I have an offer pending soon for a job that I am very interested in. However, my current employer offers an annual salary bonus that is only about a month from being paid out. This bonus is substantial and in almost no case do I want to lose it, but I also don't want to seem hesitant to start with my new company.

Technically, company policy states that I was vested for this bonus at the start of the year, and it should be mailed to me even if I leave the company. Of course, company policy also states they can choose to not pay it out for any reason.

What are my best options here?


3 Answers 3


Ask for a start date that is after the bonus payout if you get the offer (it's still pending, anything can happen).

If there is an issue with a start date in that timeframe and you're asked, just tell the truth, 'I'm due a substantial bonus at such and such a time, leaving earlier may forfeit the bonus which I'm not prepared to do.. etc,. ' The truth is usually a good idea.

Remember that until you actually have the contract everything is a negotiation, best to negotiate strongly without getting yourself involved in a potential tissue of falsehoods..

  • Thanks for your answer. Would you recommend putting in two weeks notice before or after the payout? After would delay the transition further. Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 11:44
  • 2
    After is safest early is a gamble. Company promises mean little until the money is actually in your hand.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 12:30
  • 7
    After the bonus is payed out is the only way to go here.....
    – Neo
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 12:31
  • 3
    Asking for a Start date after your bonus is due is not enough, Don't give notice until you receive your bonus!
    – Morons
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 13:07
  • 1
    Let your new employer know the timeline and what you risk by giving notice before the payout. If they want you earlier, they can offer you an equivalent.
    – DLS3141
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 15:31
  1. Tell new company what bonus will be, get them to pay it for you, start asap.
  2. Tell new company what bonus will be, tell them to pay it and you start asap, or they can wait until you get it and you start after notice period.
  3. Don't tell new company, start asap, don't get bonus.
  4. Don't tell new company, start later for mysterious reason, look weird.
  5. Tell current company, don't get bonus, start asap.
  6. Tell current company, don't get bonus, start later.
  7. Act weird with current company, say ask them for early bonus or ask some bonus questions, probably don't get total bonus.
  8. Stay at current company, get bonus, blow off new company.
  • 5
    I feel like this should be in a flowchart for full comedic effect, but I guess it does answer the question.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 15:19
  • 2
    You need a bullet point that says "Profit!"
    – Chris E
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 21:05

If the bonus is valuable to you, and it sounds like it is, then the best advice is to simply slog through the next month or so till you have said bonus in hand. Any waves you create before hand make a risk that you will lose it all.

Regarding the new job, if they really want you as a new employee they are likely to be flexible as to a start date. I took a job at a different company that was across the country and involved a re-location and it was easy to work out a start date that was two months out. In you case I think that should be pretty easy to be honest with the new employer by explaining that you have a minimum transition time before you can start.

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