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Should I accept my employer's early retirement offer?

In this article
  • Does the offer meet your needs?
  • Consider your payout options
  • Understand your medical benefits
  • Managing the transition

Question:

Should I accept my employer's early retirement offer?

Answer:

The right answer for you will depend on your situation. First of all, don't underestimate the psychological impact of early retirement. The adjustment from full-time work to a more leisurely pace may be difficult for you. So ask yourself if you're ready to retire yet. Next, look at what you're being offered. Most early retirement offers share certain basic features that need to be evaluated. To decide if your employer's offer is worth taking, you'll want to break it down.

Does the offer include a severance package? If so, how does the package compare with your projected job earnings (including future salary raises and bonuses) if you remained employed? Can you live on that amount (and for how long) without tapping into your retirement savings? If not, is your retirement fund large enough that you can start using it early? Will you be penalized for withdrawing from your retirement plans?

Does the offer include post-retirement medical insurance? If not, you may have to look into COBRA or a private individual policy. Private insurance can be expensive, depending on your health and other factors. If your employer's offer includes medical insurance, make sure it's affordable and provides adequate coverage. Also, since Medicare doesn't start until you're 65, make sure your employer's coverage lasts until you reach that age.

How will accepting the offer affect your retirement plan benefits? If your employer has a traditional pension plan, leaving the company before normal retirement age (usually 65) may greatly reduce the final payout you receive from the plan. If you participate in a 401(k) plan, what price will you pay for retiring early? You could end up forfeiting employer contributions that you're not yet vested in. You'll also be missing out on the opportunity to make additional contributions to the plan.

Information provided has been prepared from sources and data we believe to be accurate, but we make no representation as to its accuracy or completeness. Data and information is not intended for solicitation or trading purposes. Please consult your tax and legal advisors regarding your individual situation. Neither AXA Equitable nor any of the data provided by AXA Equitable or its content providers, such as Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., shall be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for the actions taken in reliance therein. By accessing the AXA Equitable website, a user agrees to abide by the terms and conditions of the site including not redistributing the information found therein.

Please be advised that this materials is not intended as legal or tax advice. Accordingly, any tax information provided in this material is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The tax information was written to support the promotion or marketing of the transactions(s) or matter(s) addressed and you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent advisor.

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY). Securities are offered through AXA Advisors, LLC, NY, NY 212-314-4600 (member FINRA / SIPC). AXA Equitable and AXA Advisors are affiliated companies, do not provide legal or tax advice and are not affiliated with Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.

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GE 115185 (06/2016)