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> ASAP Checklist

> Current Employee

> Leaving HP

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> Guide to the HPAA

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> Benefits, Medical

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> Finances, Taxes

> HP and HP Way

> Job and Career

> LinkedIn Tips

> Medicare Checklist

> Networking, Social

> Social Security

> Stock, Options


ASAP Checklist -- before losing access to HP 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 HP.

Members recommend spending most of your time searching outside HP -- you are a stronger candidate while still employed.

Restrictions on returning to HP as a direct employee, as a contractor, or through an agency.

Urgent action items before you lose HP internal access -- advice from HPAA members:

  1. 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: email us.)

  2. Documents. Print out anything provided by HP 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.

  3. Be sure to use HP's 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)

  4. Unused vacation 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 HP. (One member who temporarily moved in with in-laws -- and changed his address with HP -- discovered that his unused-FTO situation changed.)
    - In some states, you should let the unused vacation flow to your final paycheck. In other states, HP 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 HP to not delay processing for PTO.
    - Take your annual Floating Holiday, if you have not already done so.

  5. Tax withholding on final checks from HP. 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 time.
    - File a revised W-4 online with HP 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 Official 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.

  6. 401(k) issues.
    - 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 HP.
    - 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 predict.
    - 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.

  7. Stock options or other incentives.
    - 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 HP 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.

  8. Earnings statements and future W-2s. Log into your account at HP'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: http://www.hpalumni.org/W-2-rev3

  9. 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.

  10. Credit card. Move out any company credit card points before your card is cancelled.

  11. 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.

  12. Email and phone: (Member advice: Moving your personal business off HP's systems)
    - If you have personal calls coming to an HP 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 HP site to have the cell phone number reassigned to your personal cell phone account. Your HP cell phone number may vanish quickly.
    - If you have personal email directed to your HP 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 HP email account, email autoreply, and phone number will vanish on or before your last day. (For hp.com, hpe.com, or eds.com email addresses, HP triggers an error message -- "Recipient address rejected: User unknown in virtual alias table" -- which may not be passed on to the sender.
    - 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 HP has your current mailing address: HP change-of-address

  13. Company-owned 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 HP's instructions in your WFR or other termination documents. Member advice: Moving your personal business.
    article: How to digitally erase all your stuff when you quit your job.

  14. Patents. Look up your HP patent incentives status. Email contacts:
    HPI -- ip.incentives@hp.com  
    HPE -- hpe.ip.incentives@hpe.com

  15. Recognition Rewards or eAwards. Check any HP 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 HP-owned equipment.)

  18. Evaluations. 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.

  19. Training and certifications.
    - 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 certification.

  20. 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.

  21. Read "What do you wish you had known before you left HP?" -- 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Retirement Plan. Print the statements for your applicable retirement plans.

  4. Retirement Medical Savings Account. Print the account statement. Note that if you are retiring before age 55, check your eligibility to retain the accumulated employer matching contributions.

  5. Reimbursements. Check the status of your reimbursement accounts while you're still on the payroll.

  6. Life Insurance. Pay for continuing life insurance before the grace period expires.

  7. Arrange for your Retirement Gift with your manager or department admin.

  8. Health coverage. 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 advice: http://www.hpalumni.org/contacts#Medical

  9. Medical/dental/vision. Depending on your situation, it may make financial sense to pull forward some pending medical, dental, or vision work.

  10. Prescriptions. 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 HP, you may not have even needed a résumé or a LinkedIn profile. Now you do...

  1. Update and strengthen your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates. Many HPAA members report that LinkedIn helped them find a new job. Use HPAA's LinkedIn Tips: Check your profile for changes that HP may have made. HP-focused video -- "Building and Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile." Improve your chances of being found on LinkedIn.

  2. 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:

  1. 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.

  2. Have your new email address set up to give to people. Your HP email account, autoreply, phone number, and cell number will vanish quickly – perhaps before your last day.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 future. .

  5. 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.

  6. 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 HP -- there are expiration dates.

  7. This is a beginning as well as an end.

Following weeks

Tips from HPAA members on issues in the following weeks:

  1. Waiver and Release.
    - US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains the Waiver: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_severance-agreements.html
    - In some WFR cycles, those who qualified for retirement received two versions of the Waiver and Release agreement. If that happens, be sure to sign only the retirement version -- in which you agree that you have voluntarily retired -- to be classified by HP as a Retiree and therefore receive any associated retiree benefits.
    - 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. 
    - Members recommend that you send the Waiver to the company in a way that you get confirmation of receipt and 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: https://www.usps.com/ship/insurance-extra-services.htm  Be sure that the person at the post office window stamps your copy of the mailing forms with the date.
    - You have something like 60 days to sign and return it in order to get your severance payment -- and there is a legally-required seven-day "rescission period" during which you can revoke the agreement. Check details in your WFR materials.

  2. Severance. Getting your severance payment is a slow process:
    - 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 payment.
    - 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 HP.
    - In the past, some have reported that check amounts were visible through the envelope windows.

  3. 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 payout.

  4. Benefits premiums. If you resigned, your benefits terminated at midnight on your last day but you may have been charged for the entire month. Contact Payroll to prorate premiums and get reimbursement. (However, if you are on COBRA or retirement benefits, you generally want the coverage to continue.)

  5. More in the "What I wish I had known before I left HP" section of this site.

Additional reference information

Links to reference information on this site:

  1. Advice from HPAA members: Job Searching and Career.

  2. For reference, the HPAA has old copies of Health Plan documents. Wherever possible, you should use copies you received directly from HP.

  3. Flexible Spending Account "Your Spending Account" -- including the Dependent Care Claim Form and the Health Care Claim Form.

  4. Employment and salary verification.

  5. Stock and options. Where are my stock records? HP employee stock purchase cost basis. HP investor purchase cost basis. Stock of predecessor and spinoff companies.

Please help us keep this checklist up to date -- email: operations@hpalumni.org   (Revised March 8, 2017)


The Hewlett-Packard Alumni Association is operated by former employees who volunteer their time. It is not endorsed or supported by HP.


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