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Know what type of severance package you are entitled to

When you find out that you are losing your job, you need to find out what type of severance package you will get. This is something that you should have negotiated at the time you were hired or promoted. It is imperative that you understand the terms of your contract so you can find out what provisions are there.

If you don't have a severance agreement in place, your employer might offer you a package. In all cases, even if you have the severance covered in your contract, you have the right to review the proposal by the employer. Typically, you have up to 21 days to review it.

You shouldn't ever sign a severance agreement unless you understand the terms. These include what your employer is going to do and what you are expected to do. Once you have reviewed the contract fully, you need to decide if you will sign it. If you do sign the severance agreement, you will usually have seven days to change your mind.

There are several points to think about when you are negotiating an agreement for severance benefits. One of these is pay. Most severance packages include one to two weeks of pay for every year you have with the employer. You also need to think about your health insurance, retirement benefits and other benefits. Because continuing health insurance through COBRA is often expensive, you should try to stretch the period your employer will pay for as much as you can.

It is always a good idea to have a second set of eyes review a severance agreement. If you are in this position, taking the time to have this done might be beneficial for you.

Source: Investopedia, "The Layoff Payoff: A Severance Package," Brigitte Yuille, accessed Nov. 17, 2017

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