In a decade of working with Intel employees to help them understand their employer benefits and make smart financial decisions, we’ve analyzed nearly all the elements of Intel’s benefit package and documented most of it on our blog along the way.
This post is meant to be a summary of all the tools, resources, and topics we’ve covered over the years. Below you will find articles on retirement planning, the Intel pension, SERPLUS, equity compensation, charitable matching and more.
Scroll through to find those relevant to you and click the links to dive deeper. We recommend bookmarking this page to refer back to as life changes and another topic becomes top of mind for you.
Retiring from Intel
When it comes time to set your retirement date, there is almost always an incentive to stay just a few more months to get the next bonus or to ensure vesting of stock compensation. In this post we outline some of the most prominent “carrot days” so you can plan your retirement date with confidence. From annual and quarterly bonuses to RSU’s, OSU’s, SERPLUS, and SERMA, we’ve got you covered.
When Intel offers a voluntary separation package, how do you decide whether or not to participate? In this article, we suggest the one question that should frame the entire decision process as well as a four-step process to make the decision confidently before getting stuck in the weeds around health care costs, bonuses, SERMA, RSUs, tax efficiency, etc.
Retiring from Intel (Part 1): Calculating Years of Service, Determining Retirement Eligibility and the Benefits of Being an Intel Retiree
Not everyone leaving Intel, even if it’s their last job, officially retires from Intel. The company has very specific retirement eligibility rules and subsequent benefits accruing to official retirees. And, as with all Intel benefit plans, these benefits can be enormously valuable but are often complex and difficult to determine how they apply to your specific situation.
In this article, we outline who is eligible to “officially retire” and how to calculate years of service—which, surprising as it might be, isn’t always as straightforward as it sounds.
In part two, we cover the impact that officially retiring from Intel has on the following benefits:
- Medical (Health, Vision and SERMA)
- Stock Compensation (Vested and Unvested Options, Unvested RSU’s, and Unvested OSU’s)
- Life Insurance
And we wrap it all up with a downloadable tool to help determine for which benefits you are eligible.
Based on the number of questions we get and the year-after-year traffic this article receives, I would conclude the Intel Minimum Pension Plan is one of the least understand and most complex benefits available to Intel employees. (This post has even been known to generate a phone call or two from other advisors looking for help understanding the plan for their clients!)
In this article we cover the following:
- How pensions work
- How the Intel pension benefits are calculated
- Considerations when choosing between monthly income or lump-sum distribution (and don’t forget to download our free tool to help with this decision)
- The 2015 changes to the Intel pension plan
Here we break down the Pension decision that comes at retirement: should you take the monthly pension income benefit or a lump sum withdrawal from the plan? Like so many decisions with wealth management, there is no global rule. Option A or B isn’t always optimal. The monthly income isn’t the best choice in all cases, and neither is the lump sum. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
In this article we outline three steps to making a smart financial decision based on your own goals, objectives, other assets and income sources, and risk tolerance.
As Napoleon Hill once said, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” In this article, we will tackle how to set and make progress towards your financial goals. We will cover:
- Why setting goals is important
- How to set goals in seven simple steps (Any one of which can double and triple your productivity if you are not currently using it.)
- And, for those who want to take action and set some financial goals, we’ve created an “Intel Financial Goal Worksheet” using the seven step goal framework from item #2.
Other Intel Benefits
Long-time Intel employees who have been with the company since at least the end of 2003 may be eligible for the QSERP feature as part of the SERPLUS plan. In this post, we outline how to determine your benefit plus the added flexibility and tax planning opportunities if you elected to participate back in 2005.
Beginning in 2020, Intel’s SERPLUS match is moving from a discretionary contribution to a matching contribution based on the annual IRS compensation limit. What this means is if your compensation exceeds the limit, you have to defer to SERPLUS to get the match. Read the post for the details.
Intel revised the investment lineup of the SERPLUS account for 2020. In the article, we outline the changes, the actions you should take and a process to make the election decision.
If you are struggling with your SERPLUS election decision, consider reading this article first. We cover how deferred compensation works, the benefits of the SERPLUS plan, and factors to consider when making a decision of how much to defer each year.
It’s not 2017 anymore (where does the time go?) but this 4-step framework to making your annual SERPLUS election decision is still relevant. We cover:
- Should I contribute to SERPLUS?
- How much should I defer?
- When should I distribute the funds?
- And, how to invest my contributions?
ESPP plans can be a good way to participate in the success of your employer and collect a little “free money” along the way. Read this to help with your decision on participating in the Intel ESPP plan.
In 2019, Intel announced some changes to the charitable matching program. The changes include:
- Increased flexibility – removed $5k restriction to non-profits and education organizations
- Transition to quarterly matching program
- Match requests for donations must be submitted within 30 days of donation
Starting in 2009, Intel announced a new form of stock compensation in the form of Outperformance Stock Units (OSUs) for top executives (MCM members) and expanded the OSU grants to executives grade 12+ in 2014 (coinciding with the last year of stock options). In 2017 for executives levels 12+, OSUs will make up 60% of the focal grant’s value with the remaining 40% coming in the form of RSUs.
Given the increased importance of this relatively new form of stock compensation, we take a look at how they work, their historical performance and, for those nearing retirement, how they vest upon leaving the company.
Within the Intel 401(k) account is an additional benefit that, in our experience, not many at Intel are using: the BrokerageLink® account. There are a handful of quality options in the Intel 401(k) fund lineup, but, if you want to build a more sophisticated portfolio or want additional choices with your investments, the BrokerageLink® account may be right for you. In this post, we look at how the BrokerageLink® account works, the benefits and who should use it.
Starting in 2020, Intel offers their HSA plan through Fidelity (rather than BenefitWallet). From a simplicity perspective, this makes a lot of sense as the majority of Intel’s benefit programs are administered through Fidelity. In this post, we provide an overview of the key transition dates, how to access funds from your Fidelity HSA and the next steps for setting up your account. For additional information on HSAs and their benefits, check out Health Savings Accounts (HSA): Going Under The Hood.
In 2019, Intel communicated changes to Intel’s 401(k), specifically the option to increase after-tax savings and utilize an in-plan conversion to a Roth 401(k). We take a look at the questions to ask yourself before taking advantage of the in-plan conversion and the steps for getting started.
As always, we love to hear from you. If there is a topic we’ve missed or where we could do a better job, let us know.
The information contained herein was derived from sources that are believed to be reliable and is subject to change. Please refer to your Intel plan documents for the most up-to-date information.