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Advice from HPAA members on what to do before losing access to HP internal systems... and in the following few weeks

ASAP Checklist

Rev. 2/25/15

You should join the HP Alumni Association immediately if you have a defined retirement or termination date. Thanks to the HPAA's Supporting Members, there is no charge. (If you have difficulty joining, please email HPAA.)

The HPAA is operated by former HP employees who volunteer their time. It is not endorsed or supported by the Hewlett‑Packard Company.

HPAA members were asked "What do you wish you had known before you left HP?" Their very helpful comments: Wish I Had Known.

Advice from HPAA members: Job hunting if WFRed or retiring.

Note: Some of the information and advice on this unofficial website may be out of date.

Read carefully all information provided to you by HP regarding the current program – including printouts of all the online information.

For reference, the HPAA has old copies of certain documents -- Health Plans, EER/WFR-2012, and PRP-2014. Wherever possible, you should use copies you received directly from HP.

Urgent Action Items

Be sure to use HP's official "Leaving HP" site accessible outside the HP firewall: http://www.hp.com/leaving_hp   
login=leaving  password=HP (case-sensitive)

Here is advice from HPAA members on urgent action items before you lose HP internal access:

  1. Legal 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, or pre-marital agreement.

  2. 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.
    - 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.

  3. Final paycheck. Prepare for cash flow impact due to the unpredictability of your final paycheck. (Some members report receiving a "mop-up" check several weeks later.) 
    - Nearly impossible to predict the amount of your final paycheck. Some factors: possible unused vacation payout, possible stock option exercise, high 401(k) contribution... and other surprises.
    - The withholding tax rate may be very high. 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.
    - Members recommend filing a revised W-4 online with HP as soon as possible. (Official IRS Withholding Calculator -- you no longer have to pretend that you have 14 kids.)

  4. 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.

  5. Stock options or other incentives. Print out your HP stock options history and determine if you have unexercised options that will expire upon termination. 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.

  6. Earnings statements and future W-2s. 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.

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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 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. (Your correspondents will receive this helpful reply: "Recipient address rejected: User unknown in virtual alias table.")
    - 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.) 
    - Send an email to US HR Operations at eer-ushrops@hp.com giving them your personal email address.

  11. Cell phone. 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.

  12. Patents. Look up your HP patent incentives status.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.)

  16. Evaluations. Print out copies of your most recent performance evaluations. (If you don't have copies, call HP HR Operations at 1-800-890-3100. When prompted say "HR Operations." Request your entire HR file.)

  17. Training history. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. For more mutual help on these topics, join the HP Alumni Association. Click here to join.

Convenience Tasks

While it's still convenient to do so, also do these things before losing HP intranet access:

  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 your the statements for your applicable retirement plans.

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

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

  6. Product Gifts. Consider using the HP Product Gift Matching Program to give an HP product grant at a discount from the list price.

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

  8. Health coverage. Call the Benefits Center to go over your specific situation in detail -- which may include COBRA, reimbursement accounts, Medicare, coverage for dependents, etc. Call 1-800-890-3100 (choose "HP Benefits Center") or direct at 1-847-883-0465 outside US, Puerto Rico, or Canada. 6am to 6pm Pacific (9am to 9pm Eastern.) Ask for a "Retirement Specialist" -- otherwise, you may get an agent who is primarily trained on current-employee issues. If you don't get satisfactory results, ask the first-level agent to escalate your call to a supervisor. Use the key word "escalate.")

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

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.

Additional Reference Information

Links to reference information on this site:

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

  2. Employment and salary verification.

  3. 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.

Email for questions, additions, or corrections 


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


The HPAA is made possible by Supporting Members and Sponsors.

 2015 Hewlett-Packard Alumni Association, Inc.  By using this site you accept these terms  The HPAA is operated by former employees who volunteer their time. It is not endorsed or supported by the Hewlett-Packard Company.