golden handcuffs
n. Attractive financial benefits that a corporate employee will lose by resigning from the company.

Example Citations:
The lures include signing bonuses; so-called “golden handcuffs,“ such as bonuses that are not payable until the end of a year or stock options that vest over time; and generous relocation packages.
—Kathy Bergen, “Revenge of the Middle Manager“,> Chicago Tribune, February 1, 1998

“What I‘ve noticed in the last 12 months is freelances terminating their contracts early." Employers are using “golden handcuffs", he says, to ensure they do not slip off early to another contract.
—Lynne Curry, “Now it‘s sex and drugs and writing code,“ The Independent (London), February 10, 1998

Earliest Citation:
Dr. Robert Hilker, medical director of Illinois Bell Telephone Company, who himself became a doctor only after several years in business, says people get stymied by the “golden handcuffs” of pension plans and seniority rights.
—Donna Joy Newman, “Job Frustrations Mar Middle Years,“ The Kansas City Star, October 14, 1973

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