Your Amgen Benefits & Career: Financial Planning for Employees and Executives

By  Brian Thorp

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

Do you work at Amgen? Get the resources you need and expert insights from financial professionals who specialize in helping Amgen employees make the most of their compensation package and benefits.

Whether you’re a new Amgen employee or you’ve moved up the ranks into a management or executive leadership role over a multi-year career, it’s important to make smart money moves with your income and employee benefits. For example:

✅ Do you know the right moves to make to get the greatest value from the Amgen benefits available to you?

✅If you’re thinking about leaving Amgen for another job or planning to retire from the company in a few years, are you taking the right steps today to ensure you will receive all of the compensation and benefits that you’ve earned?

Get the Most Value from Your Amgen Benefits and Compensation Package

Throughout the year, Amgen provides its employees and executives with updates about their benefits ranging from health insurance and health savings plans to retirement plans like a 401(k), deferred compensation plans, and stock options. While the company offers many useful resources and access to knowledgeable staff who can assist with questions, you’ll also find financial professionals not affiliated with Amgen who specialize in helping Amgen employees make the most of their income and benefits.

Whether you work in the Amgen headquarters in Thousand Oaks, another office location around the country, or remotely from home, you may have questions about your compensation package and benefits better suited for a financial professional who can offer unbiased advice and guidance.

For example, sensitive topics like discussing the steps you should take before quitting your job at Amgen to work elsewhere, protecting yourself in advance of a corporate layoff, or deciding when you should plan to retire are all conversations that may be more comfortable with a trusted financial advisor.

Should you hire an Amgen specialist financial advisor or an advisor close to home?

You’ll likely find dozens of nearby financial advisors well-suited to help you reach your money goals with a personalized plan. But it may be more difficult to find a financial advisor who specializes in serving Amgen employees.

Fortunately, many financial advisors offer virtual services so you can meet online no matter where you (or they) live.

This means you can choose to hire a specialist financial advisor who lives hundreds of miles away if you decide their knowledge and experience working with Amgen employees is a better fit to help with your unique needs.

💡 In the Q&A below, you’ll gain insights from financial advisors who work with Amgen employees to help them make smart decisions to get the most value from their compensation and benefits, reduce their money stress, and prepare for a comfortable retirement.

🙋‍♀️ Do you have questions not yet answered? Use the form below to submit questions anonymously and watch this article for updates with answers to your questions. You can also reach out to the financial advisors below to set up an introductory call or contact them with your questions by email.

💸 Smart Money Insights for Amgen Employees & Executives

This page is organized into sections to help you quickly find the information you need and get answers to your questions:

  1. Q&A: Financial Planning Tips for Amgen Employees & Executives
  2. Get Answers to Your Questions About Your Amgen Benefits and Career
  3. Quick Facts & Resources for Amgen Employees
  4. Browse Related Articles

Q&A: Financial Planning Tips for Amgen Employees & Executives

Three Questions with Kushal Shah, CRPC

Kushal Shal is a financial advisor based in Thousand Oaks, California who specializes in offering financial planning services to Amgen employees. Kushal helps his clients get the most value from their Amgen benefits and compensation package so they can enjoy life and feel confident about their financial future.

Q: When you first speak with an Amgen employee, what questions do you like to ask to better understand their unique circumstances and determine how you can best help them achieve their goals?

Kushal: The very foundation of doing financial planning for Amgen employees starts with gathering information in order to produce financial plans that analyze a client’s situation and provide recommendations to help clients realize their goals. But the process of data gathering to do financial planning involves a lot more than simply gathering financial data.

Some questions we like to ask revolve not just around their financial needs, but also their personal investment understanding and philosophy. These are just a sample:

  • If money was no object, what would you do all day?
  • If you could live in any city, where would it be and why?
  • What is your favorite thing about your career?
  • Name one thing you’re willing to spend more money on to make sure you get the best quality.
  • What’s a financial topic you wish you knew more about?
  • What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
  • How do you make important financial decisions?
  • What would make this financial advising relationship a success for you?
  • What’s the most important thing we need to achieve?
  • What do you feel is your most pressing financial concern right now?
  • Do you feel that a financial plan would make your life easier?

Q: For Amgen employees thinking about leaving the company to accept a job elsewhere, what actions do you recommend they take before resigning and shortly thereafter?

Kushal: There are several factors to take into consideration before leaving Amgen to accept a new job at a different firm. 

The first factor to consider is determining the amount of Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) you will be leaving behind. This is the most overlooked area of the decision-making process.  Restricted stock units are a way an employer can grant company shares to employees. The grant is “restricted” because it is subject to a vesting schedule, which can be based on length of employment or on performance goals.

Vesting schedules for Amgen are often time-based, requiring you to work at the company for a certain period before vesting can occur. Job termination almost always stops vesting. The only exception occurs in certain situations when vesting may be allowed to continue or may even be accelerated (e.g., death, disability, or retirement, depending on your plan and grant agreement).

Having a wife that has worked at Amgen and many clients who currently work there or have retired from Amgen, I can speak from experience that Amgen employees have left hundreds of thousands of dollars in RSUs because they left too early or left for a different firm.

Before or after resigning, an Amgen employee should consider working with a financial advisor to establish an IRA and possibly a Roth IRA account.  Amgen’s benefit plans are complex and employee’s assets can be spread out in various financial institutions and pre-tax and post-tax accounts. 

Working closely with an advisor will ensure you don’t leave assets behind and forgotten, as well as minimize your tax liability.  Working closely with Amgen employees, we have located assets in the form of stock options and vested stock units at firms like Computershare because the client did not receive statements. 

Q: For Amgen employees approaching retirement age, how do you recommend they prepare to make the transition from living off their salary to relying upon other sources of income?

Kushal: We recommend that Amgen employees get a better understanding of their retirement needs.  The average person spends about 20 years in retirement. This is a significant amount of time in which to be financially independent, which means it’s important to plan accordingly. 

The Department of Labor recommends that retirees prepare to live on 70 to 90% of their pre-retirement income in order to maintain their usual standard of living. Because of this, it is important to start planning 6 to 9 months before retirement. If you are living comfortably now, ask yourself if you have saved enough to continue living this way once you have retired.

Another way to better prepare is to understand how much you’re currently spending.  Highly-paid employees generally have large monthly expenses.  It is crucial to understand where your money is going and where it is coming from before you retire. This will also give Amgen employees a better understanding of what costs can be cut to save money. 

We recommend several different ways that clients can achieve this: Using apps that track expenses such as Goodbudget, using spreadsheet templates that are available to help track spending, or using software such as Quicken. 

Before retirement, it is vital to get an understanding of your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit.  We recommend before Amgen employees retire they use the SSI website and get their latest SSI benefit information.  This will help them determine how much income from SSI they will receive and also add other passive income they may be receiving, such as rental income, alimony, child support, disability, etc., to understand how much they are going to leverage their investments to make up any shortfall. 

Retirement offers the gift of time to do the things that matter most to you.  While our happiest years may be in retirement, the transition isn’t always a walk on the beach. Do your homework in advance to know what you are retiring to, not just what you’re retiring from.

Get to Know Kushal Shah, Financial Advisor for Amgen Employees:

View Kushal’s profile page on Wealthtender or visit his website to learn more.

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Quick Facts & Resources for Amgen Employees

Amgen Quick Facts & ResourcesDetails / Useful Links
Amgen Corporate Headquarters AddressOne Amgen Center Drive | Thousand Oaks, CA | 91320-1799 (📍 Google Maps)
Overview of Amgen BenefitsTotal Rewards Plan (Careers.Amgen.com)
Amgen Benefits Center Click to Login (Amgen Employees Only)
How much do Amgen employees Make?View Amgen Salary Research on Glassdoor
Where can I learn more about careers at Amgen?Visit Careers.Amgen.com
How many people work for Amgen?Amgen has over 24,000 employees worldwide (Source: Statista)
What is the ticker symbol for Amgen stock?The Amgen ticker symbol is AMGN. Learn more about investing in Amgen stock.

Facts About the Amgen Retirement and Savings PlanDetails
What is the Amgen Retirement and Savings Plan? The Plan is a defined contribution plan covering substantially all domestic employees of Amgen Inc. (the Company or Amgen) and participating subsidiaries. The Plan is intended to qualify under sections 401(a) and 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the Code) and section 407(d)(3)(A) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
How Much Can Amgen Employees Contribute to the Plan?Subject to certain limitations (as defined in the Plan), participants may elect to contribute up to 30% of their eligible compensation in pre-tax contributions, Roth contributions (in accordance with the Code), after-tax contributions or a combination of these types of contributions (together, Individual Contributions). A participant’s combined pre-tax contributions and Roth contributions (exclusive of catch-up contributions discussed below) are subject to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Plan limits.
Are Amgen Employees Automatically Enrolled in the Plan?Unless an employee has voluntarily enrolled in the Plan or has declined to participate in the Plan within the first 30 days of employment, all newly eligible participants are automatically enrolled in the Plan, and contributions equal to 5% of their eligible compensation are withheld and contributed to the Plan as pre-tax contributions; such contributions are automatically increased by 1% per year until their contributions reach 10% of their eligible compensation. Participants may elect to adjust, cease or resume their Individual Contributions at any time.
Can Amgen Employees Purchase Amgen Stock through the Plan?Participants may direct a maximum of 20% of contributions to be invested in Amgen stock. In addition, participants may transfer amounts among the investment options at
any time, subject to certain limitations. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if 20% or more of the value of a participant’s Plan account is invested in Amgen stock, the Plan document provides that no transfers from other investment options can be made to
invest in Amgen stock.
When Do Amgen Employees Become Vested in the Plan?Participants are immediately vested with respect to their Individual Contributions, Matching Contributions, and Special Contributions, if any, and earnings and losses (hereafter referred to as earnings) thereon. Participants hired prior to January 1,
2020, are also immediately vested with respect to their Core Contributions and earnings thereon. Participants hired on or after January 1, 2020, vest in full with respect to their Core Contributions and earnings thereon after three years of service, as defined
by the terms of the Plan, or upon reaching age 65 while employed by Amgen, if earlier. If a participant ceases to be an employee before fully vesting in their account, the non-vested portion of the participant’s account will be treated as a forfeiture, as defined by the terms of the Plan, on the earlier of (a) the date the participant incurs a five-year break in service, as defined by the terms of the Plan or, (b) the date the participant receives a distribution of the entire vested portion of their account.
How Much Does Amgen Contribute to Its 401(k) Plan Each Year (e.g. Matching Contributions, etc.)?Amgen contributed more than $190 million to the Amgen Retirement and Savings Plan in 2020.
How Big is the Amgen Retirement and Savings Plan? As of December 31, 2020, assets in the Amgen Retirement and Savings Plan totaled over $6.7 Billion.
Source: US Department of Labor Form 5500 for the Amgen Retirement and Savings Plan

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About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

Brian Thorp

Founder and CEO, Wealthtender

Brian and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.