taxes!

That's pretty decent of them. Now if only they'd give you and additional 6.25% to cover the taxes on the 25%... And then another 1.56% to cover...

Or just gave you an additional third and called it good :-).

renbutler

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2013, 02:28:48 PM »
On the bright side, they are compensating us for missing out on the company match over the next five months. They're going to give us a lump sum of whatever they would have matched, plus 25% to cover the taxes!

That's pretty decent of them. Now if only they'd give you and additional 6.25% to cover the taxes on the 25%... And then another 1.56% to cover...

Or just gave you an additional third and called it good :-).

Well, I'm in the 15% federal income tax bracket (plus we have a state income tax of about 3%), so I think I'll come out ahead no matter what.

nassoro

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2013, 06:23:29 AM »
there are virtually no ... dangerous areas to be found anywhere here.

Unless you count the wildlife :-)

Are you thinking about our only bear or perhaps the lone heard of wolves? :)

Hey now!  Some of us live in Neuchatel, where the wolf population is increasing!  There might be as many as 5!

Anecdotally, I completely agree with the at least 70K CHF/75K USD minimum salary.  Offically, these stats have it lower, even when only looking at full time workers: http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/en/index/themen/03/01/new/nip_detail.html?gnpID=2013-325

Nate

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2013, 09:26:36 PM »
I am self employed, so I would LOVE to have some sort of match, that wasn't just coming out of my own pocket.

acanthurus

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2013, 09:30:33 PM »
I'm not contributing anything to my 401k currently. I hit the federal contribution limit in April :)

wakkowarner

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2013, 03:56:02 PM »
I am self employed, so I would LOVE to have some sort of match, that wasn't just coming out of my own pocket.
Just give yourself a raise to compensate. :)

beltim

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2013, 02:04:26 PM »
In Australia we have a forced retirement savings plan called "Super". It used to be 9% but now is 9.25% (slowly rising to 12% over the next few years).

Basically if you have a $100K job, you get $100K in your pay cheque and then on top of that, the employer contributes 9.25% to your Super account for you. If you wish, you can also make voluntary contributions. From what I can guess, no one does this except for 55 year olds who've just realised having $200,000 in their Super account and no other savings isn't going to cut it in Retirement.

Even still, at 12%, for a $70K/year job (apparently the "average" salary here) and assuming that you start on that wage from age 22 (after 4 years of a degree) and then work until you're officially able to access the Super account (age 60), thats *punches numbers into calc*...

12% of $70K = $8,400 compounding at 5% (9% return with 4% inflation) over 38 years of work...

Total Savings: $904,760

So at a withdrawal rate of say, the standard 4% and assuming you've managed to pay off your house, that's $36,190.40 / year to live off.

That's about $16,000 above the "poverty line" here in Australia so I think the system is actually setup quite well, assuming you're happy to work your entire life in a job. I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't be at ALL happy about living on that $36K/year but at least they'd be clothed, fed and have somewhere to live. They also shouldn't be too much of a drag on the government either.

As for your 401k's and all that... wow. I can't wait to see what old people are like in 30+ years time in America :P

Dragoncar sort of brought this up in relation to something else, but it sounds like Social Security is pretty similar to your "Super" system.  Both the employer and the employee pay 6.2% of the salary (up to a cap), and the employee becomes eligible as soon as 62 (though the "full" retirement age is 67 for most).  Someone earning, say, $50k every year would have a retirement benefit of about $21,500 per year.  That replaces 43% of your salary.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2013, 02:46:58 PM »
I am self employed, so I would LOVE to have some sort of match, that wasn't just coming out of my own pocket.
Just give yourself a raise to compensate. :)

I already pay myself as much as my business allows (basically, everything I bring in, minus expenses, taxes and insurances) as a small salary, and then as a larger, ever-changing dividend.

scamutz

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2013, 08:43:34 PM »
My company matches 100% of up to 8%.  That's a significant amount of free money.  I was talking to my boss - who's just purchased a brand new 35k pick up and he said, "Man, how can you afford to do that?"  Seriously???  Because our two cars have a combined 285,000 miles on them, that's how.  He's still paying back the loan he took out on his 401k get through the real estate collapse a few years ago.  Last week, he told me that after talking to me, he started contributing 2%.  That's fantastic, now you're only leaving $14,000 a year on the table.

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2013, 09:25:07 AM »
My company matches 100% of up to 8%.

That is awesome.

Blindsquirrel

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #37 on: September 02, 2013, 07:34:40 PM »
 for my younger coworkers, I advise them to at least get the company 401k match. (6%). I tease them about being so wealthy they can leave free money lying around on the desks or "leaving it on the table" . Tell the "Yep, must be nice to strew money around and leave it on the table, look at all this cash just lying around!!" I send them compound interest table. :) Several now contribute the 6%  and a few very wise ones max it out.  To work in finance and leave free money on the table is a lack of education that is mind blowing. Akin to a mechanic never changing his oil or a pilot never doing a pre flight inspection.  You live and learn I guess.

Peanut Butter

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2013, 08:23:13 AM »
My company matches 100% of up to 8%.  That's a significant amount of free money.  I was talking to my boss - who's just purchased a brand new 35k pick up and he said, "Man, how can you afford to do that?"  Seriously???  Because our two cars have a combined 285,000 miles on them, that's how.  He's still paying back the loan he took out on his 401k get through the real estate collapse a few years ago.  Last week, he told me that after talking to me, he started contributing 2%.  That's fantastic, now you're only leaving $14,000 a year on the table.

Damn, that's amazing. My hospital only matches 4% of 403(b) contributions up to 10%...and you have to have been contributing for 5 years before they start matching that amount.

randymarsh

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2013, 06:14:17 AM »
He's still paying back the loan he took out on his 401k get through the real estate collapse a few years ago.

Hopefully he'll have it paid off in time for the next recession!

galaxie

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2013, 06:59:19 AM »
My job contributes 7.5% if you contribute 2%.  (Shockingly good, I know.)  And THEN they match 1/4 of up to 10% on top of that.  Obviously I put in 12% and get the 10% free money. 

Cromacster

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2013, 07:29:38 AM »
My job contributes 7.5% if you contribute 2%.  (Shockingly good, I know.)  And THEN they match 1/4 of up to 10% on top of that.  Obviously I put in 12% and get the 10% free money.

Damn!

NumberCruncher

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2013, 08:55:38 AM »
My job contributes 7.5% if you contribute 2%.  (Shockingly good, I know.)  And THEN they match 1/4 of up to 10% on top of that.  Obviously I put in 12% and get the 10% free money.

Haha, we might work for the same company.

There's a topic on just this, btw: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/how-much-does-your-company-match-for-your-401k/

galaxie

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2013, 09:20:12 AM »
My job contributes 7.5% if you contribute 2%.  (Shockingly good, I know.)  And THEN they match 1/4 of up to 10% on top of that.  Obviously I put in 12% and get the 10% free money.

Haha, we might work for the same company.


We might -- was everyone recently disappointed when they decreased from 1/3 to 1/4 matching on the 10%?

Nothlit

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #44 on: September 04, 2013, 11:49:47 AM »
My job contributes 7.5% if you contribute 2%.  (Shockingly good, I know.)  And THEN they match 1/4 of up to 10% on top of that.  Obviously I put in 12% and get the 10% free money.

Haha, we might work for the same company.


We might -- was everyone recently disappointed when they decreased from 1/3 to 1/4 matching on the 10%?

Hmm, I was just reading your first post and thinking "wow that seems awfully familiar -- I wonder if this guy works at the same place as me." The second post confirms it. Small world!

In any case, I max out (up to the $17.5k limit) and certainly enjoy the extra 10% that comes from the company.

NumberCruncher

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Re: Workplace Retirement Failure's
« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2013, 06:31:28 AM »
My job contributes 7.5% if you contribute 2%.  (Shockingly good, I know.)  And THEN they match 1/4 of up to 10% on top of that.  Obviously I put in 12% and get the 10% free money.

Haha, we might work for the same company.


We might -- was everyone recently disappointed when they decreased from 1/3 to 1/4 matching on the 10%?

Hmm, I was just reading your first post and thinking "wow that seems awfully familiar -- I wonder if this guy works at the same place as me." The second post confirms it. Small world!

In any case, I max out (up to the $17.5k limit) and certainly enjoy the extra 10% that comes from the company.

Haha, really? I'll send you a PM - Galaxie and I are meeting for lunch today.