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Employer 401K contribution negotiable?

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  • Employer 401K contribution negotiable?

    I am a graduating IM resident reviewing a contract for a hospital medicine position within a large physician staffing agency. There is a lot to like in the language of the contract and I think the pay and benefits are quite good with the exception of what has to be the wimpiest retirement account benefit I have seen. There is a 401K with the employer matching up to 2.5% of the employee's salary starting after 18 months employment.

    I would be very happy to take $18,500 lower salary in exchange for an equivalent amount of money deposited by my employer into my 401K (to maximize my contribution), and plan to try to negotiate for this. But it seems like the kind of thing that is unlikely to be negotiable as it is likely the standard applied to all physicians in my position.

    Has anyone had any luck negotiating something like this? And what other options might I have to maximize my pre-tax space?

  • #2
    This will not be negotiable. 401k plan will fail testing if they offer you more favorable terms.

    Do they offer a 457b? My guess is they don't as a staffing agency.

    Best thing you can do is get another job with better benefits to match the salary offer you have now. Then go to the first company and lobby for an even higher salary to compensate for their inferior benefits.

    Are you sure you want to be employed by a staffing agency? You may be better off as an IC. Then you can put away 55k a year, albeit with no free match.


    • #3
      WCICON24 EarlyBird
      I'm not sure if staffing agency is the correct term, it's just a large hospitalist company that has the contract with the hospital.


      Thanks, your answer makes a lot of sense. It seems that the benefits of being directly employed by a (nonprofit) hospital are amplified when one is a high saver.