- Traditional Pension Plans
- Talk With Your Employer
- Ask About Plan Features
- Self Employed
- Company Doesn't Offer a Plan
- Company Doesn't Offer a Match
- Employer Matching
- Catch-up Contributions
- Automatic Enrollment and Increases
- Your Plan in a Volatile Market
- Feed Your Retirement Plan
- Understand the Market
- Review Your Retirement Plan
Questions To Ask Your Employer
Retirement planning can feel overwhelming. Even if it doesn’t seem all that complicated, it’s easy to become confused about the details of your company’s retirement plan.
Although retirement plans have some similarities, the minor details between company plans may create important differences. To make the most of your retirement plan, it’s important to know the ins and outs of your plan before you join.
As a general rule, there are several questions to ask when starting a new job, joining a retirement plan, or deciding which plan or provider to use.
- What types of plans are offered? How do they differ?
- How long do you have to stay with the company before the employer matching contributions are all yours? This is called being vested
- Are there any fees for managing the account? If so, how much are they? Are they one-time or recurring fees?
- When can I begin contributing?
- Do contributions lower my taxable income and have the opportunity to grow tax-deferred?
- What’s the maximum contribution I can make each year?
- Does the company match my contribution? If so, how much does the employer match?
- What are the other terms of the company match?
- What do I need to know about catch-up provisions that allow older workers to make larger contributions?
Investment selection & performance
- What are your investment options? How many are there?
- Can I select my own investments? Are there default options? Are there groupings available based on how much risk I’m comfortable with?
- How can I change where my contributions are invested? How often can I make changes?
- Who are the fund managers?
- Can I see my statements on line. How often are they updated?
- Can I borrow from the account? If so, are there any time limitations or financial penalties?
- Are there provisions for withdrawals made during financial hardship? What constitutes financial hardship and/or an unforeseeable emergency?
- When can I begin receiving payouts from my account? When do I have to start taking payouts?
- Does the plan have a website offering tools and resources?
- Is there a number I can call or a person I can contact with additional questions?
- Who is the internal contact for plan questions?
Find out more from your investment professional
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