Determining your retirement income needs and monitoring your progress toward your goal can mean the difference between having a comfortable, financially secure retirement and struggling to afford the bare necessities.
For participants in Wespath-administered retirement plans, projecting retirement income requires about 10 minutes with Benefits Access. This participant account management website provides two projection tools: The Retirement Readiness Tool and the Retirement Benefits Projection. Both tools provide information to help you plan. However, the Retirement Benefits Projection gives an in-depth look at only your Wespath-administered retirement accounts projected to your retirement date and allows you to select distribution options, while the Retirement Readiness Tool incorporates estimated Social Security benefits and allows you to enter balances for accounts held outside of Wespath.
The Retirement Readiness Tool
This tool—displayed on the Benefits Access homepage—uses a bar graph to visually display your projected retirement income, how much you may need—and any shortfall or surplus of expected funds in your first year of retirement. The tool automatically captures your Wespath-administered retirement plan accounts and benefits, as well as estimated Social Security benefits. It also lets you add any retirement savings held outside Wespath.
The Retirement Readiness Tool also lets you personalize your retirement planning and lifestyle choices. By using the tool “sliders” to change housing and health care costs, discretionary spending, retirement age and your investment style, you can see the results. Or, you can experiment by increasing your contributions to the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP) and see how that can impact your retirement readiness. To access this tool, log in to Benefits Access with your username and password, and select the book. You can also select “Take Action” from the toolbar at the top of the page and under Project Future Values, choose “Determine retirement readiness.”
The Retirement Benefits Projection
The Retirement Benefits Projection provides choices for benefits commencement and distribution options, and creates a report that you can save or print. The report summarizes your projected benefits, details the information used to calculate benefits and suggests ways to improve your financial security in retirement.
Although many of the Retirement Benefits Projection fields are pre-filled, you can adjust some information to explore different options. For example, the projection defaults to the Social Security Normal Retirement Age, but you can raise or lower it if you are considering retiring at a different age.
To access the Retirement Benefits Projection, log in to Benefits Access with your username and password. Select “Take Action” from the toolbar at the top of the page. Under Project Future Values, select “Project future retirement benefits.”