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As your employees approach and enter retirement, make sure they pay attention to these five important ages.

When your employees are in their 20’s, retirement can seem extremely far away. As they approach their 40’s, however, they should begin to view retirement and retirement planning in a different light, and there are certain considerations they should keep in mind at age 50, 59½, 65, 66, and 70½ to ensure they enjoy the retirement life they envision and avoid costly penalties.

Continue reading to learn more about some of the most important ages at which your employees should pay attention to retirement planning.

Age 50

At age 50, your employees will become eligible to save more than the standard amount in their 401(k) and IRA accounts, which may qualify them for a larger tax deduction. Eligible employees can contribute up to $25,000 in pre-tax or Roth 401(k) contributions to their Program account. That is $19,0001 in standard contributions plus an additional $6,000 in catch-up contributions.

Age 59½

Traditional retirement accounts like IRAs and 401(k)s have a 10% early withdrawal penalty if your employees take a distribution before age 59 ½. By waiting until the age of 59½ to take a withdrawal, your employees will avoid the early withdrawal penalty and get to keep an additional 10% of their money.

Age 65

Your employees will be able to sign up for Medicare during a seven-month period starting three months prior to their 65th birthday. It’s important they sign up for Medicare on time to avoid any late enrollment penalties that could be permanently applied to premiums, but what is “on time” may differ based on whether the individual is still employed at age 65 and being offered health insurance by his or her employer.

Age 65 to 67

Your employees will reach “full retirement age” for purposes of Social Security benefits sometime between age 65 and age 67, depending on their year of birth. For example,  Baby Boomers born between 1943 and 1954 will be eligible to begin claiming the full Social Security benefit they’ve earned at age 66. However, if a Baby Boomer claims Social Security benefits prior to or after age 66, the benefit could be less or more than the full amount – respectively. Please refer to the chart on the right for more information on when individuals will reach their full retirement age.

Age 70½

Your employees have worked hard saving for quite some time, and now it’s time for them to enjoy their retirement. Whether it’s needed or not, they may be required to take distributions from their traditional IRAs, traditional 401(k)s and Roth 401(k)s after age 70½.*

As a reminder, Required Minimum Distributions* (RMDs) for Program accounts are due to impacted participants by December 31, 2019. RMDs will be issued automatically in early December if participants take no action (as long as there are sufficient assets in the core investments, and if spousal consent applies to the plan, that the participant has returned the blanket spousal consent form sent earlier in the year). For more information call us at 800.752.6313 or email us at

*An RMD is not due if the participant is still working for your firm and is not a 5% or more owner.

1 Subject to plan testing.

5 Steps to Get Retirement Ready

To help your participants as they hit these milestones, the Program offers a retirement planning guide called “5 Steps to Get Retirement Ready”.  It is a free educational tool that helps breaks down the process to become “retirement ready” into five steps and provides tips and resources for deeper dives into key information along the way.

Neither Voya® nor its affiliated companies or representatives provide tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax adviser or attorney before making a tax-related investment/insurance decision.