401K Match vs Cash Bonus

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Topic Author
nptit
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:51 pm

401K Match vs Cash Bonus

Post by nptit »

I am going to be offered a position at another company in September.
The 401k at my current employer is matched at the end of the year. I should expect a 5K match.
The question is what exactly is that 5K 401k match worth in comparison to cash (Bonus I would ask for in the new job)? Is it 10K cash equals a 5K 401k match or what, how do I value it? Assume in both accounts I would invest the money in a stock index fund from Vanguard.
For issues dealing with tax free compounding assume I am 25.
Thanks.
Jeff P
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:07 am

Re: 401K Match vs Cash Bonus

Post by Jeff P »

Have you been with your current company long enough that their previous matches have vested?

Are you entitled to a prorated match if you leave early in the year?

The answer to your question would depend on your tax bracket and also philosophy. Lots of people would rather have $5k cash than a $5k match so the answer is whatever you can negotiate, but $10k seems too high to me. Good luck.
Topic Author
nptit
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:51 pm

Re: 401K Match vs Cash Bonus

Post by nptit »

Jeff P wrote:Have you been with your current company long enough that their previous matches have vested?
* Yes, everything is vested immediately.
Are you entitled to a prorated match if you leave early in the year?
* No, I am not entitled to a prorated match if I leave early.
The answer to your question would depend on your tax bracket and also philosophy. Lots of people would rather have $5k cash than a $5k match so the answer is whatever you can negotiate, but $10k seems too high to me. Good luck.
* Assume I am single and make 85K
livesoft
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Re: 401K Match vs Cash Bonus

Post by livesoft »

Also consider when you would be eligible for new employer's 401(k) and match. If you have to wait a year, you want to recover that hit in a signing bonus.

If you get a cash bonus you will pay FICA, medicare, and income taxes on it. A 401(k) match will not have any of that taken out. I suppose if you are eligible you could put the cash bonus in the new employer's 401(k) plan and only pay FICA and medicare taxes on it.

I assume you can use TaxCaster or other tax program to figure out the numbers for yourself.
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takeshi
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Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: 401K Match vs Cash Bonus

Post by takeshi »

nptit wrote:
Jeff P wrote:The answer to your question would depend on your tax bracket and also philosophy. Lots of people would rather have $5k cash than a $5k match so the answer is whatever you can negotiate, but $10k seems too high to me. Good luck.
* Assume I am single and make 85K
That covers bracket but not philosophy. You have to determine how you value these things.
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MilleniumBuc
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Location: Florida

Re: 401K Match vs Cash Bonus

Post by MilleniumBuc »

You might want to look at the cost from the company's perspective. I think they would look at it as their present cost, and go from there.
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