ASAP Checklist for people leaving
...before losing access to your employer's internal systems
...and in the following
Some recent updates are highlighted.
Updated Jan 15, 2020. Please help us keep
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If you are not in the process of leaving:
Current Employee Former Employee
Which company will I be a former employee or retiree of?
HP Inc or Hewlett Packard
Given HP's complex history of acquisitions, divestitures,
and spinoffs, the company that you are legally a former employee of may
not be obvious.
Wish I Had Known HPAA
members were asked: "What do you wish you had known before you left?"
Job hunting: Members recommend spending most of your time searching
outside the company -- you are a stronger candidate while still
employed. Very few members report landing during a "redeployment
period." Many report losing critical time and wasting valuable energy on
discussions about internal jobs that ended abruptly without explanation.
Advice and info on returning to HPI or HPE-- including informal and
Urgent action items before you lose internal access -- advice from HPAA
Questions or comments?
Join the independent HP Alumni Association. If you are in the
process of leaving HP Inc or Hewlett Packard Enterprise, join the
28,000-member, independent, volunteer-run HP Alumni Association.
(The "HP Connections" LinkedIn group for current and former
employees only carries samples of what is available to members of
the HP Alumni Association.) The HPAA has private Benefits,
Transition, and Finance online forums, where we work on key issues.
Also US job openings, technical help forum, and other member
services. No charge to join, thanks to HPAA members.
Join the HPAA
hear regularly from members attempting to reconstruct their
employment-related records. Due to policy changes,
country-to-country variations, reorganizations, acquisitions,
divestitures, and spinoffs, it may be extremely difficult or
impossible for your former employer to produce this information.
(For example, HP-related companies have used at least 13 US stock
Only you have the documents that applied to your specific situation
at the time:
- Locate your offer-of-employment letter, documents covering any
bonus or incentive plan, and other material covering the contractual
terms of your employment.
- Gather the documents that detail each batch of employee stock you
have acquired, your retirement plan, 401(k), etc.
- Collect documents that prove your employer and pay -- for example,
W-2's that give each employer's legal name, such as "EDS, an HP
company" vs "HP Enterprise Services" -- and the amounts of any
commission or bonus pay. Keep copies of paychecks for your last
- Print out anything provided by the company via web or email
regarding the terms of your termination, retirement, or severance
Make a separate set of copies to study and mark up.
Keep these employment-related documents in a safe place with your
other permanent documents -- plus an off-site backup in case of fire
or other disaster. Don't depend on your work email account or
You may need this information for employment verification, security
clearance, claiming a class-action settlement, divorce or
child-support, or other legal issue. And your heirs will need to
locate your assets.
Be sure to use the
very helpful official "leaving" site for your company -- both
accessible outside company firewalls:
"Leaving/Retiring from HP"
https://www.leavinghpinc.com (Official HP site:
password no longer required.)
"Leaving Hewlett Packard
https://www.leavinghpe.com (Official HPE site:
password no longer required.)
time and Floating Holiday.
- Unless your "primary work location" is in CA, IL, MA, MT, or NE,
all earned but unused vacation/PTO will be forfeited. ("Available"
vacation includes the amount you could have used in advance of
earning it.) Policy was in place at least by May 2014. Check
the current list of states in the materials you get from the
- One member who changed address with the company because they
temporarily moved in with in-laws discovered that their unused-FTO
- In 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 anymore -- 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
Cashflow and tax withholding.
- Prepare for cashflow impact due to the unpredictability of your
last paycheck and other checks sent after your last day -- and how
quickly you get a new job. It is nearly impossible to predict the
amounts and timing of the last checks -- due to tax withholding and
monthly payroll cycles. Some members report receiving a "mop-up"
check many weeks later.
- Cashflow is also affected by tax withholding from final checks.
(One member had a grand total of 46% withheld form their final check
for federal and state income tax, Social Security, and Medicare.)
You will get credit for any excess withholding when you do your
taxes -- but this hits your cashflow at a critical time.
- For salary and vacation payout -- which may be on the same check
-- withholding assumes that you make that much every month.
- However, severance, commissions, and option exercises are taxed at
a flat 25% federal "supplemental wages" rate. Your state may also
have a flat supplemental rate (CA: 10.2% for stock bonuses and 6.6%
for other bonuses.)
- The withholding rate may be too low if dual-income couple, highly
paid, other income, large severance, or large stock option exercise.
Use your tax software to simulate your next annual tax filing to
determine if you should make an estimated tax payment or hold onto
funds to pay with your next tax return. Just copy last year's file
to a new filename and modify the input data for different scenarios
-- retirement, new job timing and salary, etc..
- Consider filing a revised W-4 online with the company as soon
as you know you are leaving or being laid off -- well before
your last day. (Cannot change after last day.) Use the
Official IRS Tax Withholding Estimator -- you no longer have to
pretend that you have 14 kids.
- Re-run your taxes several weeks after your last day -- you may
need to make quarterly federal and state estimated tax payments to
- See IRS Publication 505 -- "Tax
Withholding and Estimated Tax"
- 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 match payout -- to
get a bigger match from the company. Check the current matching
rules for your company. For example, at both HP and HPE. the
match is mentioned in each Earnings Statement but is only credited
annually -- and only if you are on the payroll through December 31.
For those being spun off to DXC or Micro Focus,
members report that the next 401(k) match payout will be on the date
of their transition.
- 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.
- When reviewing old financial records, note that HP originally gave
its 401(k) program the confusing name "TAXCAP" -- "Tax Savings
Capital Accumulation Plan."
1984 HP Annual Report
1998 Measure Article
2004 SEC filing
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
- 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
- To receive “retirement treatment” on equity awards, you must be
age 55 with 15 years of qualifying service or age 55 with at least
70 age-plus-service "points."
- If transitioned to DXC or Micro Focus, stock and options issues:
statements and future W‑2s. Log into your account at the
company's payroll service. Print out the most recent earnings
statements and any other online-only statements you want to keep.
Members report that having W‑2 copies for every year helps in legal
situations such as tax audit, divorce, or child support. 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
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.
Move out any company credit card points before your card is
cancelled. Ensure that all charges have been approved by the company
-- and print out proof of the approval. Members report that AMEX is
trying to collect from former employees several months after they
Plan. If you participate in the Share Ownership Plan, study the
terms and print the full history information that you'll need later
for selling shares and doing taxes.
Email and phone:
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 don't have one, 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.)
- If you have personal email directed to your company address (such
as Amazon) change the email address on each account. Notify your
- 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 by their email service (or
may be interpreted unfavorably by the sender.)
computer. Start the transition and cleanup early -- this can
take considerable time. If you don't have a personally-owned
computer, buy one ASAP. 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. Returned computers have been lost.
Ship with signature-required. If returning in person, insist on a
receipt. Member advice:
Moving your personal business.
How to digitally erase all your stuff when you quit your job.
status of your patent incentives and patent plaques:
Rewards or eAwards. Check any incentive or reward account you
have -- you may be surprised. Spend the points before your last day.
Get a debit card or search for "Amazon" to get a $25 card for 101
points. Charitable Donations for as little as 1 point.
Health insurance and other benefits.
- Your benefits terminate at midnight on your last day. If you are
continuing health coverage via COBRA or retirement benefits, check
Benefits Center to understand your coverage and the actions you
need to take before -- and after -- your last day. "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."
- You will generally qualify as a retiree if you leave HPI or HPE at
age 55 or older with at least 10 years of qualifying service. To
receive “retirement treatment” for retiree medical benefits, you can
also qualify as a retiree if you have at least 80 age-plus-service
Change your email address at hpshopping.com to a personal email
address. Difficult and slow to change after you lose access. (You
may need to buy a new system somewhere to replace your company-owned
Print out copies of your past performance evaluations. Many report
that the rating they received before WFR was suddenly and
inexplicably much lower than the ratings on previous evaluations.
How to obtain a copy of your personnel file to assist in developing
your résumé: HP
- 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 résumé.
- Use the company's online training facilities to complete courses
and renew certifications -- for example, clocking training hours to
renew your PMP certification.
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
Ensure that the company has your current home mailing address. Even
if you have direct deposit, you may receive a paper check in the
flood of postal mail from the company.
If you haven't
already done so, join the actual HP Alumni Association. (The
LinkedIn groups for current and former employees only carry samples
of what is available to members of the HP Alumni Association.)
The HPAA has private Benefits, Transition, and Finance online
forums, where we work on key issues. Also US job openings, technical
help forum, and other member services. No charge, thanks to HPAA
Additional action items
before your last day Questions or comments?
While it's still convenient
to do so, members recommend that you consider taking these actions
before your last day:
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
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.
Print the statements for your applicable retirement plans.
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.
Check the status of your reimbursement accounts while you're still
on the payroll.
Stock options are covered in the "Urgent
action items before you lose internal access" section, above.
the stock you own is in the "Following Weeks" section,
For a limited time, you may have the option to continue certain
"portable" company-subsidized insurance plans -- typically Life and
Accident -- at your own expense -- after you leave the
company. In addition, you may have purchased insurance
discount programs -- such as Auto, Home, Long-Term Care, and Legal
plans -- that were marketed by third parties to employees using
company facilities and employee-benefits communication channels.
Classification as "retired."
- If you left at 55 or older with at least 10 years of service -- or
left after 2010 with age-plus-years-of-service of at least 80 -- HPI and
HPE generally classify you as "retired" -- even if WFRed.
- If classified by the company as a "Retiree" arrange
for your Retirement Gift and "Gold
Badge" with your manager or department admin. Members report that
some managers are not aware of this.
- Print out anything provided by the company via web or email
regarding the terms of your termination, retirement, or severance
program. Find and study the references to health coverage.
- You will be instructed to
view your health options online. However, to fully understand your
eventual retirement health plan, download the most recent HPI
or HPE Annual
Even if you have a paper copy, it is very helpful to use
Adobe Reader's search feature to find specific words or phrases.
(To search for a word or phrase in a pdf file, press Ctrl and F
together on a PC -- or Command and F on a Mac.)
- Then 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
HPAA's Contacts page
Medical/dental/vision. Depending on your situation, it may make
financial sense to pull forward some pending medical, dental, or
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.
In order to work on your résumé and financial spreadsheet, use
promo offer if you haven't already done so. You can get Office 365
for your home PC or Mac for a low price while you still have a
company email address. When you install the promo on your home
system, set up the email features of Office to work with your
personal email address.
Urgent tasks if you are not leaving the workforce Questions
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. You can use LinkedIn to reconnect with former
co-workers who know you and your work. Many HPAA members report that
LinkedIn helped them find a new job. Checked your LinkedIn profile
lately? You may be surprised. Use HPAA's
LinkedIn Tips and Traps. LinkedIn doesn't work the way you might
think it does!
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.
Job searching has changed. Hard-won advice from HPAA members:
Job Searching and Career
-- especially the pragmatic, actionable HPAA video "Job
Searching for the Mature Worker."
Learn how it works before you need it:
Experience Letter. If on a visa or expecting to emigrate,
arrange for an Experience Letter from the company. Helpful
discussion on StackExchange:
Sample letters that got accepted and rejected
You may qualify for Trade Adjustment Assistance or Trade
Government programs for people whose jobs were affected by foreign
Your last days
Tips from HPAA members on
how to handle your last days:
Don't resign unless you
are willing to give up your severance payment and unemployment
benefits. You may be required to train your replacement in order to
get severance. (BTW, it is possible to be fired for cause before
your last day.)
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 days.
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, say goodbye, and trade personal
email addresses and phone numbers before you lose easy access. If
you can't reach someone, send an individual, personalized email.
(For legal reasons, many companies forbid managers from giving
references for former employees while the manager is still with the
Verifying employment )
Be professional. 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.
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.
This is a beginning
as well as an end.
Following weeks Questions or comments?
Tips from HPAA members on
issues in the following weeks:
- The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a helpful
Employee Severance Agreements"
- The company very much wants to have your signed Waiver and Release
Agreement, which typically has wording similar to this: "Both
Employee and HP are entering into this Agreement as a way of
concluding the employment relationship between them and settling
voluntarily any dispute or potential dispute that Employee has or
might have with HP, whether known or unknown at this time. ... In
return for the Cash Severance Payment and other benefits associated
with the Plan, Employee... forever releases, discharges, and agrees
to hold harmless HP... from any and all claims, actions and causes
of action arising at any time through the Effective Date of this
Agreement... Employee and HP fully understand that if the facts with
respect to this Agreement are later found to be different from the
facts now believed to be true, Employee and HP expressly accept and
assume the risk of such possible differences of fact, and agree that
this Agreement shall be and remain effective notwithstanding such
- Typical additional wording in recent Waivers: "The parties
further agree that this Agreement is intended to be strictly
construed to provide for arbitration as the sole and exclusive means
for resolution of all disputes... The parties expressly waive any
entitlement to have such controversies decided by a court or a
Why employers prefer arbitration
HPI and HPE Employment Lawsuits
- You cannot submit the Waiver until after your last day as an
employee -- it will not be accepted.
- Be sure to provide a personal email address on the Waiver
- Send your Waiver as soon as possible. Easier to troubleshoot if
something goes wrong. Forms have been lost after they have been
signed for by the company.
- Get 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
https://www.usps.com > Mail & Ship > Insurance & Extra Services
Be sure that the person at the post office window stamps your copy
of the mailing forms with the mailing date.
- You have a limited
time to sign and return it in order to receive your severance
payment. Details in WFR materials.
- There is a legally-required seven-day "rescission period" during
which you can revoke the agreement.
- The Waiver says: “You will not receive a confirmation that HPE has
received your Release Agreement... HR Operations Organization and
Payroll will not respond to phone calls to confirm your Release
Agreement was received.”
- Members report that you should send an email inquiring about
receipt of your Waiver. (Include employee number in all
correspondence.) You will get a reply that acknowledges receipt of
the Waiver, gives the scheduled payment date, and also says:
"Severance payments are processed on the 15th and last day of each
month provided your waiver has been submitted within the 60 days."
The email warns that payments are subject to withholding, but does
not predict the payment amount.
. HPE address:
firstname.lastname@example.org [note the
underscores in the address]
. HP address:
email@example.com [note the
underscores in the address]
[From past cycles: Even if you have direct deposit, watch both your
postal mail and your bank account.]
Severance policies vary between
HP, HPE, DXC, and Micro Focus.
DXC severance policy
Getting your severance payment is a slow process:
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 the
- In the past, some have reported that check amounts
were visible through the envelope windows.
- Check your final earnings statement very carefully against what
you printed out before you left. Especially an issue with HPE
because of the HPE's change in payroll outsourcers.
- Check that you actually received the gross (pre-tax-withholding)
severance payment or PRP bonus that you are supposed to get. Check
Health insurance and other benefits. Your benefits terminated
at midnight on your last day.
You may have been charged via payroll deduction for the entire month
of benefits. Contact the
to prorate the premiums and get reimbursement.
If you are continuing health coverage via COBRA or retirement
benefits, check with the
Benefits Center to be sure the system has been updated. "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."
Be sure to take advantage of any transition services provided by the
company. Members consistently report that the Lee Hecht Harrison
classes are excellent. Typical comment: "LHH was crucial in coaching
me in how to find a job in today's market." LHH is helpful
even if actually retiring from the workforce: " Some really
interesting self-reflection sessions about what to do in
retirement." Find out how soon you must start the program after your
last day at the company -- there are expiration dates for the
different services. Members report that DXC does not offer
Fleet vehicle upgrade.
If you paid an upgrade charge for a company car but were WFRed
before the lease ended, you are entitled to a prorated
reimbursement. Fleet Issues
Employment verification. It is a good idea to check the
information that you can cause to be reported to potential
employers, financial institutions, and government agencies.
Learn how it works:
Retirement Plans -- pensions, 401(k). See HPAA's
US Retirement Plan Overview. Includes a thorough discussion of
the key question: Should you take a lump-sum or a monthly
Time to untangle your stock!
With any employer, no one but you really cares about your
employment-related stock. You may have stock in up to seven
HP-related companies. It may not all be held in the same place. With
each spinoff, the cost basis for your shares changed. Many find
stray accounts -- or need to retrieve stock or dividends turned over
to a state as "unclaimed." You could pay taxes twice on the same
income. Your heirs may not find it all. An HP Alumni team developed
a step-by-step process to find it, protect it, and
prevent double taxation. Go to
Financial benefits accounts. The company will stop paying for
accounts at the firms that administer the 401(k), stock, option,
etc. benefits plans. You need to either move to another firm (paying
a transfer fee) or convert to a "retail" account. Members report
being hit with surprise "administrative" fees.
You must make direct contact with each broker and
administrator at least once a year. Otherwise, depending on
state laws and the broker or administrator's policies, members
report that your stock may be turned over to a state as abandoned
property -- which can be very difficult to retrieve. Members
report that checking your brokerage statement online doesn't count.
If you are classified as "retired" (discussed above) -- that
is reported to outside payroll and employment verification services.
More in the "What I
wish I had known before I left" section of this site.
Finances. Two practical items recommended by members:
- "Think you might lose your income? Four money moves to make now"
by Michelle Singletary.
Washington Post (Several free articles per month.)
- "Making the Most of Your Money Now" by Jane Bryant
Quinn. Explains how financial things really work -- especially good
for analytic folks. ISBN-10:
Additional Issues specific to:
Additional reference info
Links to reference info on this site:
For reference, the HPAA has copies of the most recent
Health Plan documents and sample
Waivers and Summary Plan
Descriptions. Wherever possible, you should use copies you
received directly from the company.
Spending Account "Your Spending Account" -- including the
Dependent Care Claim Form and the Health Care Claim Form.
and salary verification.
Please help us keep this
information up to date -- email:
The Hewlett-Packard Alumni Association is operated by former
employees who volunteer their time. Not officially endorsed
or supported by any company.