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Important Considerations for a Change in Employment Status

Evaluate your current financial situation

Financial matters are often a source of stress. However, financial challenges can be managed by looking at several different items:

Find out where you stand
What are the bills you must pay? (ex. food, rent or mortgage, utility bills, car expenses, insurance, loans, credit cards, child care, etc.)

What expenses can you eliminate or reduce? (ex. dining out, new clothes, etc.)

Look at your incoming money
What are your sources of income? (ex. unemployment compensation, severance pay, income of spouse and/or children, interest from savings accounts, income tax refunds, etc.)

Look at your assets
What are they and what is their current value? (ex. funds in bank accounts, cash value of home, car and other major possessions, pension plan, investments, life insurance policies with cash value, etc.)

Reduce expenses

Reach out to your creditors and explain your situation. If you anticipate difficulties in making payments, arrange an alternate payment plan. Take the initiative. Don’t wait until you’ve fallen behind on your payments.

Pay with cash whenever possible. This includes groceries, gas, and personal items. By using cash, you will avoid accumulating more debt and more incoming bills.

Check with your local electric and gas utility company about reducing your bills under the Heat Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and with your telephone company about a similar reduction for phone calls or cellular phone plans.

Employment Considerations

Unemployment Compensation
One of the biggest challenges you may face when you lose your job is financial uncertainty. Unemployment Compensation (UC) can help you with this. 

  • UC is administered by individual states.
  • Contact your local Unemployment Insurance Claims Office or Employment Service Office for our state’s specific requirements. Find the location nearest you.
  • File ASAP. It generally takes 3-6 weeks to receive a benefit check, and no benefits can be paid for any week before you actually file your claim.

Verify Your Finances
Final paychecks are often produced manually. Make sure all the details are correct. Count the number of vacation days you had left, if applicable. Make sure the severance amount, if any, is correct.

Job Search
Check to see if your company is offering Outplacement Services as part of their separation package. Many of the following items or topics are handled by these Outplacement Services:

  • Assess Your Skills. Perform a simple assessment of your interests, talents, and preferences; this will be useful in exploring career paths. You may open up doors to new opportunities. Never rule out the possibility that a career change may increase your happiness or chances of finding employment.
  • Network. Many job opportunities are conveyed through contacts. Consider every contact you have – family, friends, old clients, business associates, social clubs, etc. 
  • Sell Yourself on Paper. Create a good resume and cover letter. This will be your first impression to an employer – and first impressions are powerful! Many private employment agencies will assist in your resume preparation, as well as assist you in brushing up on your interviewing skills.

Questions for your Human Resources Department as a result of change in employment

  • What happens to my retirement pension and/or accumulations?
  • Can I continue my current life insurance policies?
  • Can I continue my health and/or dental insurance beyond my layoff date?
  • Can I continue to contribute to my Flexible Spending Account?  What about the money that is already in there?
  • What other benefit programs do I need to be aware of?
  • Will my company be providing outplacement assistance? (ex. resume preparation, job placement/interviewing, retraining, etc.)
  • Are educational benefits still available after my employment ends?
  • Will I still have access to company job postings?
  • Will I be receiving severance pay?
  • Will I receive my unused vacation bank or sick bank pay?
  • Is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) available?

Benefits Considerations

Health Insurance Plans
Do not take the issue of health coverage lightly, no matter how healthy you are now. Get all the information you can regarding your health insurance and either get your own coverage or continue with your company’s plan. Your company must continue your health insurance plans under COBRA, which is a law that requires your employer to provide you and your eligible dependents the opportunity to continue your participation in the company-sponsored plan for up to 18 months. You will be required to pay the entire cost of the coverage; therefore, it may be expensive.

A valuable benefits law to be aware of is HIPAA, which may help you to switch more easily from one health plan to another without being rejected because of a serious, pre-existing medical condition. Ask your company to provide you with information about your rights under this important benefits law.

Life Insurance
Check with your employer to see if any of your life insurance benefits offered through the company are portable. Can you take your coverage with you? Review your beneficiary designations, and make sure you indicate both primary and contingent beneficiaries.

Retirement Plans- 401(k), 403(b), 457, etc.
What are your alternatives?  Consider availability, accessibility, account control, and rollover possibilities. Review your beneficiary designations and make sure you indicate both primary and contingent beneficiaries. CCU’s Wealth Strategies can assist you with these details.

Pension Plans - (if applicable)
What are your options?  Consider portability. What amount is available to you and when is it available? CCU’s Wealth Strategies can assist you with these details.

Employee Stock Purchase Plans - (if applicable)
What are your possibilities?  Consider account control, transferability, accessibility, cost, and tax implications.

Helpful Websites

Corning Credit Union’s Wealth Strategies Department.

Please be advised that Corning Credit Union is not liable for the content or availability of the following linked sites.

Job Search Resources

  • NY job information.
  • PA job information.
  • NC job information.

America’s Job Bank

  • Job listings created through a partnership between the US Department of Labor and state and private sector organizations.

America’s Career InfoNet

  • Helps you make better, more informed career decisions.

Social Security Administration

  • Provides you with social security estimated amounts based on your age at retirement.

 

*Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Corning Credit Union and Corning Credit Union Wealth Strategies are independent of RJFS. Securities are not insured by credit union insurance, the NCUA, or any other government agency. Securities are neither deposits nor guarantees of Corning Credit Union. Securities are subject to risk and may lose value.