New partners in big 4: do you think big 4 partnership is still worth it now that many big 4 firms are no longer offering lifetime pensions? How did you decide whether to stay or leave? And is there an ideal time to leave (like as a director vs. 1st year partner vs 5th year partner) based on vesting of benefits, exit opportunities, etc?

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I don’t think EY will retain its people

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I'm not at B4 but father in law was partner at one. He retired about 15 years ago. My understanding is the benefits are a tiny fraction of what they were. When he retired he kept an office and secretary (useful for his BoD gigs), had a full pension, was flown to various partner meetings around the world (alumni partners get invited), was reimbursed for golf membership, received a stipend for clients he helped advise (he was friends with a few CEOs) and got to use firm staff for personal projects. He even used the firm's PR team to help him get appearances on CNBC. He thinks current partners get none of that when they retire. Granted he was a practice leader but according to him even "average partners" had these benefits.

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Which firms aren’t offering pensions anymore?

EY partner and we definitely have a pension

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My 2 cents is if you make it to partner, you get stuck. Otherwise keep figuring out if you can make more money elsewhere. It’s definitely a grind to be a partner and the payout is really after 10 years of service.

By the way, my job satisfaction is more de-linked from my pay than you might think. But no one believes that. And I’m sure I’m in the minority on this, but it’s real.

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