How to negotiate your bonus when changing jobs

I'm looking for responses from people who have gone through this before. Let's say I'm looking to lateral from my current company (company A) to a different company (company B) doing the exact same job as I am currently. For example, at my company, you receive your bonus 4 months after the end of year performance upon which it is based. Let's assume company B has the same bonus schedule and you lateral immediately after you receive your bonus. That means that in your new role, your bonus will be prorated to your start date and you will effectively lose out on 4 months of bonus.

So herein the question: do you accept the 4-month bonus loss and justify the move with a higher base? Or do you negotiate a signing bonus to cover the 4-month bonus loss? What have you monkeys done in the past?

Comments (10)

Sep 26, 2016 - 1:50pm
Nadine-Cathleen, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I would negotiate the sign on bonus.

E.g. if it is a private equity company or so they might give you a stake in the existing assets that equals the negotiated sign on bonus. There is then no immediate cash flow but potential for a higher bonus that is paid later. For your future employer this option is safer than just giving you an upfront payment.

Writing about travel at Karate and Caviar
Sep 26, 2016 - 1:51pm
quiksilver13a, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lateraling Bonus (Originally Posted: 06/01/2011)

So I i've often thought about how people lateral after one year. I'm not necessarily saying I'm going to do this. However, I am curious as to what happens with that first year bonus. I've heard bonuses get paid out in July and most people have to start md-june to july at the new place. Is switching banks worth the 40-60k? Would you even get another signing bonus if you lateral or is that just meant for kids out of college?

Sep 26, 2016 - 1:52pm
bulge_bracket_bernanke, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Most people who lateral wait for the bonus to hit their account before leaving. If you leave around January or something, usually the new firm will 'buyout' your bonus, that is, they guarantee a portion of your bonus.

Sep 26, 2016 - 1:53pm
manbearpig, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My group hired a guy who left his previous employer 2 months before he was expecting his bonus. The firm gave him a signing bonus of half what the guy was expecting from his previous employer.

Sep 26, 2016 - 1:55pm
IlliniProgrammer, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Depends on the firm.

If you leave before the check clears- certainly before they announce your bonus, they don't owe you a dime.

Depending on your bonus, there may be a written clawback. But usually not. Even then, it never hurts to move the money to another account if you leave right after the check clears.

Sep 26, 2016 - 1:58pm
dublin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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