ASAP Checklist -- before losing access to HPI or HPE internal systems
...and in the following few weeks.
The HPAA is operated by former employees who volunteer their time. It is not endorsed or supported by HPI
spending most of your time searching outside the company -- you are a stronger
candidate while still employed.
Formal and informal
restrictions on returning as a direct employee, as a contractor, or through an
Urgent action items before you lose internal access -- advice from
(Updated May 22, 2017)
For mutual help,
join the HPAA
once you have a defined retirement or termination date from Hewlett
Packard Enterprise or HP Inc. Join our private Benefits, JobPost,
and Finance forums. (No charge, thanks to HPAA members.)
Join HPAA (If difficulty:
Documents. Print out anything provided by
the company via web or email regarding the terms of your termination, retirement, or severance program.
Study and mark them up. You may need to reference this later. Keep
the key documents with your permanent documents -- in case of a
future legal action, divorce settlement, etc.
Be sure to use the
very helpful official "leaving" site -- which is accessible outside the firewalls:
"Leaving/Retiring from HP"
http://www.hp.com/leaving_hp login=leaving password=HP (both case-sensitive)
"Leaving Hewlett Packard Enterprise"
http://www.leavinghpe.com login=leaving password=HPE (both case-sensitive)
time and Floating Holiday.
- Unless your "primary work location" is in CA, IL, MA, MT, or NE,
all unused vacation/PTO will be forfeited -- per an HP document from
May 2014. Check the current list of states in the materials you get from
(One member who temporarily
moved in with in-laws -- and changed his address with the company --
discovered that his unused-FTO situation changed.)
some states, you should let the unused vacation flow to your final
paycheck. In other states, the company has decided that they don't need you
any more --
so use up your vacation time!
- Non-exempt employees must download a paper timecard and fax it to
the company to not delay processing for PTO.
- Take your annual Floating Holiday, if you have not already done
Tax withholding on final checks. Prepare
for cash flow impact due to the unpredictability of your last few
paychecks and any checks sent after your last day. (Some members report receiving a "mop-up" check several
weeks later.) Nearly impossible to predict the amount and
timing of the last checks.
Some factors: possible unused vacation payout, possible stock option
exercise, high 401(k) contribution... and other surprises.
- The withholding will be high -- the Federal tax rate alone will be
at least 25%. It is calculated per
IRS formula as though you make that much on every check throughout
the year. You will get credit for this when you do your taxes
-- but the excess withholding hits your cash flow at a critical
- File a revised W-4 online with the company as soon as you know you are
leaving -- well before your last day. (Note that you cannot
change your W-4 after your last day.) Use the
IRS Withholding Calculator -- you no longer have to pretend that
you have 14 kids. One who didn't adjust his withholding had a grand total
of 46% withheld for federal and state income tax, Social
Security, and Medicare.
- If you
won't have a 401(k) plan after termination, consider
immediately increasing your 401(k) contribution setting to reduce
taxes and -- if your last day is after the next quarterly match
payout (Feb 28/29, May 31, Aug 31, Nov 30) -- to get a
bigger match from the company.
- If your new
employer has a more generous 401(k) match, consider dropping your HP
401(k) setting to 0%.
- The 401(k) contribution deducted from your final paycheck will be
a percentage of the total gross on that paycheck, which is hard to
- If you have a loan against your 401(k), you may be required to pay
off the loan to avoid a penalty. Check your documents.
Stock options or
- You need to determine immediately if you have unexercised options that will expire upon termination.
Read that section in your
WFR or Retirement document, print out your stock option history, and
refer to the stock-related sections on the official "Leaving HP" or
"Leaving HPE" site (item 3 above.) On that site, there is a link to
a Merrill Lynch brochure on "Equity Awards," disclosing the
transaction cost to sell your shares. Since the company eventually stops
paying ML to administer your account, the brochure also discloses
annual "inactive account" and "low balance" fees.
- You need to get your options report twice -- before your termination date and again after your termination date. The report you get before you leave doesn't tell you what will happen to your options after you leave -- for example, the expiration date may be pulled forward.
- The key:
Options are not compensation that you have earned
– they are designed to retain you as an employee. Once you leave, unexercised options are only relevant to the company as a potential expense.
Earnings statements and future W-2s.
Log into your account at
the company's payroll service, ADP. Print out the most recent
earnings statements and any other online-only statements you want to
keep. Set up password recovery questions and check that the email address on the account will reach
you in the future -- otherwise, you will not be able to recover account access for future W-2s
such as a severance or retirement payment, stock incentives, or the
inevitable miscellaneous cleanup payment. Instead of online
statements, you may wish to change your account to paper statements.
Advice from members:
Flexible Spending Account. Check on the
amount you have available and the rules for using it. You many have
to use up the balance before your last day.
Credit card. Move out any company credit card points before your card is cancelled.
Share Ownership Plan. If you participate in the Share Ownership Plan, study and print information you'll need later for selling shares and doing taxes.
Email and phone: (Member advice:
Moving your personal
business off the company's systems)
- If you have personal calls
coming to a company landline number, notify your
contacts to change the number they have for you.
- If you have a company-paid cell phone account, you need to either
set up a new cell phone account (with a new number) and notify your
callers -- or use the form on the company site to have the cell phone
number reassigned to your personal cell phone account. Your company cell
phone number may vanish quickly.
- If you have personal email
directed to your company address (such as amazon.com), notify your
senders to change the address they have for you.
- If you have any personal data in an online address book or similar, copy it out.
- Your company email account, email autoreply, and phone number will vanish on or before your last day.
Emails get this ominous
reply: "Recipient address rejected: User unknown in virtual alias
table" -- which may not be passed on to the sender (and may be
interpreted unfavorably if it is passed on.)
- You can get a free or low-cost personal email account in a few minutes
(Member advice: How
to set up a professional email account.)
- Ensure that the company has your current mailing address:
computer. Start early -- this can take considerable time. Your
computer may be collected before your last day -- or possibly wiped
remotely while still in your possession. Be sure to find the company's
instructions in your WFR or other termination documents. Member
Moving your personal business.
How to digitally erase all your stuff when you quit your job.
Patents. Look up your patent incentives status.
eAwards. Check any company incentive or reward account you may have.
Spend the accrued points before your last day. One member discovered
enough points to get a new TV. Another member simply chose a debit card.
Long Term Care insurance. Retirees, consider whether to sign up for Long Term Care Insurance. Supposedly you can elect to take that coverage after retirement, but it might be safer to elect it now and cancel it later if you change your mind.
HPShopping. Change your email address at hpshopping.com to a non-HP email address. Difficult and slow to change after you lose access. (You may need to buy a new system to replace your
Print out copies of your performance evaluations.
Many report that their
performance rating suddenly and inexplicably dropped just before
they left. How to
obtain your personnel file.
- Print out the list of courses that you have taken
through the company – including courses taken through third parties
such as SkillSoft – for your files and to help with your resume.
- Use the company's online
training facilities to complete courses and renew certifications --
for example, clocking training hours to renew your PMP
Corporate travel sites. If you have an account on a corporate travel site -- such as Carlson
Wagonlit -- remove your personal membership information -- i.e.
frequent flyer numbers, hotel loyalty account, driver's license, etc.
Read "What do you wish
you had known before you left?" -- comments from members:
Wish I Had Known.
Additional action items
before your last day
While it's still convenient to do so, members recommend that you
consider taking these actions before your last day:
Credit. You may
want to take a loan, refinance your house, get a cash-back rewards
credit card, or set up a home equity line of credit while still employed.
Share Ownership Plan.
Consider dropping out of the Share Ownership Plan
early to quickly receive a refund of contributions that won't be used to buy shares.
Retirement Plan. Print the statements for your applicable
Savings Account. Print the account statement. Note that if you
are retiring before age 55, check your eligibility to retain the accumulated employer matching
Reimbursements. Check the status of your reimbursement accounts while you're still on the payroll.
Life Insurance. Pay for continuing life insurance before the grace period expires.
Arrange for your Retirement Gift with your manager or department admin.
Call the appropriate Benefits Center to go over your specific
situation in detail -- which may include COBRA, reimbursement
accounts, Medicare, coverage for dependents, etc.
Phone numbers and member
Depending on your situation, it may make financial sense to pull
forward some pending medical, dental, or vision work.
Work with your doctor and pharmacist to order ahead during any
transition in prescription coverage. While transitions usually work,
members have reported harrowing experiences that required emergency
intervention by the Benefits Center.
Urgent tasks if you are not leaving the workforce
While in the company, you may not
have even needed a résumé or a LinkedIn profile. Now you do...
strengthen your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters use LinkedIn to
find candidates. Many HPAA members
report that LinkedIn
helped them find a new job.
LinkedIn Tips: Check your profile for changes that the company may
have made. HP-focused video -- "Building and Leveraging
Your LinkedIn Profile." Improve your chances of being found on
Modernize the format
and update the content of your résumé. Because résumés are now
optically scanned into systems -- and automatically searched for key
words -- older résumés must be not only be updated in content but
also updated in format. Pick up a modern book on résumés.
Your last week
Tips from HPAA members on how to handle your last week:
Don't wait until the last day
to straighten up your personal computer files and pack your stuff
– this takes time. Don't be out of town your last week. Members report that possessions, books, and personal email address files
easily get lost as the company prepares to move on without you. Don't forget your plaques and certificates.
Have your new email address set up to give to people. Your company email account, autoreply, phone number, and
cell number will vanish quickly – perhaps before your last day.
Take the time to talk to people and say goodbye (they won't fire you, for goodness sake!)
If you can't reach someone, send an individual, personalized email.
If you send a farewell email – don't
spam the entire business unit. Remember that these are people who
may become your employers, co-workers, or business partners in the
Do your own simple lunch the week after even if there is an official
lunch. You can even invite people who are already gone. A bona fide celebration is an important part of the emotional
transition process. Leaving a job – even if eagerly and happily – has an impact of almost the same magnitude as a death in the
family. Don't skip this part of working through the emotional steps.
Take full advantage of any career transition workshops and
program – even if you are not sure that you will be looking for a job. Find out
how soon you must start the program after your last day at the
there are expiration dates.
This is a beginning as well as an end.
Tips from HPAA members on
issues in the following weeks:
- The US Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission explains the Waiver: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_severance-agreements.html
- Check the information you received from the
company when you were notified
of your WFR for current details on the timing.
- You cannot sign and return the Waiver until after your last day as
an employee -- the company will not accept it before then.
Even though the Waiver form
asks for your personal email address for confirmation of receipt,
members recommend that you
send the form to the company in a way that you get
fast, direct confirmation of receipt with a signature.
The most secure US Mail
method is to fill out the forms in a post office lobby, then go to a
window and get "Certified Mail" combined with "Return Receipt."
Details on US Postal Service website:
sure that the person at the post office window stamps your copy of
the mailing forms with the mailing date.
- You have something like 60 days to sign and return it in order to
get your severance payment. Check details in your WFR materials.
- There is a legally-required seven-day "rescission period" during
which you can revoke the agreement.
- If you provided a personal
email address on the Waiver form, members report that you receive a
confirmation email at some point after the seven-day rescission
Severance policies vary
DXC, and Micro Focus.
Getting your severance payment is a
- After the company receives the Waiver and seven
days have passed, the payment goes out
on a subsequent regular payroll cycle.
- You will get several
payments -- the number depends on your situation and the laws of the
state you live in. One California member reported receiving five
small payments between their last day and the actual severance
- Watch both your postal mail and your bank account. Some who had
direct deposit discovered a paper check in the flood of
postal mail from the company.
- In the past, some have reported that check amounts
visible through the envelope windows.
Payout amount. Check
that you actually received the gross (pre-tax-withholding) severance
payment or PRP bonus that you are supposed to get. Check or dispute
Health insurance and
other benefits. Your benefits terminate at midnight on
your last day.
You may have been charged via payroll deduction
for the entire month of benefits. Contact
to prorate the premiums and get reimbursement.
If you are continuing health coverage via COBRA or retirement
- You may have been charged double for the remainder of your last
- It can take three weeks to update the system. "They couldn't do
the surgery because his insurance had been terminated. It took a
very long three-way phone call with the Benefits Center and UHC to
get his new coverage entered into the system."
More in the "What
I wish I had known before I left" section of this site.
Additional reference information
Links to reference information on this site:
Advice from HPAA members:
Job Searching and Career.
For reference, the HPAA has old copies of
Plan documents. Wherever possible, you should use copies
you received directly from the company.
Flexible Spending Account "Your Spending Account" -- including the Dependent Care Claim Form and
the Health Care Claim Form.
Stock and options.
Where are my stock records?
Company employee stock purchase cost basis. Investor purchase cost basis.
Stock of predecessor and spinoff companies.
Please help us keep this
checklist up to date -- email: email@example.com
The Hewlett-Packard Alumni Association is operated by former
employees who volunteer their time. It is not endorsed or supported by
HPI or HPE.