Same but Different

The other week, I left the office in the evening working for one company and the following morning, went into the same office working for another company.

The sale of the firm I worked for had finally gone through.

Things are the same….but different.

My colleagues are the same and my job (for now) is the same.

We’ve met some of New Co’s top people – already, I can see that they have a different work culture. Too soon to say whether it’s better or worse…it’s just different.

At the moment, I’m really busy with work – pre-company sale, I was involved in providing a lot of information for the buyer’s due diligence, so got massively behind on my day-to-day work. I’m now playing catch up, so days are blurring and flying by.


Keep on keeping on!


However, while I’ve been really busy, I have no idea what my boss is doing…. he is obviously fearful for his own job and for the first time I’ve ever known him, has become rather uncommunicative, displaying a ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude and shock-horror, has actually booked some days off work!
Interviews? Maybe, although it might be something to do with the fact that HR have imposed a strict policy on people not being able to carry over holidays into the next year, ie use them or lose them. This is the reason why I’ve been working 4-day weeks this month, which I’ve quite enjoyed!

That said, he’s been at the company for nearly as long as I have, he’s in his mid-50s and I can only really see him leaving if he gets a brilliant offer he can’t refuse.


I guess we will have more direction as the weeks go by but for now, things are just rather weird and a bit unsettling, hence I’ve just got my head down, keeping busy.

New Co Benefits

New Co is offering pretty much the same benefits that I used to enjoy with Old Co, ie private medical, life insurance, and option to purchase/sell holidays (up to a maximum of 5 days).

Sadly, it doesn’t offer a £360 ‘health rebate’ on my gym membership, but it does allow me to pay for my gym membership via salary sacrifice so it’s better than nothing I guess (I currently pay the gym direct for my membership).

The pension on offer is a defined contribution (DC) one which appears to be quite generous.

My contribution is going to be 7.7%; New Co’s contribution will be 14%.  

Seems like a good deal to me but I don’t know what’s standard/good/bad for DC pensions as I don’t know anyone who has one.

New Co’s contribution is age-related:  under 45s get 10%, over 50s get 18%,  over 55s will get 24%.

There’s also talk of a share purchase scheme but that won’t be available to us just yet, so I’ll have a look at that when I get a chance.

Future Unknown

I have no idea how safe my job is so I face a rather uncertain future.  What isn’t uncertain however is that tomorrow, I will be celebrating/commiserating 20 years working for the ‘same’ firm. My, how time has flown!
I would think that nothing will happen job-wise before the end of the year. It may take a while for New Co to work out how we fit into their structure (the Tories’ ‘Northern Powerhouse’ springs to mind) and what they want of us.

Until I know that there’s something to worry about, there’s nowt else to do except keep my nose to the grindstone, do a good job, get paid, enjoy life, stick to the plan and save/invest towards FI!

18 thoughts on “Same but Different

  1. They will want to sack a lot of people to make their sums work and remove overlap with their own management structure. You can easily remove the first third of middle management by getting rid of the overpromoted and those close to retirement

    I would really suggest preparing your CV/linkedin profile and getting it out there in the new year

  2. Indeed. I believe they paid a premium for us so they'll want to claw some money back.

    Old Co was very aggressive with acquisitions in the late 90s so I recall how brutal 'restructuring' can be. Some overlaps of jobs have already been established, it really is just a matter of when.

    I have been working on my CV (don't really use my LinkedIn) but I think I'll wait for my 20 years' redundancy if that comes round.

    Thanks for stopping by and for your words of advice.

  3. Hey Weenie

    Restructures can be a shit. Not much you can do though, other than keep on trucking and keep your eyes open elsewhere.

    14% is pretty good. Quite a few will be around 3-5%, say at smaller companies. I get 13% and thought that was pretty good.

    Mr Z

  4. I'd echo that, 14% is good and adding your own takes it above 20%. That will add up. Providing you stay, of course. From my experience, many companies prefer to see if there's a natural drift of employees toward the door when a big change takes place. Many will move on of their own accord. Then the accountants will take over, and it's less expensive to get rid of employees with less than two year's worth of experience. Hopefully you'll be okay – if that's what you want.

  5. I have just been made 'At Risk' of redundancy myself so I can sympathise. My second time. Its worse now I have a wife and young family to think about. A miserly 5k redundancy payment wont go far. It seems that some similar positions are being created and i'll hopefully be 'shoe'd' into one of those. You have much higher pension contribs than we get. Mine is 4.5% and my employers is 6.5% – It's done via salary sacrifice so I hopefully get a little more in my pocket for the FI pot.

  6. Congratulations on 20 years, check your new companies staff handbook see if they offer long service awards 😉

  7. I hope it all works out well for you. In re your DC pension, it looks good, really similar to Mr TV's deal, and that is a well-known and well-renowned one. I hope the share buying scheme will be good too!


  8. Hi Weenie – You've got the right attitude, keep your head below the trenches, do what you do at work, get paid, and don't worry about what hasn't happened yet. I'm a master worrier but learning to relax with age (and the size of my emergency stash!) My FTSE 100 has gone through restructure after restructure and we all consider ourselves on a 6 month rolling contract now, as that's the amount of time it takes for each redundancy consultation + your notice. I've survived 3, another round starts in Jan. It's the new normal.

    Happy Anniversary, you've done well.

    14% is a very good deal btw.

  9. Hi Weenie,

    wow – 14% is a huge contribution from what I have seen. I've had between 2% and 6% for matching my contributions – I can only dream about the 14%! Fingers crossed that your job remains, and that you can keep plugging away so at least you have been putting some money aside towards FI

    Congratulations on 20 years – you have smashed my longest out the park by multiples 🙂

    London Rob

  10. I just checked my wifes pension. From what I can see she contributes 6.5% and her employer over 20% – that'll do nicely. I might keep her around! LGPS DB pension as she works for NRW / EA. It is quite difficult to decipher her pension info but now i've spent the time i'll have to factor that greater contribution into our early retirement plans. Thanks for motivating me to read into it 🙂

  11. Hi weenie,

    Good to hear your are keeping your nose to the grindstone. No point in being complacent, that is just a bad attitude! Glad you are enjoying the 4 day weeks as well 😉

    Hope everything works out the way you'd rather although I dare say even if the worst happened 20 years of redundancy money must be quite a decent pay out 😉

    Sounds like the verdict is already in but I'll agree that 14% is very good. For comparison mine has been 4% for me and 8% from employers (total 12%) so far and that is changing very soon to 6% from me and 9% from employers (15%). They are also changing the pensionable salary to start from £0 rather than the tax free allowance, not sure if anyone else has heard of those changes as think it is quite a new thing? Obviously that means overall there is more going into your pension from both you and your employers which is great.

  12. Hey Starla
    Not a bad idea that 6 month rolling contract way of thinking – perhaps I should keep something like that in the back of my mind so that when things do go belly up, it's not so much of a shock!
    Thanks for the kind wishes and all the best for you in January.

  13. Hi Stuart
    I don't mind my 7.7% contribution as my old one was 9% and I'd just gotten used to that amount taken out of my salary.

    Sorry to hear that your job is at risk, hope all goes well with one of those similar positions.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  14. Hi Jim
    Yes, it's a good amount providing that I stay and it has time to add up. I do want to stay, as do most of my immediate colleagues. Since the sale announcement was made in April, the company has lost just a handful of people, although it's possible that some could just be waiting to see what redundancy package will be on offer. I agree that the accountants will just look at numbers and on how to cut costs – I hope I don't attract their beady eyes!

  15. Thanks Rob and yes, it looks like that pension is a good one, so as I said to Jim above, I hope I get to stay and put in as much as possible at the rate!
    And thanks for the congratulations – I'm a little torn at work in that I don't mind mentioning it to older folk but when I mention it to the younger folk, they suddenly look at me as if I'm really old haha!

    @Stuart – wow, 20% is excellent! Glad I've helped a little with your early retirement planning!

  16. Hey TFS
    I've been enjoying my 4-day weeks so much that I know I'm going to really struggle going back to doing a full week's work!

    Not heard about that pensionable salary change so will have to read up on that. Thanks for highlighting it.

    20 years redundancy will be a good pay out if it's not just basic statutory – let's hope it doesn't come to that though!

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