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Ret plans - info for employees


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Women Showing Greater Commitment to Retirement Savings
"[T]he average retirement savings balance for women was up 17 percent from a year ago and 71 percent from 2009. The gap between the average balance between women and men narrowed to 37.8 percent in the second quarter from 40.5 percent in 2010.... [T]he average salary deferral rate for women continues to trail men, 5.37 percent to 5.70 percent of compensation, respectively. However, the deferral rates for women have remained fairly steady since 2010 while the rates for men have declined." (MassMutual)
Five Items That Impact the Amount Your 401(k) Participants Need to Retire
"How much do your 401(k) plan participants need to accumulate in their accounts in order to retire without making significant lifestyle adjustments? Here are some estimates from the experts: 8 times final pay at age 67 -- Fidelity ... 11 times final pay at age 65 -- Aon Hewitt ... 18 times final pay -- EBRI ... 25 times final pay -- to ensure an annual withdrawal rate of 4%. With such a wide range of opinions, it can be hard for participants to know what to aim for." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)
A 401(k) Rollover Checklist for Plan Participants
"[A]t a minimum, holding multiple retirement accounts here and there means that you have more holdings to monitor. And if the old 401(k) is subpar, you may actually hinder your returns by staying put.... [1] Check your account value.... [2] Determine whether to stay within the 401(k) confines.... [3] Assess the quality of your 401(k) options.... [4] Find the right IRA provider.... [5] Decide whether to convert your Traditional 401(k) assets to Roth.... [6] Execute.... [ 7] Determine what to invest in." (Morningstar)
Insurance Against Outliving Your Retirement Savings
"New federal tax rules, published in July, make it possible for individuals to buy so-called longevity annuities in their individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans. Like a plain-vanilla immediate annuity, a longevity policy allows purchasers to convert a lump sum into a pension-like stream of income for life.... But these policies have downsides." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)
Retirement Readiness for ESOP Participants
"Company contributions to participants' ESOP accounts can be significant and are positioning many employees to retire ready.... In order for your participants to get an idea of their ESOP account might be worth, it would be helpful to first do some education on anticipated ESOP contributions and potential stock value growth so they enter reasonable assumptions into their calculation.... You could also consider sharing the average amount that has been paid to retirees." (The Principal Financial Group)
Pushed to Make Own Choices, Investors Turn to Advisors for Help with Retirement Planning (PDF)
14 pages. "Nearly three in four (72%) investors have saved at least $250,000 for retirement. Despite significant savings, investors lack deep knowledge regarding financial products. 62% of investors save through a broker or financial planner. Investors rely more on the recommendation of their advisors to select investments than any other factor. Nearly four in 10 investors own annuities." (Insured Retirement Institute [IRI])
Embracing Social Media and Mobile Technology in 401(k) Communications
"How important is it that plan sponsors factor social media and mobile into their participant communications strategies? ... Are there any common myths plan sponsors have about social media and mobile use? ... What are some steps or action items a sponsor should take to meet the challenge of this new world of communications? ... What are a few examples of 'meaningful and valuable' information? ... What role does the plan vendor play?" (401kHelpCenter.com)
Reasons to Hold Off on Your Employer's Pension Buyout Offer
"If you work for a company with a pension plan, don't be surprised if you get an offer soon for a lump sum buyout ... The price tag for these offers is especially attractive right now, from the plan sponsor's perspective. But workers might do better by holding out for a better deal, or by rejecting the buyout altogether.... A key factor is how healthy you think you are in relation to the rest of the population. If you think you'll beat the averages, a lifetime of pension income will always beat the lump sum." (Money)
Defined Contribution Plan Participants' Activities, First Quarter 2014 (PDF)
"In 2014:Q1, 1.3 percent of DC plan participants took withdrawals, the same share as in 2013:Q1.... Only 0.5 percent of DC plan participants took hardship withdrawals during 2014:Q1, compared with 0.4 percent during 2013:Q1.... Only 1.0 percent of DC plan participants stopped contributing in 2014:Q1, the same pace as in 2013:Q1.... At the end of March 2014, 17.7 percent of DC plan participants had loans outstanding, compared with 18.2 percent at year-end 2013, and 15.3 percent at year-end 2008." (Investment Company Institute [ICI])
How Much is a Proper Beneficiary Designation Worth?
"Aside from their primary residence, the largest asset on most peoples' balance sheet is represented by their retirement accounts.... How do you name a beneficiary? ... What happens if a beneficiary is not named? ... Who should I name as beneficiary? ... What options will my beneficiaries have when they inherit the funds? ... What happens if my beneficiary predeceases me? ... Should I name my trust as beneficiary?" (Cleary Gull)
To Claim or Not to Claim: When Should You Take Social Security?
"If you start at 62, you will receive 25 percent less per month than you would at your full retirement age of 66 (if you were born between 1943 and 1954). For those born later, the reduction grows gradually to 30 percent.... If you can wait until you're 70 to claim Social Security, your monthly payment will be 32 percent more." (U.S. News & World Report)
Unexpected Consequences of Early Retirement
"Even if you plan to retire at 45 ... you are still going to be working for two decades. And early retirees need to keep their living expenses lower and save significantly more of their paychecks than people planning to retire at a more traditional retirement age ... Working so hard could make you want to retire even sooner.... You might be afraid to quit.... It's scary to spend down your life savings.... There will be parts of work you will miss." (U.S. News & World Report)
[Opinion] Unconventional Wisdom on Retirement Preparedness
"There are at least three reasons why adequacy standards in the typical replacement rate study are too high: [1] Assumptions about the pattern of savings over workers' life cycles raise the standard for younger workers.... [2] The assumption that household expenses don't change when households transition from work to retirement raises the standard.... [3] The assumption that household expenses remain flat throughout retirement raises the standard.... The danger of accepting the conventional wisdom is two-fold. First, the notion of a widespread shortfall deflects attention from those groups actually at risk in retirement ... Second, it obscures the fact that the U.S. retirement system works well for the majority of households." (Investment Company Institute [ICI])
Smartphone Usage Up Among Retirement Plan Participants
"Smartphone usage among DC plan participants is up significantly from last year (71 percent), which PC/Mac usage has remained basically unchanged (79 percent). Tablet or e-reader usage is trending upward from 57 percent in 2013." (Spectrem Group)
The Required Minimum Distribution Rules Do Not Work Well with Longevity Annuities
"[Actuary Steve Vernon] has his hypothetical 65-year-old woman buy a Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC), work half-time in retirement until age 70, defer Social Security commencement until age 70 and use some of her accumulated savings from age 65 until she commences Social Security to supplement her employment income until then.... But then Steve inexplicably has her run off the train tracks on her smart retirement train ride by using the RMD rules to determine her annual withdrawals from her accumulated savings. The RMD rules just don't coordinate well with her decision to buy the QLAC." (Ken Steiner, FSA Retired)
Three Things to Check on a Beneficiary Form -- Besides the Beneficiaries
"[1] Does the beneficiary form work on a per stripes or per capita basis? ... [2] Are there any restrictions on whom you can name as a beneficiary? ... Some beneficiary forms ... may not allow a trust to be named as a beneficiary. Others may limit the number of primary or contingent beneficiaries you can name.... [3] Does the beneficiary form allow the stretch? ... [A] retirement account may require that any beneficiary -- designated or not -- empty an inherited account within 5 years." (The Slott Report)
Women, Low Earners Are Least Likely to Receive Full Retirement Savings Match from Employers (PDF)
"78 percent of Americans who contribute to an employer-sponsored retirement plan receive matching contributions from their employer, and 77 percent of those who have matching contributions save enough to receive the full employer match. However, only 72 percent of women contribute enough to receive the full employer match, compared with 82 percent of men, and only 64 percent of those earning less than $35,000 a year receive the full match. In addition, only 51 percent of those with less than $10,000 in assets receive the full match." (TIAA-CREF)
How Well Does Your Retirement Budget Process Handle Your Specific Situation and Objectives?
"If you are simply spending 4% of your accumulated savings at initial retirement increased with inflation each year, you are probably not adequately reflecting your specific situation or objectives." (Ken Steiner, FSA Retired)
Pogo Stick Retirement Planning for the Younger Generations
"Historically, retirement planning has been likened to a three-legged stool -- consisting of a corporate pension, Social Security and personal savings. Baby boomers saw the pension fade from existence, leaving them to balance on retirement planning stilts. For younger generations, ... it feels like it's all on us. We're left with only a retirement planning pogo stick.... Younger generations should simply expect that we'll be working indefinitely, and, facing that reality, we should labor tirelessly to seek and find the career that doesn't feel like work." (Forbes)
How Does Goal-Oriented Targeting Work?
"Think about it. If, instead of leading with that big ol' seven digit number like that commercial did, when you ask, 'Hey! What's My Number?' what if the answer is '3%,' as in, 'you only need to keep doing what you're doing and earn a minimum investment return of 3% on average every year.' You can do 3%, right? Heck, you can probably do a lot more." (Fiduciary News)
[Opinion] Thoughts on a Nobel Laureate's Proposal to Change How 401(k) Plans Operate
"[M]uch of [Prof. Robert] Merton's proposal can be accomplished without taking the giant step of scrapping existing funds.... There's nothing preventing 401(k) plan providers, with the permission of plan sponsors, from emphasizing income projections in their presentations to 401(k) owners. Yes, changes in asset prices must be published. There's no escaping at least some discussion of wealth. But there is much that can be done to spread the gospel on retirement income." (John Rekenthale, for Morningstar)
A Retirement Annuity Strategy That Offers Peace of Mind
"[P]eople are far more comfortable with a retirement strategy of spending their income than spending their assets.... [but] ... the simple fact is a worried retiree is not a happy retiree.... [Prof. Robert Merton's] point is that people are far more comfortable living within a known income stream than they are spending down assets for an unknown period of time.... The annuity income can begin immediately or it can be deferred until a later age. It can pay an income for life, for a period of years or for the greater of life and a guaranteed period of years." (Forbes)
From Red Hot Chili Peppers to Rush to the Rolling Stones: Three Generations Prepare for the Future (PDF)
"Each generation has a distinct outlook on its future, including retirement. This article describes three different generational groups, their trials and triumphs when it comes to preparing for their future, and how employers should respond. The key is to acknowledge these differences and address them through the three levers employers have to pull -- plan design, the support offered to employees and the ways retirement readiness is promoted." (Benefits Quarterly, published by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists [ISCEBS])
Think Twice Before Using Dynamic Systematic Withdrawal Strategies
"[I]f your goal is to spend most of your accumulated assets by the end of the expected payout period, your spending budget should increase significantly when measured as a percentage of your accumulated savings as you age.... [A]pplication of the [Jonathan] Guyton decision rules (with spending cuts adopted when the withdrawal rate for a year increases by more than 20% over the initial withdrawal rate) will likely result in unwanted spending cuts[.]" (Kenneth A. Steiner, FSA Retired)
Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Retirement Planning Predicts Employee Health Improvements
"[E]xisting retirement-contribution patterns and future health improvements were highly correlated. Employees who saved for the future by contributing to a 401(k) showed improvements in their abnormal blood-test results and health behaviors approximately 27% more often than noncontributors did." (Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis, via Psychological Science)
Your Ideal Retirement Number Is Zero
"The ideal retirement number for liabilities is zero -- no mortgage, no credit card rollover, no unpaid loans. Doing so means that the retiree may be able to fund basic needs (food, utilities, taxes, automobile, insurance, clothing, etc.) solely from Social Security payments (and/or other guaranteed pensions).... [T]he lump-sum at retirement that is required to fund $1,100 of monthly spending, assuming a 4% withdrawal rate, is $320,000. For the millions of households that currently have almost no savings at all, retirement or otherwise, that number will look daunting. But a lot less daunting than what is currently being shown to them." (John Rekenthaler, for Morningstar)
Ten Incredibly Easy Things a 401(k) Fiduciary Can Do to Increase Deferral Rates
"Encourage employees to begin deferral the moment they are hired.... Stretch the matching formula so it continues to match at higher deferral rates.... Adopt auto-enrollment and auto-escalation policies as part of the plan.... Show participants how to reframe goals so they are much more closely aligned to real situations.... Use raw numbers bluntly.... Reduce withholding if participants are overpaying taxes.... Contribute all or most of year-end bonus money to the retirement plan.... Use silly props of lure participants with promises of candy.... Conduct one-on-one participant meetings.... Do something totally outrageous." (Fiduciary News)
What Is the Ideal Deferral Rate a 401(k) Fiduciary Should Ask Employees to Work Towards?
"There is a 'textbook' answer, and it's based on a number of fairly common assumptions. Jonathan Leidy, Principal at Portico Wealth Advisors ... says, 'The generally accepted replacement ratio in retirement is 80% ... If one assumes a 20% savings rate and both a constant salary and rate of return, e.g. 5%, an annual draw equal to an 80% replacement ratio should last about 35 years, which is at the longer end of most people's expected retirement window.'" (Fiduciary News)
Financial Education for Today's Workforce: 2014 Survey Results (PDF)
67 pages. Excerpt: "Nearly two in five respondents feel a responsibility to educate on pension and benefit options, encourage retirement savings and help participants/employees become financially literate managers of their money.... Half of organizations have experienced increased demand from participants for financial education in the past five years.... Among organizations offering financial education, the three most common topics are retirement plan benefits, investments and savings." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP])
Gens X and Y Educators Need Education About Retirement
"Gens X and Y respondents regardless of whether they are educators or not prefer to get advice in person.... Nearly six in ten (58%) Gens X and Y educators reported they prefer to learn about financial planning issues at work, rather than on their own." (planadviser)
Delayed Retirement Reduces Health Care Costs
"[C]ouples who decide to retire at 62 -- before they are eligible for Medicare -- are likely to spend an extra $17,000 per year for a total of $271,000 during retirement ... On the other hand, couples who can postpone retirement just a few years to age 67 could save about $10,000 per year, reducing their estimated costs for health care in retirement to $200,000." (InvestmentNews)
Should You Split a Roth Conversion Into Multiple Accounts to Isolate Investments for Strategic Recharacterization?
"[O]ne significant caveat of Roth recharacterizations ... is that [they] must allocate gains/losses across the account on a pro-rata basis. As a result, one cannot simply 'cherry pick' the worst performing investments from a Roth conversion to subsequently recharacterize, and trying to do so can accidentally shift originally-Roth investments into a traditional IRA in the process! Fortunately, though, a special rule allows Roth recharacterizations to occur on a standalone basis, as long as the conversion is placed in a separate account in the first place." (Michael Kitces in Nerd's Eye View)
Annuity Ownership Boosts Retirement Confidence
"47 percent of retirees and pre-retirees who own annuities said annuity ownership contributed to their feeling of confidence.... The top three factors contributing to their confidence include: [1] Confident in my ability to manage finances, 62%; [2] Expect to live modestly in retirement, 59%; [3] Have saved enough for retirement 53%." (LIMRA)
The Digital Frontier: A Crucial Element in Engaging Participants
"Plan participants trust their employers, or plan sponsors, to provide them with the resources, tools and information necessary to plan their retirement readiness.... What can a plan sponsor do to leverage the Web and other digital technologies? [Sponsors should] work with their plan providers to better understand what is offered on providers' platforms and look for specific tools that can engage participants." (PLANSPONSOR)
Millennial Survey Results: Pick Up Your Savings Pace
"While 80 percent of millennials, ages 22-33, say the Great Recession taught them they have to save 'now' to survive economic problems down the road, only about half (55%) are actually saving for retirement." (The Wells Fargo Blog)
Go It Alone in Investing for Your Retirement? Get Slammed Twice
"One-third of retirees without an advisor said health care costs keep them from living the retirement they expected. This is compared with only 13 percent of retirees who use an advisor and said costs keep them from a retirement to which they'd aspired ... 33 percent of retirees who don't work with an advisor said their Social Security deposit was less or much less than they expected. By comparison, only 12 percent of retirees who work with an advisor said their Social Security deposit was less or much less than they expected." (InsuranceNewsNet.com)
Day Trading Your 401(k)? Six Reasons to Stop Now
"[1] You're not smarter than The Street.... [2] Your gut feelings are probably wrong.... [3] There may be penalties.... [4] Volatility can work against you too.... [5] This is not a market to time.... [6] It's real money." (The Huffington Post)
Millennials: Making Room for Retirement Savings
"[M]illennials can benefit the most by adopting a different view of retirement and financial planning while they're still young.... The steps they can take include beginning retirement saving early, understanding the plan, increasing deferrals over time, taking advantage of retirement savings estimate tools, appreciating the power of compound interest, resisting the temptation to tap retirement savings for other purposes (e.g., hardship distributions), and keeping plan beneficiary designations up to date." (Milliman)
Work in Retirement: Myths and Motivations (PDF)
"Over seven in 10 pre-retirees say they want to work in retirement. In the near future, it will be increasingly unusual for retirees not to work.... While some work primarily for the money, many others are motivated by important nonfinancial reasons... Nearly three out of five retirees launch into a new line of work, and working retirees are three times more likely than pre-retirees to be entrepreneurs." (Merrill Lynch)
What to Do With 'Orphaned' 401(k)s
"The quickest, easiest way to locate an orphaned account is to call the human resources department at your former employer. They should be able to help you or direct you to the plan provider. For more difficult circumstances -- for example, that the company you worked for no longer exists, or you left many years ago and human resources cannot tell you where your account is held -- it could be difficult to track down your orphaned account. In that case, a government agency could help: the [PBGC]. This organization is designed to help find lost defined-benefit plans, commonly known as pensions, but it may be able to help find a 401(k) or similar defined-contribution plan. The National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits is another option to consider." (U.S. News & World Report)
Facts About Multiemployer Pension Plan Funding
"This fact sheet explains funding issues in multiemployer pension plans and links to [Pension Rights Center] on-line calculators, which you can use to gauge the impact that possible benefit cuts or the guarantee limits set by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation could have on your multiemployer plan pension." (Pension Rights Center)
Your Greatest Plans and Biggest Fears for Retirement [Infographic]
"Realizing that plan participants have different goals for retirement helps plan sponsors develop effective benefit communications. This infographic ... provides a snapshot of the varying plans of your peers." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP])
The Changing Face of Retirement: Aegon's Retirement Readiness Survey, 2014 (PDF)
"As in 2013, people continue to hold positive aspirations for retirement, with many associating retirement with leisure (46%) and a sense of freedom (41%). Nevertheless, this is combined with a continuing widespread lack of confidence that retirement will actually deliver these benefits.... Only one in six (18%) expect to be better off in retirement when compared to current retirees... Underlying these low scores is a widespread lack of retirement saving and planning... Employers have a dual role to play in providing both financial support in the form of workplace pensions and other workplace savings products, as well as services such as online retirement planning tools or workplace financial advice." (Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)
[Opinion] The Retirement Apocalypse That Isn't Coming
"No one argues that building a solid financial future is easy ... Innovative retirement plans and new policies and products point to a future richer than many workers imagine.... If Social Security survives, or even expands, that covers only the barest necessities. The rest will need to come from savings invested in a market that just loves surprises, often unpleasant ones. Again, the long view provides comfort." (InvestmentNews)
[Opinion] Accumulating Savings for Retirement of 8x or 10x Pay Is Better Than 4x or 6x
"[U]nder current law, future age 65 Social Security replacement rates will be somewhat lower than the rates used by [Pang and Schieber] for individuals born after 1954 (reaching about 7% lower for anyone born after 1959). In addition, because of Social Security's financial difficulties, future benefit reductions of something like 25% may be required sometime in the 2030s when the OASDI trust fund is projected to be exhausted if tax rates are not increased." (Kenneth A. Steiner, FSA Retired)
Does Retirement Induced Through Social Security Pension Eligibility Influence Subjective Well-Being?
"For both the U.S. and Europe [the authors] find that retirement is associated with higher levels of depression. However, when we use instrumental variables we find the opposite result. Retirement induced through Social Security pension eligibility is found to have a positive effect, reducing depression symptoms, although only marginally significant for the U.S. when considering the depression indicator. Retirement is not found to have a significant effect on life satisfaction measures for either the U.S. or Europe." (University of Michigan Retirement Research Center)
Tell a Graduate to Start Saving Now
"New graduates probably don't enter their careers already thinking of retirement. Saving now for an event taking place in 40 plus years is a tough sell, but there are two important details new graduates should understand: People who start saving sooner rather than later set themselves up for financial success.... Saving can be really easy if they automate the process now." (Smart401k)
After a Law Paves the Way, No Rush to Roth
"As of year-end 2013, more than half (52%) of Vanguard-recordkept defined contribution (DC) plans offered Roth elective deferrals -- but only 8% of plans offered Roth in-plan conversions. Participant statistics show a similar story. Less than 1% (0.3%) of participants with access to the Roth in-plan conversion option converted assets between 2010 and 2013.... [One strategy] for participants is tax diversification -- holding both pre-tax and Roth balances as a hedge against changes in future tax rates." (Vanguard)
Only About 1 in 4 Workers Who Obtained Professional Investment Advice Followed All of It (PDF)
"The reasons most often offered for not following all of the advice include: [1] Not trusting the advice (34 percent of workers and 31 percent of retirees). [2] Having other ideas or other plans or goals (16 percent of workers and 29 percent of retirees). [3] Not being able to afford it (20 percent of workers and 6 percent of retirees)." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])
Are You Your 401(k)'s Worst Enemy?
"Let's take a look at the behaviors that could be sabotaging your retirement savings efforts -- and what you need to do to go from 'enemy' to hero: [1] Leaving your 401(k) at its default settings.... [2] Cashing out a 401(k) when you switch jobs.... [3] Chasing returns and trying to time the market." (Smart401k)
Would Lifetime Income Estimates Lead to Behavior Change? (PDF)
"[M]ore than half (58 percent) of workers who were currently contributing to an employer plan found the estimated monthly income was in line with their expectations, and perhaps as a result, relatively few (only 17 percent of the respondents) said they would increase their retirement savings contributions or anticipated retirement age as a result of hearing the monthly income estimate. However, of those responding that their illustrated value was much less or somewhat less than expected, more than a third (35 percent) indicated they would increase their contributions." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])
Where Should You Convert -- Roth IRA or Roth 401(k)?
"While on the surface these two types of accounts are very similar -- they both, for example, offer the prospects of tax-free growth and future distributions -- there are a number of subtle, and not so subtle, differences that may make one type of conversion far more beneficial for you than the other.... [H]ere is a summary of some of the most important factors to consider when making this decision[.]" (The Slott Report)
401(k)/403(b) Best Practices: Employee Education
"Start by constructing an Employee Education Policy Statement outlining your goals and objectives for your employee education sessions. Most plan sponsors never put together this document and as a result, have no idea if they are achieving any worthwhile education objectives. Include behavioral finance elements in your sessions.... Incorporate retirement readiness concepts into your curriculum.... [S]trongly discourage use of your 401(k) plan for anything other than retirement savings." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)
Early Withdrawals from 401(k) Plans Replace Homes as American Piggy Bank
"Adjusted for inflation, the government collects 37 percent more money from early-withdrawal penalties than it did in 2003. Meanwhile, the amount of home-equity loans outstanding was $704 billion in 2013, down 38 percent from the 2007 peak[.]" (Bloomberg)
Investor Behavior and 401(k) Statements
"Many savers are leaving money on the table by not taking full advantage of their employer's matching contribution. Segment and target these individuals, and demonstrate how maximizing the match can lead to greater savings at retirement age. Savers over the age of 50 are eligible for catch-up contributions to their plan. Monitor participants' birthdays and provide the necessary information to help them take advantage of this feature. Give savers a before-and-after snapshot of their paycheck as they raise their deferral rates. Help them visualize the tax advantages of increasing their contribution." (Putnam Investments)
Is the Four Percent Rule Still Relevant for Retirees?
"Perhaps the safe number is now 3.5 or 2.8 percent. Here are a few other reasons the 4 percent rule might not work for you: You have an atypical investment allocation.... You have set aside a big cash pile.... Taxes will make a big difference.... Investment expenses will eat into the returns.... Making a one-time big purchase that violates the withdrawal rules will cause havoc... You want to withdraw more in the early years and dial it back in the later years... A pension or annuity without inflation adjustments makes the math more complicated." (U.S.News & World Report)
Lifetime Income Scores: Assessment of Retirement Preparedness (PDF)
"For the second year in a row, working Americans are on track to replace 61% of their household income in retirement. The significant rise in equity markets in 2013 did not raise the [lifetime income score] for everyone, as cash and bond allocations remain high in many retirement portfolios. Deferring 10% or more to a workplace savings plan and using a financial advisor continue to have a major impact on retirement preparedness. Plan eligibility, participation, and auto-plan features continue to be core elements of successful retirement planning for most American workers." (Putnam Investments)
DOL Proposes Required Retirement Income Projections (PDF)
"One notice or disclosure will not change the entire outlook of plan participants ... However, a retirement income forecast could be useful to participants if it is coupled with additional information and an easily understood call to action.... Once participants are moved to act, plan sponsors and service providers need to be ready to answer these questions: [1] What tools are available for me to further investigate my retirement readiness? [2] How much of an annual increase in contributions is needed to reach my objectives? [3] How else can I close the gap between my retirement target and the current state of my savings? [4] How much do I really need in retirement? [5] Are my goals realistic and appropriate? [6] Can I retire now? If not now, when?" (Ekon Benefits via Plan Consultant)
Estimating Changes in Retirement Expenditures and the Retirement Spending Smile
"David Blanchett of Morningstar ... finds in reality, real retiree spending decreases slowly in the early years, more rapidly in the middle years, and then less slowly in the final years, in a path that looks less like a slow and steady decline and more like a 'retirement spending smile' instead.... The implications of this research are not only that financial planners should be more cognizant to assume some level of real spending decreases throughout retirement ... but also that the traditional research may be somewhat overestimating the amount of funds needed to retire in the first place, as a lower average spending level across all the retirement years means it simply may not take quite as much to retire as is typically assumed or modeled in a typical financial plan!" (Michael Kitces in Nerd's Eye View)
The Retirement Readiness of Three Unique Generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials (PDF)
61 pages. Excerpt: "Sixty-five percent of Baby Boomer workers plan to continue working past age 65 or do not plan to retire. The majority of Generation X (54 percent) also plan to do so. In contrast, most Millennials (60 percent) plan to retire at 65 or sooner.... Most workers also plan to continue working after they retire, including 40 percent who plan to work part-time and 12 percent full-time. Only 27 percent of workers do not plan to work after they retire, and 21 percent are not sure. Again, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials share similar expectations.... Baby Boomers and Generation X (both 62 percent) plan to work for reasons related income or benefits, far more so than Millennials (49 percent). Interestingly, many Millennials (47 percent) plan to work in retirement for enjoyment." (Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)

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