Author Topic: Change in 401k match and vacation. Should I argue or am I being petty?  (Read 3664 times)

FrugalZony

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My business unit used to match 100% of my first 3% 401k contribution and 50% of the next 3% for  to 4.5%

We are being folded into another BU as of 1st January and HR just sent out a letter that this other BU has different rules. They have 100% match up to 4%.
they also get 10 holidays instead of 12.

So instead of grandfathering us in, they offer us 0.8% salary increase for the 2 days (2 of 250 working days) and 0.5% salary increase to make up for the 401 K situation.

I don't mind the vacation thing so much, but I am wondering about the 0.5% for the 401 match.
If they just add this to the salary without grossing it up, I fell it's not real fair, because the 401 k match would be tax advantaged and the salary increase is not.

I realise this is not a huge $ sum for such small percentages, but the company messed enough with me recently, that I am considering to argue this just for the principle.

What do you guys think? Should I argue?
Or is this actually a "fair trade" 0.5 added to gross instead of 0.5% match

Thanks for any advise you may have!

Additional info:
Our BU has been officially closed 12/31/15 and we are folded in to another BU for organisational reasons.
It's not a closing for economic reasons, more office politics.
Company is also declaring a one sided relocation and other things that upset me enough to ensure OMY syndrome is not going to hit me.
My plan is to FIRE in the course of 2016

AZDude

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Re: Change in 401k match and vacation. Should I argue or am I being petty?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2016, 11:57:07 AM »
If you are going to FIRE *this year*, why bother with the headache. Just put in your time and ride off into the sunset. I'd say there is a 0% chance they change the matching rules just for you, and a .1% chance they give you any holiday back.

I've seen the merging departments thing a few times. People always get screwed over. One of the downfalls of working for big corporations. Someone is getting paid tens of millions and thus they justify their salary by fucking up the lives of 10,000 employees every year.

johnny847

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Re: Change in 401k match and vacation. Should I argue or am I being petty?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2016, 12:02:56 PM »
If you are going to FIRE *this year*, why bother with the headache. Just put in your time and ride off into the sunset. I'd say there is a 0% chance they change the matching rules just for you, and a .1% chance they give you any holiday back.

I've seen the merging departments thing a few times. People always get screwed over. One of the downfalls of working for big corporations. Someone is getting paid tens of millions and thus they justify their salary by fucking up the lives of 10,000 employees every year.

I agree with this completely. It's just notworth the effort. The point of FIRE is so that you don't have to face these kind of problems head on. You're almost there, don't waste time and energy fighitng this when you're just going to leave soon anyway.

And yup, they can't change the 401k matching rules just for you OP. 401k match rules have to be universally applied to all employees, otherwise they fail discrimination testing.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Change in 401k match and vacation. Should I argue or am I being petty?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2016, 12:06:29 PM »
Matching part math is 100%*3%=3 and 50%*(4.5%-3%)=0.75, so right now you get a 100% match on 3.75%. It s just broken up to incentivize a higher amount of personal funds be directed to your 401K. They are giving you a 100% match of 4%,...so they'll actually be giving you more money!

Lets say you make $100,000 and contributed 4.5%, you won't change your contributions because you want to FIRE. Old system the company gave $3,750 and new system they give $4000. You just got 250 for nothing! Plus a 0.5% raise so there's another $500 (0.5% of $100K).

I'm Canadian, is there any reason you can't contribute more than the matched part? can you still keep your contribution amount the same and enjoy the extra amounts they're gifting you? In Canada if you have a match that's great, but you can still contribute more.

merula

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Re: Change in 401k match and vacation. Should I argue or am I being petty?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2016, 01:42:14 PM »
I think anything's negotiable. The value of the vacation makes sense, and since most people don't use all their vacation anyway, the salary bump is probably better for the employees. If you wanted the vacation days instead, I would ask if it's possible to buy the vacation days.

On the 401k match, I think you have a point on gross versus tax advantaged if you're maxing out your 401k so there's no way for you to make up for it with extra contributions. So, if in 2015 your 401k contributions were $18,000+4.5% match, and now in 2016 your contributions will max out at $18,000+4%, you have a point. You could ask for the increase to be adjusted to 0.5%*[1+marginal tax rate] to make you whole. If you weren't maxing out your 401k, you can put that extra 0.5% in and you'll be in the exact same spot.

I don't think you'd be likely to succeed with the negotiations, but you have nothing to lose. You're leaving sooner than any negative impact could reach you, and the worst they can say is no, which gets you right back where you are now.

Matching part math is 100%*3%=3 and 50%*(4.5%-3%)=0.75, so right now you get a 100% match on 3.75%. It s just broken up to incentivize a higher amount of personal funds be directed to your 401K. They are giving you a 100% match of 4%,...so they'll actually be giving you more money!

Lets say you make $100,000 and contributed 4.5%, you won't change your contributions because you want to FIRE. Old system the company gave $3,750 and new system they give $4000. You just got 250 for nothing! Plus a 0.5% raise so there's another $500 (0.5% of $100K).

I'm Canadian, is there any reason you can't contribute more than the matched part? can you still keep your contribution amount the same and enjoy the extra amounts they're gifting you? In Canada if you have a match that's great, but you can still contribute more.

It's not 100%*3%=3 and 50%*(4.5%-3%)=0.75, it's 100%*3%=3%  and 50%*(6%-3%)=1.5% for 4.5% total match. He gets 100% match for the first 3% and 50% match for 4%-6%.

He can contribute more than the matched part, assuming it's not over the $18,000 voluntary contribution limit.

jda1984

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Re: Change in 401k match and vacation. Should I argue or am I being petty?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2016, 02:03:01 PM »
If you're FIREing in 2016, the holiday bump probably helps you more since you wouldn't get time off for all 12 of your old holidays anyway.  I'd say don't worry about it.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Change in 401k match and vacation. Should I argue or am I being petty?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2016, 02:15:32 PM »
Is anyone getting laid off?  If so, arguing might help get you on the list:)

Another Reader

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Re: Change in 401k match and vacation. Should I argue or am I being petty?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2016, 07:25:14 PM »
See if you can get your bonus raised for suffering this indignity.  Then give notice the day after the check is deposited.

And don't be too sure about OMY.  Now you are saying "in the course of 2016."  Tsk, tsk.

FrugalZony

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Re: Change in 401k match and vacation. Should I argue or am I being petty?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2016, 08:35:49 PM »
Thanks all for your input!

My first reaction was "whatever, I am going to be out of here soon anyways", but then after giving it some thought I figured maybe I should be the squeeky wheel, just because I can and because it's a matter of principle, which is why I posted.

Reading your replies, just reconfirms my initial gut feeling. And I don't feel like wasting the energy right now anyways. I'll point out the math on grossing up the 401k and that's that.

@ Jonny 847, I did not expect they'd change the rules, just for me. But there are several of us who are affected.

@Praerie Stash, it's 4% instead of 4.5 (3 +1.5%), not 3.75

@Merula, thanks for confirming the math on the gross up. Yes, I have been maxing out, so I won't be able to make up for the lost 0.5%. Won't hurt to point it out to HR and leave it at that, I am not going to throw a big fit, but they invited questions, so I will ask.

@JDA1984, yep, the holiday "raise" is probably to my advantage, as I won't be able to take the two additional days anyways, but will get a few extra $$

@So Close, nobody is getting laid off, quite the opposite, we are hiring a couple more people this year

@lhamo, that SUCKS big time, sorry you got to experience that.

@Another Reader, the "course of 2016" is in no way related to the company, but to the sponsorship issue for TDA, *sigh*, will write more about that in my journal soon


Again thanks all for taking the time to read and respond!

FrugalZony

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Re: Change in 401k match and vacation. Should I argue or am I being petty?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2016, 08:48:12 PM »
I've seen the merging departments thing a few times. People always get screwed over. One of the downfalls of working for big corporations. Someone is getting paid tens of millions and thus they justify their salary by fucking up the lives of 10,000 employees every year.
THIS!!! Some guy/gal at HQ has their bonus linked to reducing the number of offices by X, no matter how.
Hey, let's close a couple places even if we have to buy out TWO f'in years worth of lease, throwing away thousands and thousands of $$$ etc. So we can say the number of locations is now Y-X instead of Y.....
BS!
And yes, that's why I wanted to be FI, so I don't have to deal with this BS anymore, but for some reason it still gets to me, although I am ALMOST there.