When you applied for a job at Amazon, you received a nice signing bonus… but now you’re thinking of leaving less than one year later, and you realize you might have to repay this signing bonus back.
What can you expect in this situation? Do you always have to pay the entire bonus back? Keep reading to find out!
If you’ve received a signing bonus and you’re leaving in less than one year — or before the necessary timeframe you agreed upon when receiving the bonus — you will have to pay a certain percentage of the bonus back. Bonuses are prorated based on the length of your employment.
This topic can quickly get confusing. We know. But don’t worry — we explain everything clearly, and in detail, below!
While Amazon has always offered signing bonuses, the company recently began to offer quite a lot of bonuses to new employees because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to bring in more employees, Amazon increased many of these signing bonuses.
However, this has also led to a lot of people getting a job with Amazon because of the bonuses and many benefits… only to discover that the job really isn’t for them.
So, what can you do in this situation? If you leave early and voluntarily quit, will you have to pay back your signing bonus?
Unfortunately, you will have to pay back your signing bonus if you quit before the timeframe agreed upon when you accepted the singing bonus. Everybody has their own specific bonus that they got. Some people agreed to work one year, while others agreed to work two.
Understand what you agreed to and what you have to owe back — because you will have to pay back this signing bonus.
Some people may have received their signing bonuses on top of their monthly or weekly payments. This means they were not paid the bonus in one installment when they signed. Rather, they received it over time with each month.
If this is the case, then you will not need to pay back your bonus, as you haven’t received the entirety of what you were offered. You were paid for the time of your employment, so you can keep the chunk of the bonus that you already received.
When you have to pay back the signing bonus varies. Some past Amazon employees say one thing, while others state something different. It appears that some were asked to pay back the bonus within the month.
It does appear that every situation is different. Therefore, you should get in contact with Amazon HR to learn exactly when they expect you to fully pay back your signing bonus!
Do You Have to Pay Back the Signing Bonus Pre-Tax?
When you first receive your signing bonus, you likely received it fully, as taxes were withheld. So, if you’re paying the bonus back within the same year that you received it, you’ll only need to pay back the full net amount that you were given.
Past Amazon employees have taken to Reddit to talk about what they experienced when it comes to signing on bonus repayment plans. On average, most ex-employees have close to the same experience.
For example, they state that you’ll only have to pay back the part of the signing bonus that you didn’t work for. So, let’s say you’ve worked for three months and you’re deciding to quit. You can keep the chunk of the bonus that was paid during these three months, or that encompasses these three months’ work.
As we’ve mentioned above, the bonus is prorated based on the length of employment. So, you only need to pay back the bonus that you didn’t work for.
If your bonus was spread out in installments, you don’t have to pay anything back, as you just won’t receive any future installments of the bonus.
You may have to pay back an Amazon relocation package, too. Getting in touch with Amazon HR can help you specifically understand your current situation, as everyone has different experiences.
However, if you’ve decided to leave your Amazon job before the timeframe you agreed to work for after receiving a relocation package, then you will have to pay back what you were given.
You could get out of paying back your signing bonus or your relocation package… but it will likely be very hard to do. If you leave before the timeframe you agreed upon, Amazon will want the money back. You likely won’t be able to convince them otherwise.
However, getting in touch with Amazon HR can always help you understand what you can and cannot do in your specific situation!
If you received a signing bonus when your first started working for Amazon, you will have to pay this bonus back if you decide to leave before the agreed-upon timeframe. Your bonus is prorated based on length of employment, so you likely won’t have to pay the entire bonus back.
Welcome to CompanyScouts! I am Jake, the founder of CompanyScouts. I hold an Msc in Economics and Business Administration. With a deep interest in the consumer segment, I strive to help people get to know their favorite companies even better.