Paying Back Gross Sign On Bonus

So I quit my job at a BB and have to pay back the signing bonus.

When I received the 10k sign on, I only ended up with $5,700 after tax.

They want me to pay the FULL 10k back to them. I filed my taxes and Im getting back a total of 4k.

How does this even make sense? If I pay them back the full 10k...I'm basically losing money.

I only received 5,700 + 4,000 in total taxes (which means I get back none of the tax from my paychecks normally?) + another 300 out of pocket.

Signing Bonus Agreement - Return Policy

While it is difficult to answer the particular dilemma of the OP, generally speaking many contract agreements stipulate that you have to back the full signing bonus if you leave within a certain period of time.

calbanker1 - Corporate Finance Analyst:

You might want to check the terms of the signing bonus, but I wouldn't be surprised if it says that you have to pay back the gross. After all, that is what the company paid to you, it's just that with taxes, you ended up with much less than $10k.

User @NorthSider shared a tip on how to become whole on the difference between what you received originally and what you had to pay back to the bank:

NorthSider - Private Equity Associate:

Of course you have to pay back the gross amount. On next year's tax return, you can either take a credit for the taxes you paid on the bonus or a tax deduction for the total amount of the bonus repaid, whichever is greater. You're not going to be out the taxes, either way.

Do I Have to Repay My Signing Bonus?

Several users shared that it wasn't necessary to pay back the sign on bonus even if the bank wanted it back.

jankynoname - Asset Management Analyst:

That said, given that you've already burned your bridge at the BB, I think a lot of reasonable people probably wouldn't repay the signing bonus. They're unlikely to come after you for it given the legal cost would far exceed the actual 10k. But know that you'll never work for that particular bank again.

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Comments (136)

Feb 14, 2014

Did you underpay taxes on other earned income? the tax calculation is usually pretty complex and it won't wash out to be equal to after-tax bonus + tax refund. That said, given that you've already burned your bridge at the BB, I think a lot of reasonable ppl probably wouldn't repay the signing bonus. They're unlikely to come after you for it given the legal cost would far exceed the actual 10k. But know that you'll never work for that particular bank again.

Feb 14, 2014

My after tax pay was 2000 every pay period (2917 gross) so I don't think I was underpaying.

Feb 14, 2014

At my job, the relocation bonus stipulates that if I leave within x years, I have to pay back the GROSS amount.
You might want to check the terms of the signing bonus, but I wouldn't be surprised if it says that you have to pay back the gross. Afterall, that is what the company paid to you, it's just that with taxes, you ended up with much less than $10k.

    • 1
Feb 19, 2014

Deleted

Feb 19, 2014

Isn't this standard in analyst contracts across banks? Employers want the gross signing bonus paid back because that's the expense they incurred. They aren't going to be so nice as to let you enjoy the tax shield they get by recognizing your wages as an expense on their books.

    • 1
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Feb 20, 2014

This has nothing to do with the taxes you paid, it has everything to do with them getting the money back that they paid you. They don't care how much you got after-tax.

    • 1
Feb 21, 2014
SECfinance:

This has nothing to do with the taxes you paid, it has everything to do with them getting the money back that they paid you. They don't care how much you got after-tax.

This is exactly correct.

You can get whole on your taxes, but the company sure doesn't care about that. Why would they do anything else for someone is leaving their firm?

btw - it sounds like you really thought this one through. This is fairly common knowledge.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Feb 21, 2014

Well technically speaking it cost the employer not 10k, but 10k(1-Tc) since wages are tax deductible. But I guess if you pay back the bonus then the company has to recognize the repaid bonus as a gain and then pay tax again on it. So only the govt benefits in this situation. Damn.

Feb 20, 2014

Just respond with a "no thanks."

Seriously.

Feb 20, 2014

I find it ridiculous that the payback isn't prorated... I mean, I know this is the norm, but still seems a bit inhumane.

Feb 21, 2014

This can depend on the state laws. I had a buddy leave my firm in Texas after around 6 months and he was told to pay the full amount of his start bonus back. He spoke to a labor attorney who told him that bonuses with clawback provisions are prorated over the life unless there are specific provisions in the contract which allow otherwise.

    • 1
Feb 20, 2014

most places don't make you pay back - ...

Feb 21, 2014

OP's username: @"Acceptthetermsandconditions". Oh the irony...

    • 2
Feb 21, 2014

Of course you have to pay back the gross amount. On next year's tax return, you can either take a credit for the taxes you paid on the bonus or a tax deduction for the total amount of the bonus repaid, whichever is greater. You're not going to be out the taxes, either way.

Feb 21, 2014

I always wondered about this and how enforceable it really is. Apparently my BB also has this pay-back policy, but in the contract I signed, there is NOTHING in there that says ANYTHING about it (it doesn't even specify the fact that there was a relocation allowance in the first place). I will find out soon BC I recently relocated and they paid me 10k for the relocation and I am resigning next week which is less than a year after the relocation. If they ask me to pay it back, I don't think I will do it, I really wonder if this is even enforceable since a) it is not stipulated in my contract and b) I have never been officially informed of this policy even verbally at any point. I can update you all on what happens in about a week or so, haha!

Feb 21, 2014

For all those who think it's "unenforceable", have fun rolling the dice with your credit score.

Feb 21, 2014

you can file a Schedule X with the IRS to amend your previous year's tax if you give back the bonus. I wouldn't suggest not paying back as they can put this shit to a collection agency and fuck up your credit.

If you decided to not amend your prior year's tax filing, you can still claim this against your 2014 income.

Feb 21, 2014

Lol, I am not American and am leaving the country for good. I could care less about my credit score, ha!

Feb 21, 2014
Gini:

Lol, I am not American and am leaving the country for good. I could care less about my credit score, ha!

Well then, I guess this solves everything... :-)

Chill

Feb 21, 2014
Gini:

Lol, I am not American and am leaving the country for good. I could care less about my credit score, ha!

Couldn't. You couldn't care less.

    • 1
Feb 21, 2014
Angus Macgyver:
Gini:

Lol, I am not American and am leaving the country for good. I could care less about my credit score, ha!

Couldn't. You couldn't care less.

Yes, correct, couldn't care less! And the collection agency can look real hard for me too. Anyhow, I'll see if they even make me pay back in the end, I can update the thread again in a week or so.

Feb 22, 2014
Angus Macgyver:
Gini:

Lol, I am not American and am leaving the country for good. I could care less about my credit score, ha!

Couldn't. You couldn't care less.

Thine mastery of the spoken anglo saxon language is inspiring my sire and ye verily verily thine swift chastisement of the aforementioned barbarian and it's feeble attempt at communication is exceedingly pleasant.

Best Response
Feb 21, 2014

I read your comment in a smug French voice

    • 4
Feb 21, 2014

This has got to be Jefferies....

    • 1
Feb 21, 2014

They will hire a collection agency if you don't pay back the full amount- shitty but no option other than to comply

Feb 21, 2014

I'm assuming you received your bonus in 2013 and filing now. Depending on when you quit they may have already issued your W-2 before the change. Check on that first and see if you can get a corrected W-2 and update your return. Even if you already filed your return you can refile an amended version. This should increase your refund (though if you underpaid in general it still might not cover the entire amount). Also keep in mind that part of the initial withholding went to pay state and local taxes too (NYC tax may be a big chunk). So look for money back in your state return too.

Feb 21, 2014

Same thing happens with military bonuses. I feel your pain.

Feb 21, 2014

Think about this from the BB's perspective - they paid $10,000 for you as a signing bonus. YOU paid the government X amount in taxes and Y amount for yourself.

They want their $10,000 back, that's how much they paid out. Whatever got paid in taxes to the government is between you and the government. As far as the BB is concerned, they paid $10,000 for you and they want it back because you broke the agreement

Feb 21, 2014

Tell them you wont pay it back. If they insist and threaten to file a lien then tell them you will pay back a prorated amount. Most companies will compromise on this if they insist on a repayment.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Feb 21, 2014

I had this happen to me. Here's what should happen:

You pay back ~$5700 (post-tax signing bonus) upon leaving early.
The following year, you ask for a W-2C (corrected W-2) from that year and the IRS will back out the taxes you unnecessarily paid by lowering your income for that year.
Collect tax refund!

Not sure how they can ask for the 10k back. That makes no sense.

Feb 21, 2014

You should't have quit or since you quit you hopefully have a dope job that can easily pay off the bonus.

Not that difficult.

Feb 21, 2014

This exact same thing happened to me.

Feb 21, 2014

The payback stipulation is a legit but def hurts

Mar 24, 2014

What did you do in the end? Dealing with a similar situation and cannot find conclusive info online and all accountants I've talked to seem to be blowing smoke and don't know what to do. Thanks

Mar 24, 2014
Kevin-Lee2:

What did you do in the end? Dealing with a similar situation and cannot find conclusive info online and all accountants I've talked to seem to be blowing smoke and don't know what to do. Thanks

If your bank requests you to pay back the signing bonus, you will most certainly be asked to pay back the gross amount. At the end of the tax year, you will then claim either a credit for the taxes you paid on the original signing bonus or a deduction for the gross amount of the signing bonus, whichever is more favorable to you. Until that time, you will be out the tax portion of the bonus.

May 30, 2014

Bump, do you have to payback the signing bonus if you quit after a year but before 2 years?
Is it a 2 year contract for the signing bonus or what?

Also when do year end bonuses get paid out for Ibanks.. when specifically like which week in july/august? and when do you have to stay till to receive them?

May 31, 2014

they will.

May 31, 2014

Ya man. buddy of mine quit after 6 mths -- had to return a part of his signing bonus. The repayment schedule is clearly stated when you accept the cheque.

May 31, 2014

Yes, you will pay it back. Your offer letter will state what you will owe back based on when you leave, and the bank will hold you to it.

May 31, 2014

what if nothing in your offer letter said anything about repayment or a repayment schedule...

May 31, 2014

If your contract does not specifically state anything about a repayment schedule, they could make you pay the entire bonus back or just a pro-rata amount..both of which are entirely plausible.

May 31, 2014

the contract doesn't mention repayment at all....one could argue that you don't have to pay any back

May 31, 2014

Then you don't owe anything. This should be pretty obvious; only clauses in writing are enforceable.

May 31, 2014

It doesn't matter since your new job should cover the sign-on bonus you have to pay back.

May 31, 2014
ginNtonic:

It doesn't matter since your new job should cover the sign-on bonus you have to pay back.

good point!

May 31, 2014

I always wonder, would you pay the 10k, or the 6K after taxes?

May 31, 2014

you'd pay the 10k and then you would get back in your tax return whatever you had to pay in taxes

May 31, 2014

Probably stating the obvious, but if you don't plan on staying a year don't take the job.

May 31, 2014
MogulintheMaking:

Probably stating the obvious, but if you don't plan on staying a year don't take the job.

That's not true, sometimes a better opportunity occurs

May 31, 2014

Mine stated that I had to repay it in full if I was to leave the firm before 1 year of full time.

May 31, 2014

I have the 1 year provision also in my contract. Also, make sure that you know that you might have to repay everything, including the taxes taken out when you received it.

May 31, 2014

Actually, after a double take, I have the same provision in my contract (and the only one).

So does this mean that they cannot require a repayment of the bonus if they chose to pull one's offer?

May 31, 2014

I think most (if not all) offers include the 1 year provision. I do not think that signing bonuses have to repaid if an offer is pulled due to downsizing of the IB/layoffs.

May 31, 2014

I would be surprised if these things actually happened, period. Sure the language is in there, but has anyone heard of it happening to someone?

May 31, 2014

FWIW, I've heard that typically if the firm cuts you, you get to keep it (as a severence package of sorts). If you leave on your own volition, however, it's up to you to pay up.

In response to the above poster, I have known people forced to repay after leaving on their own.

May 31, 2014

Would you have to pay it all in one-shot or is it something that you can pay in installments?

May 31, 2014

I think they require you to pay the full amount within 30 days

May 31, 2014

what happens if you dont pay it fully back in 30 days?

May 31, 2014

I don't know... they fuck up your credit

May 31, 2014

could you negotiate with them and pay back a lower amount for time served (pro-rata)?

May 31, 2014

I got my SB on my first paycheck.

May 31, 2014

pretty sure most banks have a 1 yr provision for signing bonus and they do in fact prorate it for time served

May 31, 2014

can anyone else confirm it is pro-rated?

May 31, 2014

Not all banks have a one year provision, I have seen an offer from a BB that had a significantly shorter period of time (like three months or so).

To answer the question in the OP: Yes, you are going to have to repay it. I am sure that your contract is worded differently than what you wrote, but that does not really matter, because you will be technically reneging on your offer since you will not be eligible to work.

Even if they were to rescind your offer with cause (failed drug test, etc.), you would still have to repay your bonus (the whole $10,000). You can probably amend your tax returns to receive the tax portion back, although I am not sure how to get Medicare and SS back.

May 31, 2014

how does it work? do they hold your last check and use it towards it? also, can anyone confirm its pro-rated?

May 31, 2014

I do not know whether it is pro-rated or how it works, but you can simply quit after you get your paycheck and then hope that they don't ask for a repayment.

Are you planning on quitting?

May 31, 2014

downsizing - you get to keep it.

Bear full-timers in the first half of 07 were allowed to keep their signing bonuses although they were let go before starting work.

May 31, 2014

Obviously you get to keep it if you get laid off, but if you quit it is a different story.

May 31, 2014

I believe for BB firms, you have to pay, the full-amount, no pro-ration if you quit/resign, but im not sure

May 31, 2014

If you leave before a year, is it pro-rated or have to be paid in full?
And is it post-tax or the full pre-tax amount?

May 31, 2014

I think it's in full

May 31, 2014

Ours is pro-rated before tax for one-year. It's always funny to see how many people decide that banking is not for them on their 366th day.

May 31, 2014

It varies depending on the bank... but i'm pretty sure its not prorated. They just take back ALL of it. BUT... its not necessarily 1 year depending on where you are.

At some places, after 6 months its yours to keep.

At some places its after 1 year.

And at other places its completely random.

At my boutique I received my sign-on after a certain period (ie. 90 days) after my start date, and once I received it, it was mine to keep regardless. That 90 days was its "vesting" period.

FYI... if you're at a boutique you've got a little more negotiating room, especially if you're not a fresh graduate. In hindsight I'd probably try my best to forgo the sign-on bonus and instead have it tacked onto my base.

1- This way you have to stick around all year to get the full benefit of the "sign-on" bonus

2- Even if you leave half way, you don't have to pay it back, its effectively pro-rated

3- Bonuses are typically (in my experiences) based off of your base salary. If you get a 50base+10sign-on, your base is 50, and you bonus is a % of that. If you are 60+0sign on your base is 60 and your bonus is a % of 60

4- extra 10k carries forward every year

5- if you do jump ship to go somewhere else, you have a higher starting point***

    • 1
May 31, 2014

If the contract says you cant leave before a year or you have to pay it back.......can you submit your 2 week notice so that it ends a day after your start date? Or do you have to submit your two week notice after you have already been there a full year?

May 31, 2014
LVIII:

If the contract says you cant leave before a year or you have to pay it back.......can you submit your 2 week notice so that it ends a day after your start date? Or do you have to submit your two week notice after you have already been there a full year?

Please tell me this is a joke.

May 31, 2014
LVIII:

If the contract says you cant leave before a year or you have to pay it back.......can you submit your 2 week notice so that it ends a day after your start date? Or do you have to submit your two week notice after you have already been there a full year?

Dude, the two weeks notice thing is only if you work at McDonalds. You'd better pack your shit and say goodbyes before you tell them you quit, because there will be a security officer walking you out of the building (to stay) as soon as the word "quit" leaves your lips.

  • Capt K
May 31, 2014

its that bad...

May 31, 2014
stevenbn:

Anybody have experience leaving your analyst program after one year and the bank making you pay back a pro-rated portion of your signing bonus.

Seriously though, no one has a friend or knows from experience how it works? Especially with a BB....

May 31, 2014
LVIII:
stevenbn:

Anybody have experience leaving your analyst program after one year and the bank making you pay back a pro-rated portion of your signing bonus.

Seriously though, no one has a friend or knows from experience how it works? Especially with a BB....

Yes, I work for a US BB, and ours is pro-rated for one-year. For instance, I have been working full-time for 9 months. My sign-on bonus was 10k. (3/12)(10000)= 2500. 2500 is what I would have to pay back if I quit today (the before tax amount).

May 31, 2014

i left before the year was up and nobody asked about repaying so guess i got lucky... then again this was a few years back before all the banks were counting every penny

May 31, 2014

it should have been clearly outlined when you got your bonus.

you should have had to sign something saying you understand the repayment policy.

if you find another job, they will buy out your payback... that's pretty standard.

May 31, 2014

Thanks

May 31, 2014

Much appreciated

May 31, 2014

it states in your contract

May 31, 2014

it actually does state in your contract..

May 31, 2014

..unless you don't have a contract.

May 31, 2014

Not sure when the actual payment is, but at my bank we were expected to pay back the pro rata portion of the signing bonus based on a 1-year vesting period. Of course, no one left in their first year, so I never got to see the policy in action.

May 31, 2014

At JPM, if you left anytime before a year of service, you owed the full sign-on bonus, but heard it was pro-rated at some other BBs

May 31, 2014

Did anyone actually ever have to repay their sign-on bonus? I have heard of many stories where people would leave within a year and the banks never went after the money.

I know what the contract says, but do banks really enforce this?

May 31, 2014

stk - that was what I was wondering

I know my contract does not explicitly state a due date - it just said you must pay back the sign-on bonus (full, not pro rated)...

May 31, 2014

My contract states that if I decide to leave the bank, I would need to pay back the whole $20K within 7 months...kinda harsh.

"Whenever I'm about to do something, I think, 'Would an idiot do that?' And if they would, I do NOT do that thing."
-Dwight Schrute, "The Office"-

May 31, 2014

^^^^^^don't take the job if you're already thinking about having to pay back a signing bonus

Better watch your ass

May 31, 2014

Most kids who leave banking early (myself included) wait until bonus season to leave. At MS we had to pay it back on a prorated basis.

May 31, 2014
MoneyKingdom:

Most kids who leave banking early (myself included) wait until bonus season to leave. At MS we had to pay it back on a prorated basis.

But if you waited until bonus season that means you did a full year and therefore you didn't have to pay back anything.

My question is do banks really ask you to pay back the money after you leave? I don't care what your contract says or whether it is payback in full or prorated. Do banks really enforce this rule, or in other words has anyone here actually HAD to pay back their sign-on bonus?

I know a guy that left after a month to go to a different bank and rumor has it that he didn't pay back anything...

May 31, 2014

What if you get laid off before a year is up? Would you still have to pay it back? (Say it's due to market conditions, not poor performance).

May 31, 2014
Banker88:

What if you get laid off before a year is up? Would you still have to pay it back? (Say it's due to market conditions, not poor performance).

No you wouldn't

May 31, 2014

Banks enforce it if you quit or you're fired under really egregious circumstances (IE: you're trying to get fired.)

They typically do not enforce it if you get laid off. A lot of contracts have draconian and very broad wording, but they honestly don't want to fight with someone over money if they've just laid them off. You'll probably get a few months of severance, anyway if they lay you off, so worst comes to worst, you'd be able to pay the signing bonus out of severance.

That said, you should plan on saving money like crazy once you start work- and putting it somewhere safe- especially if you work at an investment bank. I would recommend sticking the signing bonus in a high-yield CD with a lenient early withdrawal policy (You can check out bankdeals.blogspot.com for good rates) or paying down debt that's costing you at least 2% more than you can get from a CD.

The fact that you're asking this question begs a bigger question from me- why do you need to know if you have to give the signing bonus back if you're saving money? A lot of first-year analysts move to the upper west side and live hand-to-mouth (or go into debt) for their first year. These tend to be the analysts who go into a panic when the firm announces layoffs. My first year, I moved to Hoboken and saved up an additional two months' living expenses in the first six months. It made it a lot easier for me to sleep when the firm started laying people off.

Use whatever portion of the signing bonus you need to cover your relocation costs (try to hold the line on this- use U-Haul and try to avoid a broker), and put the rest of that money in a CD. If you don't plan on quitting or going #1 on an MD's leg, you don't have to worry about giving the signing bonus back.

    • 1
May 31, 2014
IlliniProgrammer:

Banks enforce it if you quit or you're fired under really egregious circumstances (IE: you're trying to get fired.)

They typically do not enforce it if you get laid off. A lot of contracts have draconian and very broad wording, but they honestly don't want to fight with someone over money if they've just laid them off. You'll probably get a few months of severance, anyway if they lay you off, so worst comes to worst, you'd be able to pay the signing bonus out of severance.

That said, you should plan on saving money like crazy once you start work- and putting it somewhere safe- especially if you work at an investment bank. I would recommend sticking the signing bonus in a high-yield CD with a lenient early withdrawal policy (You can check out bankdeals.blogspot.com for good rates) or paying down debt that's costing you at least 2% more than you can get from a CD.

The fact that you're asking this question begs a bigger question from me- why do you need to know if you have to give the signing bonus back if you're saving money? A lot of first-year analysts move to the upper west side and live hand-to-mouth (or go into debt) for their first year. These tend to be the analysts who go into a panic when the firm announces layoffs. My first year, I moved to Hoboken and saved up an additional two months' living expenses in the first six months. It made it a lot easier for me to sleep when the firm started laying people off.

Use whatever portion of the signing bonus you need to cover your relocation costs (try to hold the line on this- use U-Haul and try to avoid a broker), and put the rest of that money in a CD. If you don't plan on quitting or going #1 on an MD's leg, you don't have to worry about giving the signing bonus back.

Are you an analyst/associate?

"Whenever I'm about to do something, I think, 'Would an idiot do that?' And if they would, I do NOT do that thing."
-Dwight Schrute, "The Office"-

May 31, 2014

Was a Capital Markets analyst, now an associate.

May 31, 2014

legally no. They'll probably sue you for it. Worst case scenario it'll go on your record and word will travel fast. Give the money back, you can always earn more but can't ever get stuff like that off file.

May 31, 2014

Sue
Breach
Court order
Not much u can do

May 31, 2014

They can't pull it out of your bank account, but they'll come after you for it. Heck, when one bulge bracket bank declared bankruptcy, the estate sued them for their signing bonuses back.

If they lay you off, they'll typically waive it. If you quit or try to get them to fire you, they'll probably make you give it back.

Just stick it out three more months, collect that bonus, and THEN leave. It's worth it.

May 31, 2014
IlliniProgrammer:

Heck, when one bulge bracket bank declared bankruptcy, the estate sued them for their signing bonuses back.

his bank isn't going bankrupt (i assume). this isn't relevant.

in bankruptcy, any asset transfers to junior creditors that occurred within a certain time period prior to filing (usually 90 days) can be found to be "voidable preferences" and reversed by the bankruptcy court. in this case, employees would be junior creditors (relative to secured debt) and their bonuses could be considered voidable preferences if they were paid right before the bank went BK. the estate might have to try to recover those assets/payments to pay off impaired secured creditors

May 31, 2014

Where are you going after just 8-9 months?

May 31, 2014

^^ There was another thread about this about a year ago and while most people had to give it back, others said the BB didn't take it back. Don't offer to return it, but if the BB asks give them the bonus.

May 31, 2014

I have a friend who left after the first two weeks of training to pursue another opportunity. they had to make him give him back and was legally battling it out on court he had to hire a lawyer and everything in the process in an attempt to sue them back. this was with a MM

May 31, 2014

I can't stick it out...have no choice, unless I want to pass on my other opportunity, which I don't. I am leaving the industry....going to join a growing internet company and I start in the next couple months....I guess I'll see how far they take it, obviously I won't jeopardize my credit/record if they start getting legal about it haha

May 31, 2014

just out of interest, what is making you want to leave 8 months in?

May 31, 2014

I left a couple of months before completing a year from a MM and they didn't ask for it back. They did ask for the BB back though lol.

May 31, 2014

Usually depends on the amount...

MM bank, >15K, probably will attempt to recover.

BB bank <25K, they probably don't care about.

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

May 31, 2014
soccerz30:

So, I am leaving banking after 8-9 months as analyst for another opportunity and was wondering how likely it was that I'd have to give back my signing bonus? I know it says it in the contract that they do have the right to take it, but was curious how far they would go to get it back.....can they legally go into my account and just take it? Will they send a collections agency after me? Any insight would help, thanks.

don't offer to give it back to them and even if they ask for it back, i'd ignore their first ask and see if they pursued it any further (although if they ask you once after you've already left, they will probably follow up on it as part of some standard operating procedure). they can't seize it from your bank and they are not going to sell the claim to some debt collector or ruin your credit if you ignore their first ask. i think there's a good chance they just don't ask for it back.

if they do ask for it, they are real scrooges. they're not going to pay you a first year bonus and you've worked 3/4 of the year. signing bonus is chump change.

do not "try to get them to fire you" so you can keep your signing bonus or for whatever other reason. that is just stupid.

good luck at the new gig.

May 31, 2014

It happens, but it's negotiated and there are no guarantees. Sometimes they'll pay it all, sometimes they'll meet you half way, sometimes they'll give you a new signing bonus and if you happen to need to use it to pay off an old signing bonus, that's your problem. Ultimately, it just becomes another variable in the cost/benefit decision that dictates whether or not you take the new job. I'd say there are plenty of times where you'd take the new job, even if you're on the hook for the old signing bonus on your own.

May 31, 2014

I had to repay a signing bonus to my previous firm when I joined my current one. They wouldn't pay the bonus back for me, but the 25% raise in straight salary was enough for me to decide to leave and pay it back solo. The raise in $ terms was ~50% higher than what I had to pay back, so it was worth it in the long run coupled with the better OP and banking a higher salary for future moves.

May 31, 2014

Assuming you're leaving for the right reasons (better long term prospects, more money, BSchool opps, whatever) you shouldn't be in a position that 10k would prevent said move.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

May 31, 2014

I got a lateral offer that included repaying me for the bonus repayment I would have to make to the firm I was leaving

Dec 24, 2017