Do You Know When Your Employees Will Retire?
Your employees’ retirement timing decisions will depend on a variety of factors, including their accumulated vested assets in your company’s plan. Another key variable is Social Security, but the Social Security benefit-claiming strategy that is best for them is not always easy to determine. However, online Social Security benefit calculators can help.
The basic task for most people is weighing the pros and cons of retiring and claiming benefits at 62 (the earliest possible age), age 70 or some point in between.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), in 2015 about 40% of men and 47% of women claimed benefits at age 62. Those percentages have fallen from 56% and 60% during the past decade, respectively. Also in 2015, 21% of men and 15% of women worked until their full retirement age of 66.
The SSA recently issued a study comparing six free online calculators that focus primarily on Social Security benefits. One was created by the SSA itself, and the others by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Center for Retirement Research, AARP, Financial Engines and Bankrate. Many more exist.
The SSA study, A Comparison of Free Online Tools for Individuals Deciding When to Claim Social Security Benefits, did not rate the different calculators. However, in describing how each works and detailing their advantages and limitations, the study concludes that there is no single available tool that meets every need. Nevertheless, the resources identified can provide useful guidance to employees.
Advising your employees to review the SSA study and the different online tools could be helpful as they begin to contemplate the timing of their retirement. Consider sharing the information as part of your overall employee retirement benefits education. You can find the study on the SSA’s website at https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/rsnotes/rsn2016-03.html.