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The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal.

Recently, the company I work for announced the benefit changes for the upcoming year. One change in particular did not go down well with the employees. People were angry, bitter and talked about disloyalty from the company. I’ll talk about the numbers surrounding the benefits in another post. In this one, I’d like to talk how people felt the change was personal, that their friend had betrayed them. I never got that worked up about it and mainly just shrugged the change off.

401k Change

Maybe it is because I tend to be more analytical than most that I didn’t get too upset about the change. All the company was doing was changing when they were going to give you your 401k matching contribution. Instead of matching each paycheck with your contribution, they were changing to a once a year match in the 1st quarter of the following year. While not ideal, and certainly not the best for my final account balance, I did not get too upset. The company had said they were doing this to cut costs. The numbers made sense to me, if an employee were to leave before the end of the year, the company would be able to keep the money and thus lower costs. As I said, some employees felt like there friend had betrayed them.

I have to admit. For any company I’ve worked for, I have never felt any great attachment. I have always known that my employment is on an at-will basis. Meaning either the company or I can choose to end the employment at any time. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t liked any company that I’ve worked for in the last 20 years, it’s just that I am not emotionally attached to it. I just found it odd that some employees felt the company owed them something different. I realize there is no loyalty on the company’s part to me and the reverse is there is no loyalty on my end. My only loyalty is to my family and close friends.

Not Expecting Loyalty

I do expect any company I work for to treat me fairly and within whatever guidelines were in place when I was hired. If any of that should change, I am free to look elsewhere for another job. That was the one question that my wife asked me during our discussion of this, “Had I considered looking for another job?” I informed her that I wasn’t thinking about it. I still feel the benefits that I have are probably better than what I might be able to get elsewhere. Since I’ve been with this company for almost 7 years now, I would lose the tenure if I were to go somewhere else.

All the companies that I’ve worked for have a sliding scale of some sort when it comes to vacation time. The longer you are there, the more time you receive. I currently receive 24 days a year and will receive an additional 5 days in another 2 years. By leaving, I would restart that clock with another employer. In addition, the 401k match I receive is pretty good. I have mentioned it before, it’s a one-to-one match up to 6% and the company contributes an additional 2% in lieu of a pension. There aren’t many companies out there with that level of contribution. I also like our health insurance benefits. I was apprehensive about having a high-deductible plan and an HSA, but I have come around in the last couple of years. I like paying a little premium every paycheck and then paying the bills I incur myself. The insurance is there should something catastrophic occur.

In the end, the company reversed its decision on the match. Even if it hadn’t, I would still have been here next year, so long as they wanted me here.