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Employment Resources

Tips for Switching Your Benefits During a Career Change

By September 9, 2016No Comments

er-sept2016-1When you change jobs, your benefits also change. It will take time for you to adjust to your new benefits, but the transition will be smoother and financially beneficial when you prepare.
Health Insurance
Before you leave your current job, visit the doctor. Get a physical, refill prescriptions and address any health concerns. Consider visiting the dentist and eye doctor, too, while those insurance benefits are in effect.

You’ll also want to use your flexible spending account funds. Stock up on vitamins, buy a new pair of glasses or pre-pay the babysitter with those funds.

Expect to wait up to 90 days before your new health insurance goes into effect. While you’re waiting, purchase Cobra insurance from your former employer or buy short-term health insurance. When you do become eligible for a new health insurance policy, choose one that meets your health needs and budget.

Life Insurance
When you leave your current job, your employer-sponsored life insurance policy is cancelled. Start researching options now. Ask your Human Resources manager if you can transfer the policy in your name or talk to your insurance agent about buying a policy in your name only.

Retirement Benefits
Your current 401(k) will remain open even after you leave your job and no longer contribute to it. Plan to roll that 401(k) into a new account as soon as you’re eligible for retirement benefits at your new job. For help with the rollover, talk to your Human Resources manager or financial advisor.

If you have a 401(k) loan, be prepared to repay the full amount. You’ll owe taxes on any unpaid amount.

Also, plan to continue making contributions to your retirement account. Open an IRA and continue the habit of saving for your future.

After you are eligible for a new account, contribute regularly. Be sure your contributions match the amount of money your employer is willing to match.

A new job could mean more money or a pay cut. Start planning a new budget now. Adjust your expenses, refinance debt, increase savings or take other necessary steps that help you balance your budget as you transition to a new salary.

Time Off
Find out how much paid time off you still have at your current job. Because you’ll probably need to wait a few months before you accrue vacation time at your new job, use your current time for a vacation. If you prefer cash, find out if you can be paid for unused time off.
Moving to a new job means your benefits change. Take these steps to make the transition as smooth as possible and maximize your benefits package at your current and new job.