Alison Wealth Management provides Facebook employees direct access to a holistic financial planner & fiduciary with comprehensive knowledge of the benefits, opportunities, and challenges that are present with a Life @ Facebook.
Interested in how we help Facebook Employees?
Check out our case studies of how we used The Bucket Plan® Planning Process to coordinate your RSUs, employer benefits, and assets to meet your short-term, immediate, and long-term goals.
Alison Wealth Management has created the U |A | E Employee Benefits Process®. This process helps employees of Facebook not only understand how their benefits work, but establish a plan to maximize those benefits for themselves and their family.
The U | A | E Employee Benefits Process®
Understand, Analyze, and EstablishStep 1 is to understand your Facebook benefits. To help provide value to you, we created the following in-depth guide based on our expertise reviewing your Facebook benefits.
Remember, the following information is going to be robust and complex. It is not to be interpreted as direct recommendations, but rather an overview of ideas and strategies that might be beneficial to you. If you are the type of person that would rather hire an expert to implement all of this for you, schedule an introductory call today.
Step 1: Understanding Facebook Benefits
Facebook’s employee benefits can be broken down into 7 core categories:
- Health & Wellness
- Time Away
For the purpose of this section of our website, we are going to only focus on core benefits that relate directly back to financial planning. For all other benefits, we recommend setting up time with your HR department.
Financially, Facebook is focused on taking care of you while you’re bringing the world closer together.
Facebook has built a compensation philosophy so that you are invested in the value that you are helping to create. Therefore, they may award you with an equity grant of restricted stock units (RSUs) as part of your overall compensation. The purpose of RSUs are to provide incentives to attract, retain and motivate people whose present and potential contributions are important to the success of the company by offering them an opportunity to participate in the company’s future performance through the grant of awards.
What are RSUs?
Each Restricted Stock Unit is the right to receive one share of common stock upon settlement of your RSUs, following satisfaction of the applicable vesting requirements. Your RSU will vest as set forth in your written Restricted Stock Unit agreement. Generally, within thirty (30) days following the date on which your RSUs vest, shares will be issued to you (such issuance is referred to as “settlement”). Once any shares have been issued to you in settlement of your RSUs, you then own them outright and, subject to the company’s insider trading policy, you may hold, sell or otherwise dispose of them.
For more information, check out my article Simplifying RSUs. Don't forget to download The 3 Restricted Stock Tax Traps!
Facebook Inc., including the following companies: Andale Inc., Facebook Payments Inc., Rhodium Acquisition Sub II Inc., Siculus Inc., What’s App, Facebook Miami, Oculus VR, Parse, and Vitesse allow employees to participate in their 401(k) Retirement Plan offer through Fidelity.
Facebook instituted a 50% match on participant contributions up to 7% of total eligible compensation.
For Facebook, compensation includes base compensation, overtime pay, commissions and performance bonuses. It does not include Restricted Stock Unit grants. The IRS imposes a cap of $280,000 of income for 2019.
Here are some contribution examples:
Total Compensation: $200,000
Total Compensation: $1,000,000 (limited to $280,000)
|Employee 401k Pre-Tax Contribution: $10,000 (5%)|
Employee 401k Pre-Tax Contribution: $19,000 (IRS Maximum)
|Employer Match: $5,000|
Employer Match: $9,800
Setting your participation amounts needs to be coordinated with your immediate and short-term goals. For example, if you have a goal to be able to afford a new home in Menlo Park and you need to implement a significant savings plan to be able to afford a proper down payment, you might want to consider lowering for 401(k) contribution from the IRS maximum, down to the minimum amount needed to get the full company match, then fund the difference in your savings account for your down payment. If you need help mapping out your immediate, short-term, and long term goals and savings plan, schedule a introductory call today!
Within your Fidelity 401(k), you have a multitude of different investment choices to help you meet your retirement goals.
When picking your investments, please note that many of the funds you have the opportunity to invest in own Facebook stock. If you have substantial highly concentrated stock because of your Facebook RSUs in your after-tax account, you may want to attempt to diversify your positions by not buying more FB stock! If this is the case, allocate less of your 401k to funds that own a high portion of FB stock to avoid inadvertently purchasing more.
Also, if you do want to invest in FB within your 401k, it is much more efficient to just own the stock outright vs buying it within a fund. If you own company stock in your retirement plan, at the time you separate from services you may be eligible for a sophisticated tax strategy called Net Unrealized Appreciation. If this strategy interest you, we recommend discussing with our team before implementing.
As we evaluate the Facebook 401(k) plan, we will outline all options from simple set it and forget it to more sophisticated strategies to invest and grow your wealth. For a detailed analysis on all Facebook 401(k) Plan investments, download:
Do It Yourself With Target Date Funds:
Select a target date fund based on a projected retirement date. The fund will adjust to become more conservative over time as you approach your target retirement date. As of 05/31/2018, the Facebook plan has the following target date funds available:
- Vanguard Target Retirement Income (VTINX) - 30% Equity / 70% Fixed Income
- Vanguard Target 2015 (VTXVX) - 60% Equity / 40% Fixed Income
- Vanguard Target 2020 (VTWNX) - 53% Equity / 47% Fixed Income
- Vanguard Target 2025 (VTTVX) - 62% Equity / 38% Fixed Income
- Vanguard Target 2030 (VTHRX) - 70% Equity / 30% Fixed Income
- Vanguard Target 2035 (VTTHX) - 77% Equity / 23% Fixed Income
- Vanguard Target 2040 (VFORX) - 84% Equity / 16% Fixed Income
- Vanguard Target 2045 (VTIVX) - 88% Equity / 12% Fixed Income
- Vanguard Target 2050 (VFIFX) - 88% Equity / 12% Fixed Income
- Vanguard Target 2055 (VFFVX) - 88% Equity / 12% Fixed Income
- Vanguard Target 2060 (VTTSX) - 88% Equity / 12% Fixed Income
- Vanguard Target 2065 (VLXVX) - 88% Equity / 12% Fixed Income
Do It Yourself With Individual Fund Selection:
In addition to the target date funds, as of 05/31/2018 the Facebook’s 401(k) plan offers 13 other mutual funds to invest your money:
Dimensional Fund Advisors U.S. Large Cap Value
Large Cap Value
Large Cap Growth
Vanguard Institutional Index
Large Cap Blend
Vanguard Extended Market Index
Mid Cap Growth
JPMorgan Small Cap Growth
Mid Cap Growth
Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index
Large Cap Blend
Vanguard International Growth
Large Cap Growth
Vanguard Total International Stock Index
Large Cap Blend
Vanguard Real Estate Index
Real Estate Fund
Mid Cap Blend
T. Rowe Price International Value Equity
Large Cap Value
PIMCO Total Return
Vanguard Total Bond Market Index
Fidelity® Investments Money Market Government
In addition to these fund options, Facebook has allowed employees to elect BrokerageLink®. BrokerageLink® allows you to go beyond the traditional funds offered in your employer plan by giving you access to thousands of investments. Through your BrokerageLink® account, you have the ability to invest in stocks, corporate bonds, zero-coupon bonds, Options Levels 1 & Level 2 (with agreement), U.S. Treasury securities, mortgage securities and U.S. government agency bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), unit investment trusts (UITs), foreign securities (through American Depositary Receipts), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Fidelity mutual funds, and non-Fidelity mutual funds available through Fidelity FundsNetwork®. You also have the ability to hire an outside money manager to actively manage your 401(k) account.
Let Us Help You Decide:
Tell us a little about yourself and the account(s) you want help with. Then we will review your options, answers a few questions to narrow your choices, and help build a custom allocation to best meet your needs that you can implement through your plan website. For those of you who want to outsource our professional asset management services, we provide institutional asset management through BrokerageLink® for an asset management fee. This way you don’t have to worry about logging in to make changes, allocation updates, or rebalancing. You can rest assured that your account is in the hands of a trusted fiduciary.
To Download The Fi360 Fiduciary Score® for the Facebook plan investment options
The score evaluates each fund across a spectrum of nine quantitative data points to determine if the investment meets a minimum fiduciary standard of care.
The Mega Back-Door Roth IRA
One of the most overlooked opportunities within a unique 401(k) plan like the Facebook Plan is the ability to contribute after-tax money. There is a little known strategy called a Mega Back-Door Roth IRA Conversion that is available to almost all Facebook employees. This is different than contributing directly to a Roth 401(k). In 2019, the IRS allows an employee to contribute a maximum of $56,000 into a 401(k). $19,000 can be pre-tax contributions, and the rest would be made up of employer match & after-tax contributions. This creates a really unique planning opportunity for high income earners.
Each year, after the plan (Fidelity) conducts its TPA (Third Party Administrator) duties of discrimination testing, we can rollover the after-tax contributions to a Roth IRA tax free! This allows a high income earner the ability to save and grow their money in a Roth IRA even though they surpass the income thresholds for regular Roth IRA contributions. In some cases, we are able to help clients stash away as much as $20,000-$30,000 each year into a Roth IRA, even if they have $1,000,000+ incomes!
Download The Alison Wealth Management
Mega Back-Door Roth IRA Guide
If you are interested in the Mega Back-Door Roth IRA strategy, don’t go it alone. There are complex 401(k) and IRA administration rules and ordering that needs to be navigated. Alison Wealth Management has experience working directly with the Facebook Fidelity Plan to ensure you execute properly. Contact us for an introductory call by clicking here.
Facebook Group Life Insurance:
As a Facebook employee, you have a minimal amount of group life insurance coverage based on your earnings. The life insurance benefit provided to you is a formula based on your income (not including RSUs). Typically this will equate out to 3x your salary. More often than not, we see this coverage not being nearly enough to protect a family if the unimaginable happens.
Some advantages of the Facebook group life insurance plan are:
- Covers employees who otherwise would not be able to afford individual life insurance policies.
- Allows higher risk individuals to be given life insurance coverage.
- Death benefit coverage could be sufficient for younger clients who don’t have many obligations outside of student loan debt.
Some of the disadvantages are:
- The employee has little to no control over their individual coverage.
- Coverage does not continue or follow the employee if you leave your job.
- Healthier individuals pay the same premiums as those who are considered to be a higher risk within the group policy.
- Most people need significantly more coverage than their group policy provides in the event they prematurely decease.
Facebook Short- & Long- Term Disability Insurance:
At Facebook, you work hard to build a life for yourself, and it's only natural that you want to protect that. Most likely you protect your home, car and family from the unexpected with the appropriate insurance plans. Disability insurance protects your income! If you were suddenly unable to work due to an injury or illness, could you maintain your current lifestyle? If you answered no, you may need to consider additional disability insurance. Facebook offers both short-term and long-term disability, but more often than not this is not enough.
Facebook’s short-term disability covers income for a period of 3-6 months.
Facebook’s long-term disability covers a % of your salary until you can go back to work.
Remember, their definition of income does not include the income you generate through Restricted Stock Unit sales. If you rely on RSU income to fund your lifestyle, you may be at risk of not having the disability coverage you need.
Facebook Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance:
Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) is a policy that pays benefits to the beneficiary if the cause of death is an accident. This is a limited form of life insurance which is generally less expensive and is an add on to your group life insurance mentioned above. Typically this benefit will pay 3x your salary for accidental death & dismemberment.
Facebook Survivorship Income Benefit:
In the event of an unexpected death, survivor income benefits help ensure that a employee’s family has a continued flow of income to make mortgage payments, pay for education, and maintain their current standard of living.
What is an FSA?
A flexible spending account (FSA) is tax-advantaged account much like a HSA or 529 plan. Funds are contributed to this account on a pre-tax basis and can be used for eligible expenses within the plan year.
Facebook Healthcare FSA
For 2019, Facebook employees can contribute $2,700 to their health FSAs, up from the 2018 limit of $2,650.
The benefit is you don’t pay tax on this income, so they can become a great tax savings vehicle. If you have set qualified medical expenses you will be spending during the year, this option may be helpful. For example, if you are in the 40% Federal/State income tax bracket, maxing out the Healthcare FSA could save you $1,080 of income tax!
It is important to do a medical expense evaluation before maxing out your FSA. The risk of a Healthcare FSA is that you can only roll $500/year over to the following year. At Alison Wealth Management, we can help analyze your medical expenses and conduct a needs analysis to determine proper pre-tax funding into the Facebook Healthcare FSA. If you tend to have a lot of medical expenses, it would be wise to max out this benefit.
Facebook Dependent Daycare FSA:
A Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for eligible dependent care services.
Similar to a Healthcare FSA, you can contribute up to $5,000 of pre-tax funds into your Dependent Daycare FSA. You will need to submit receipts for reimbursement from your FSA and expenses must meet IRS edibility rules. The IRS has provided a wide variety of the types of expenses a Dependent Daycare FSA can be used for, including some of the most common ones we run into with Facebook employees: Before or after school programs, Au Pairs, Nannies, Preschool, Nursery school, payroll taxes related to eligible care, and summer day camp.
This can be another significant source of tax savings. Again, if we revisit our client who is in the 40% Federal/State Income Tax Bracket. By funding $5,000 to their dependent care FSA, they would save $2,000 in taxes.
Facebook Commuter Benefit FSA:
A Commuter Expense Reimbursement Account, allowed by § 132 of the Internal Revenue Code, allows employees to have their parking and commuter expenses deducted on a pre-tax basis. Employees can deduct up to $265 per month for parking costs or up to a maximum of $265 per month for mass transit or van pooling costs.
Eligible expenses include: Parking, Transit Pass Expenses, & Commuter Highway Vehicle (Vanpool) Expenses.
Expenses ineligible for commuter benefit funds include: Highway tolls, Fuel & Mileage, Bicycle-Related Expenses, & Airline Flights
Other Fringe Benefits of working at Facebook include:
- $20,000 for Surrogacy lifetime maximum
- $10,000 Adoption Reimbursement when you adopt a child
- $4,000 Baby Cash each time you become a parent
- $3,000 Reimbursement for child care expenses per year
- $720 Wellness Reimbursement for taking care of yourself to use towards wellness activities (gym membership, etc.)
- 4 Months of Paid Parental Leave at 100% of your salary for moms and dads
- 6 Weeks Paid Family Leave to care for a seriously ill family member
- 10 Uses of back-up care per year (including in-home care for a child, adult or elder)
Alison Wealth Management is not an authorized representative of the company sponsor and its retirement plans.
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