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Apple is doling out $200,000 ‘retention grants’ to keep people from leaving
The bonuses show the level of insecurity that some of the top-paying companies in the industry feel in this tight market.

Apple Inc. is paying a small number of engineers another round of special stock bonuses as part of an unusual push to retain key talent, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The iPhone maker doled out the bonuses in recent days to a select group of employees in its software and hardware engineering departments, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the move isn’t public.

The rewards ranged from around $100,000 to upwards of $200,000 in restricted stock units. With some in the company referring to them as special retention grants.

Apple to Give Bonuses to Engineers

In December 2021, Apple gave up to $180,000 in bonuses to chosen engineers in silicon design, operations, and hardware. The new bonuses are going to both software and hardware engineers.

The bonuses will range from $100,000 to $200,000 and will be given in the form of restricted stock units that are set to vest over the course of four years. If the employees stay with Apple and do not take jobs at other tech companies.

Apple has been giving bonuses to encourage employees retention and to prevent other companies like Meta from poaching its talented engineers.

With inflation and employee angst about having to return to the office. Apple employees will need to do three days a week starting by May. Apple and other tech giants are throwing more and more money at employees to retain them.

In the last few months, Alphabet has adopted a new cash bonus plan that allows employee bonuses “of nearly any size for nearly any reason,” The Wall Street Journal reported last month. Amazon has raised its cash-pay cap from $160,000 to $350,000, according to The New York Times.

Apple Rewarded Engineers Up to $180K

Bloomberg reported that the select hardware, software, silicon design, and operations were informed that they would be receiving stock bonuses ranging from $50,000 to $180,000. Which is an unusual and significant gift from the tech giant.

The payouts are not part of normal Apple compensation packages. It includes a base salary, a cash bonus, and stock units. Apple sometimes awards additional cash bonuses to its employees, but the size of the latest stock grans was timed and atypical.

These bonuses generally come in the form of restricted stock units, which vest over multiple years. This vesting schedule gives employees an added incentive to stay at Apple rather than leave for a competitor. Apple has reportedly faced some employee retention issues, particularly with regard to Meta.

Bonuses such as these were once quite rare at Apple, but have become more common recently due to the overall labor market becoming increasingly competitive. Last December, Apple issued bonuses to around 10% to 20% of its top-performing engineers. The company also gave retail employees bonuses last year ahead of the busy holiday shopping season and iPhone 13 launch.

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