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Any Kaiser (TPMG) docs here?

Home Personal Finance and Budgeting Any Kaiser (TPMG) docs here?

  • Avatar steinwaypianos 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1
    Joined: 08/05/2018
    Earnest refinancing bonus

    Hello,

    I’ve been with TPMG a few years and a partner. I love Kaiser / TPMG, but have played with the idea of fellowship.  I don’t dislike primary care, but there are days where I worry I would burn out in the next few years.

    1) I’m considering a 1 year fellowship and wonder about whether TPMG has a sabbatical. I tried talking to HR and they alluded to such but couldn’t get a clear answer?

    2) If I did a fellowship for 1 or more years, but did it through Kaiser as opposed to a University system, would the time spent count towards my years with KP in terms of the pension calculation? I feel like attendings who did their residency through kaiser received some credit towards the “years of service.” I assume that’d be the same for fellowship?

    3) I’m already a partner though not vested yet. I’m planning on continuing my current job at least until I vest. What are the implications if I did a fellowship in Northern CA vs Southern CA being no longer part of the medical group, and instead part of the Kaiser Foundation?

    4) Separate question: what would be the implications if I transferred from TPMG -> SCPMG?

    Thanks for the help any of you may offer. I’m very much in the “precontemplative” stage and open to learning what my options are. I do love my PCP job, though increasing rough days are making me wonder what my other options are.

    #142033 Reply
    Avatar AlexxT 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 897
    Joined: 01/13/2016

    1.   I suspect that the PIC and Dept. chief would need to approve if you wanted a leave of absence.  Talk to chief first, then PIC.  There’s no paid sabbatical and no official sabbatical with TPMG as far as I know.  Don’t count on them taking you back after the fellowship.  If there’s a need, they will.  If not, they won’t.

    2.  I believe that you’re correct about getting credit for residency.  I suspect that felllowship credit if done through Kaiser would be on a case by case basis.

    3.  No idea.

    4.  I believe that you get almost full credit for years worked, but you still have to make partner.  Benefits are similar but pension structure, exact benefits, retirement age and benefits are different.  SCPMG does offer a sabbatical year, but I don’t know any details.  Call SCPMG HR and ask.

    Get all promises in writing and expect that they probably won’t honor it anyway.

    Also, evaluate call schedule and salary for the fellowship you’re interested in, and factor in lost income and opportunity cost to determine the financial cost or benefit of doing a fellowship, even if money isn’t one of your reasons for doing it.

     

     

     

     

    #142075 Reply
    Avatar StarTrekDoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1681
    Joined: 01/15/2017

    As all things Kaiser on LOA — up to PIC.  If you’re worthy, they’ll keep the chair warm for you.  If not,  keep your CV handy.

    I haven’t seen any credits transfer over from TPMG to SCPMG.  They run things differently enough that I would think YOS doesn’t transfer.  Definitely not to partnership.   The pension funding IIRC is completely separate, unlike the UC system where it’s transferable.

    As for the fellowship, sounds like it’s down here in SoCal; you’ll probably have to make some type of arrangement with the PIC and SoCal program.  Neither may like it because the whole intent of Kaiser sponsored programs is self-serving to train and keep their trainees–not for the greater good of training.

    #142078 Reply
    Avatar triune 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 8
    Joined: 10/23/2017

    SCPMG doc here.  Funny, we just had a Retirement seminar where Charles Schwab came to talk about our retirement benefits, and this question actually came up.

    First, for clarification:

    Qualifying service = # of years worked (part time or full time, doesn’t matter, not pro-rated).  Need 10 years of qualifying service to vest.

    Credited service = # of full-time years worked used to determine amount of pension income.  This IS pro-rated for working part-time, so for example, 2 years working 1/2 time = 1 year of credited service.

     

    Switching from TPMG to SCPMG or vice versa, the years worked do carry over to Qualifying service.  You can never lose this.  So if you work 9 years at TPMG, you only need 1 more year at SCPMG to vest.

    However, credited service DOES NOT carry over.  If you don’t vest before transferring, the years worked are not included in the calculation for Credited Service at the new Kaiser area.  So if you work 9 years at TPMG, then work 1 year at SCPMG, yes, you vest (10 years total at any Kaiser), but the pension amount is based on the 1 year worked at SCPMG (Because the medical group you retire from is the one responsible for the pension payments).  The 9 years worked at TPMG are lost (you didn’t vest with them, they don’t owe you anything).

    I am not sure what happens if you vest at TPMG, then switch to SCPMG.  My assumption is that TPMG pays the TPMG portion, and SCPMG will pay their portion.  Interesting.  SCPMG pays 2% for every year for 1st 20 years, then 1% for every year thereafter.  I hear TPMG pays a straight 1.5% every year.  So sounds like one should work at SCPMG for 20 years, then move to another Kaiser region (or vice versa, as long you can squeeze in the 20 at SCPMG somewhere!) Of course, I don’t think most doctors reading this site plan to work much beyond 20 years anyways, but it’s a fun min/max thought exercise anyways.

    Also, I’m not sure about fellowship, but I did residency at a Kaiser in Northern California.  I received 2 years of Credited Service for my PGY-2 and PGY-3 years, but not qualifying service, which is fine, as that’s the more important one.  Those 2 years also count towards the Full Retirement calculation (years of service + age => 75, means free lifetime health insurance under Kaiser, the physician cadillac plan one, for both you and your spouse).  PGY-1 year doesn’t counts towards anything.  The KP SoCal residents I talked to got the same deal, so this appears to be standard across SCPMG hospitals regarding any Kaiser residency graduates.

     

    #142086 Reply
    Liked by AlexxT
    Avatar fatlittlepig 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 462
    Joined: 01/26/2017

    SCPMG doc here.  Funny, we just had a Retirement seminar where Charles Schwab came to talk about our retirement benefits, and this question actually came up.

    First, for clarification:

    Qualifying service = # of years worked (part time or full time, doesn’t matter, not pro-rated).  Need 10 years of qualifying service to vest.

    Credited service = # of full-time years worked used to determine amount of pension income.  This IS pro-rated for working part-time, so for example, 2 years working 1/2 time = 1 year of credited service.

     

    Switching from TPMG to SCPMG or vice versa, the years worked do carry over to Qualifying service.  You can never lose this.  So if you work 9 years at TPMG, you only need 1 more year at SCPMG to vest.

    However, credited service DOES NOT carry over.  If you don’t vest before transferring, the years worked are not included in the calculation for Credited Service at the new Kaiser area.  So if you work 9 years at TPMG, then work 1 year at SCPMG, yes, you vest (10 years total at any Kaiser), but the pension amount is based on the 1 year worked at SCPMG (Because the medical group you retire from is the one responsible for the pension payments).  The 9 years worked at TPMG are lost (you didn’t vest with them, they don’t owe you anything).

    incorrect. TPMG pension is vested after 5 years. so in your example, if you left after 9 years; at age 65 you would get roughly 18% of average highest salary. I do not know if what you said about your vesting status transfer to SCPMG is accurate.

    I am not sure what happens if you vest at TPMG, then switch to SCPMG.  My assumption is that TPMG pays the TPMG portion, and SCPMG will pay their portion.  Interesting.  SCPMG pays 2% for every year for 1st 20 years, then 1% for every year thereafter.  I hear TPMG pays a straight 1.5% every year.  So sounds like one should work at SCPMG for 20 years, then move to another Kaiser region (or vice versa, as long you can squeeze in the 20 at SCPMG somewhere!) Of course, I don’t think most doctors reading this site plan to work much beyond 20 years anyways, but it’s a fun min/max thought exercise anyways.

    TPMG pays 2% per year/first 20 yrs, then 1%/year  thereafter.

    Also, I’m not sure about fellowship, but I did residency at a Kaiser in Northern California.  I received 2 years of Credited Service for my PGY-2 and PGY-3 years, but not qualifying service, which is fine, as that’s the more important one.  Those 2 years also count towards the Full Retirement calculation (years of service + age => 75, means free lifetime health insurance under Kaiser, the physician cadillac plan one, for both you and your spouse).  PGY-1 year doesn’t counts towards anything.  The KP SoCal residents I talked to got the same deal, so this appears to be standard across SCPMG hospitals regarding any Kaiser residency graduates.

     

    Click to expand…

     

    #142125 Reply
    Avatar StarTrekDoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1681
    Joined: 01/15/2017

    Can verify fatpig’s statement.  TPMG 5yr vest and same 2% x20years 1% thereafter — specifics on transfer is still murky.  Last time we checked in 2014, wife was TPMG and nothing came over besides good will.

    #142138 Reply
    Avatar kaiserSosay 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2
    Joined: 08/09/2018

    delaying the plan 1 payout to 70 yo

    after age 65, you don’t want or need the pension; you’ld say, i’ll delay the payout for a few more years.

    your plan 1 payout increases x% per year, kinda like delaying SS payout?

    is that true or just TPMG rumors?

    #142772 Reply
    Liked by wintermutt
    Avatar AlexxT 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 897
    Joined: 01/13/2016
    delaying the plan 1 payout to 70 yo after age 65, you don’t want or need the pension; you’ld say, i’ll delay the payout for a few more years. your plan 1 payout increases x% per year, kinda like delaying SS payout? is that true or just TPMG rumors?

    Click to expand…

    If you are not working you may defer.  Current payments as follows:

    65= 100%

    66= 108.4%

    67=  117.61%

    68=  127.71%

    69= 138.79%

    70= 150.97%

    Keep in mind if you defer you will be collecting for fewer years.  It’s actuarially increased, so you’re not beating the system in any way.

    There are other options for collecting this money.  Call HR and ask for the “summary plan description” of the Plan 1 benefits.

    #142848 Reply
    Avatar Dru 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 50
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    Hi all,

    This was briefly touched on in the middle of the thread, but wanted to see if people are tending to use the target funds, building your own 3 fund, or using brokerage link? I’ve been in one of the target funds x4 years, but can’t quite get the AA I’m looking for. I would like to do a 3 fund. There is the US equity market index fund for total US market, but I’m not appreciating any international or bond index funds. Would be interested in seeing what others are doing.

    #144489 Reply
    Avatar cato 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1
    Joined: 08/24/2018

    New to the forum from Oregon

     

    Does the “80 yr rule” only apply to docs employed before 2014? I heard there is no such a thing as “80 year” rule  ( age+ year of service at KPMG) if you are employed doc after 2014.  Thanks!

    #146194 Reply
    Avatar leftpinky 
    Participant
    Status: Resident
    Posts: 2
    Joined: 11/28/2018

    Hi all,

     

    Quick question.  I’m a resident considering an offer from Kaiser.  Salary is ok in specialty, but sign on bonus would realisicallty limit me from going anywhere for 7 years–about 60% of salary.    I’d use that to pay off the high interest part of my loans, plus savings.  There is also call q4 weeks and it’s going to be 12 busy hours both Saturday and Sunday, if not 16 and people from the other parts of the department would likely take some of it, probably half, at least, I’d imagine (I would if I were them).  So with call, do you get time for time?  So if I work 24 hours over the weekend, I’d get 24 hours off I could use as vacation or cash in?  I’d rather take time off than cash, but may do a mix.  I probably wouldn’t have taken job at 3+1 weeks off, but if I can get 7-8, I totally would (other job is basically 16 hours per day for about 12-15 days a month, so basically 26 weeks off and about 80% higher salary, but after taxes, retirement, maybe about 20% higher plus 16s are not sustainable)

     

    Thanks,

     

    LP

     

    #170322 Reply
    EJ at Dads, Dollars, and Debts EJ at Dads, Dollars, and Debts 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 218
    Joined: 12/01/2016

    What is your specialty? You get time for time when you are doing procedures or seeing new consults (during regular weekend hours of 8-5 pm) and if called in. When called in you get a minimum of 2 hours I believe. As a cardiologist we have lots of procedures and got time for that but not for seeing return patients on a weekend.

    Depending on your department and hospital budget, you can take it for vacation (my preferred) or cash. We could not take it for cash due to budgetary issues but some places will offer both or even force you to take it as cash. So the key is to talk to your hiring/department chief and see what they do.

    Also, I just paid back my large sign on bonus after leaving TPMG withing 3 years. It sucked, but the loan interest rate was lower than I would have had otherwise. The kicker is you are taxed on the loan amount when it is given, so that is lost money.

    - EJ @ DadsDollarsDebts.com

    Dad and Cardiologist. Trying to help dads with personal finance so they can focus on the family. Blogger at DadsDollarsDebts.com

    #170332 Reply
    Avatar leftpinky 
    Participant
    Status: Resident
    Posts: 2
    Joined: 11/28/2018

    Yeah, they seemed to give me the choice, so I would likely take mostly as vacation early then maybe cash later when base goes up. My sign-on is also a forgivable loan, so would not be taxed until years 5, 6 and 7 when forgiven?  That’s what I was told by section chief.  I’m in psych.  The pay is really good by any standard, but it’s good for outpatient and not as good for inpatient as other places you can work other places once done with your work.  But I think it evens out over 10-20 years as the gap closes but you also have a much better quality of life.

    #170416 Reply
    Avatar SS 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1
    Joined: 01/02/2019

    I am a part-time TPMG physician. I have read the posts on this thread but have received information from MD Benefits stating that the Voluntary After Tax amount of 15,420 is fixed and can not be increased so that a physician making less than 275,000 can reach the maximum contribution limit of 54,000 (Salary Deferral + Permanente Contribution + Voluntary After Tax). Just curious as to how other part-time TPMG physicians that make less than 275,000 have been able to contribute more than 15,420 to the Voluntary after tax contribution. Once I reached 15,420, no more money was deducted from my paycheck for the Voluntary after tax contribution.

    #177943 Reply
    mcdouglas mcdouglas 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 13
    Joined: 06/17/2018

    The maximum 401k contribution for 2018 (as set by the IRS) was $55,000 per annum. That includes $18,500 pre-tax monies (taken out of your paycheck), the maximum Kaiser contribution of $21,080 (which they pay on your behalf – aka Plan 2) which leaves $15,420 in post-tax monies that you can also deduct from your paycheck (you have to go into NetBenefits on Fidelity’s site to set your contribution %). You are unable to contribute more than $15,420 for 2018.

    The TPMG Contribution (aka Plan 2) is their version of the “match” and is based upon the social security wage base and then up to an established maximum based upon IRS limits (search my posts, I have written on it in detail). If you make above $280,000 per annum, TPMG will then pay you a lump sum catch-up payment that extends the payment scheme to your exact income.

    #181705 Reply

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