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Republished from Bloomberg BNA, Reductions in Force in Employment Law, 2nd Edition
Sample Employee Questions
• Is participation purely voluntary?
• Will exit incentive program benefits be paid to otherwise eligible persons who are laid off during the window period?
• I have heard people say that I really should retire under the exit incentive program. What should I do?
• Can the company really require me to stay on for up to two months after the end of the window period if I elect to retire under the exit incentive program? If so, how would I be compensated and what benefits would I receive during that extension period?
• What would happen to my exit incentive program benefits if I quit before the end of a required extension period, such as to take another job?
• When will layoff decisions be made?
• Will I be laid off if I don't retire under the exit incentive program?
• If I do not retire under the exit incentive program and I am laid off after the window period, what benefits will I get? Will the exit incentive program apply to persons who are laid off after the window period?
• Why must I agree never again to work for the company?
• Will I be giving up workers' compensation claims I filed before my employment terminated?
• Isn't the release slanted in the company's favor?
• Is arbitration fair? Don't arbitrators just split the baby?
Exit Incentive Benefit Questions:
• I don't think the exit incentive program is as good as a similar program offered in the 1990s. Why not? Is that fair? Is that legal?
• Why isn't a cost of living allowance (COLA) being provided?
• Wasn't a lump sum offered before? If so, why isn't a lump sum being offered now?
• I want a larger exit incentive benefit. Is the exit incentive program negotiable?
• Is my exit incentive program benefit less than my benefit calculated under the employee handbook?
• Can I review how my exit incentive program benefit was calculated?
• Will the estimated exit incentive program benefit be paid, as shown on my benefit statement, or will the real exit incentive program benefit be paid?
• Please explain the early retirement reduction feature of the exit incentive program.
• Who administers the exit incentive program?
• What would happen to my benefits if the company ceased to exist?
• What will happen to my exit incentive program benefit if I am reemployed by the company or an affiliate?
• How will exit incentive program benefits be funded?
• How much will my exit incentive program benefit cost the company?
Other Pension Questions:
• Does my probationary period of employment count toward pension accruals?
• Will the vacation pay cash-out I receive be taken into account in calculating my pension?
• What distribution options do I have?
• Will my pension be paid monthly or semimonthly? When will my first check arrive? When will subsequent checks be sent?
• What will be withheld from my pension payments? When will I be asked to decide on income tax withholding with respect to my pension?
• Can I request direct deposits of my pension checks?
Retiree Insurance Questions:
• Describe the current retiree insurance programs.
• Must I stay in the area to receive retiree health coverage?
• If not, what are my health coverage options out of the area?
• Can I continue to buy voluntary group universal life insurance?
• Can I continue my group term life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage?
• If I want retiree health coverage, do I need to commence coverage right away? Can I wait until my coverage under my spouse's health plan ends?
• Can I drop out of retiree health coverage while I have other coverage and then later resume my retiree health coverage?
• Why has the right to change or terminate retiree health coverage and fringe benefits been reserved? Will that right be exercised?
401(k) Plan Questions:
• When do I have to take a 401(k) plan distribution?
• If I leave my money in the 401 (k) plan, what investment options do I have? Are they different from the options available to active employees?
• What 401(k) distribution options do I have? Who will explain them?
• If I make a 401(k) withdrawal, how is it taxed? Are there early withdrawal penalties?
• What happens to my 401(k) plan loan?
• Can I buy my computer or company car?
• Will I be entitled to unemployment if I retire under the exit incentive program?
• Can I continue to be a member of the credit union?
• What happens to my medical flexible spending account?
• Can I cash out my unused vacation pay?
• Can I cash out unused sick leave? Aren't companies required to pay out any unused time that employees have accrued?
• Will I receive the month of pay normally paid to each retiree as a retirement award?