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Why Do Your Participants Need Help with their Retirement Planning?

Americans are having doubts about their ability to fund the retirement of their dreams. A 2017 report from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) found that a sense of unease about retirement security is shared across gender, income, age and political party affiliation.1

There are a number of factors contributing to the general apprehension felt by those nearing retirement, including:

Low average savings balances—A 2018 Gallup Poll indicated that the number one financial worry for Americans who have not yet retired is not having enough money for retirement.2 The savings statistics show why. The NIRS report generally found that the average balance across all retirement accounts (i.e. 401(k) and individual retirement accounts) for households with people nearing retirement is $111,000. That’s enough to generate just $400 a month in retirement income.1 As traditional defined benefit plans continue to disappear, today’s retirees may need to rely more heavily on personal savings and Social Security for their retirement income. Without a substantial savings balance, retirement lifestyles may need to be dialed way back.

High debt—Credit card debt—which is the debt with the highest interest rates—reached a new peak as of December 31, 2018, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.3 And roughly 30% of this debt—about $260 billion—is owed by people age 60 and older. Surprisingly, Americans over age 60 are the fastest growing age-segment in the student loan market, with an average student loan balance of $23,500 according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.This is because either they are paying off their children’s loans or they took out their own loans to go back to school and improve their employment opportunities.

Longer lifespans—Americans are living longer. Average life expectancy at age 65 in 2017 has risen to 83 for men and 86 for women.5 Coupled with low savings balances, this ratchets up the worry about running out of money later in life.

Escalating health care expenses—According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), some retired couples could need as much as $363,000 to cover health care expenses throughout retirement. EBRI reported that, in 2019, a 65-year-old man needs $144,000 in savings and a 65-year-old woman needs $163,000 in savings to have a 90% chance of covering expenses without running out of money.And this does not include long-term care costs. A 65-year old today can expect to pay $138,000 in long-term care costs over their lifetime.7

Help your participants with their Financial Wellness

ABA Retirement Funds Program (the “Program”) plan administrators often wish to be proactive in helping participants adequately prepare for and feel more confident about, retirement security. The good news is that the Program offers a number of resources that can help.

Phone-Based Support:

Participants can call 844.253.8692 and can

  • Connect with a Financial Advisor8 for Be Ready! live one-on-one support. They can discuss money matters, such as managing school debt or preparing for retirement, and receive a free personalized Financial Snapshot.9
  • Work with a financial representative who can provide in-plan investment guidance, Professional Management, and a personalized Retirement Evaluation10 for an additional fee.

Online Planning Tools:

The Program also offers participants a number of online planning tools that they can use as they think about their finances and their future. Here are a few of the resources available:

  • 5 Steps to Get Retirement Ready:
    This is a free educational tool for participants nearing retirement. It helps breaks down the process to  become “retirement ready’ into five easy steps and provides tips and resources for deeper dives into certain information along the way.
  • Personal Financial Dashboard:
    This free planning tool helps participants organize their financial life, including their Program account, plus outside savings or investment accounts and household budgets. The link is under the Did You Know section on the participant login home page at
  • Online Advice:
    This service offers investment recommendations, retirement income forecasts and quarterly Retirement Updates, all at no additional cost.10, 11  Select the Voya Retirement Advisors (VRA) link from any page on

Feel free to share these resources with your participants today.


1. Executive Summary; Page 1 and Page 4; Accessed June 23, 2019.
2. Page 2 and Page 6; Accessed June 23, 2019
3.  Federal Reserve Bank of New York as reported by AARP; Accessed June 23, 2019 from
4. Accessed June 23, 2019
5.  Social Security Administration, 2018 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees; June 2018; Period Life Expectancy, Page 96, as reported by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation accessed June 23, 2019­­ from
6. EBRI May 16, 2019; Accessed June 23, 2019 from
8. Financial Advisors are Investment Advisor Representatives of, and offer securities and investment advisory services through Voya Financial Advisors (VFA), Inc. (Member SIPC).
9. For more complex situations, your VFA Advisor can design a complete financial plan for a fee of up to $1,500. Neither the Financial Snapshot nor the full financial plan includes investment recommendations for in-plan assets.
10. Advisory Services provided by Voya Retirement Advisors, LLC (VRA). VRA is a member of the Voya Financial (Voya) family of companies. For more information, please read the Voya Retirement Advisors Disclosure Statement, Advisory Services Agreement and the ABA Retirement Funds Program’s (the Program’s) Fact Sheet. These documents may be viewed online by accessing the advisory services link(s) through the Program’s website at after logging in. You may also request these from a VRA Investment Advisor Representative by calling the Program’s information line at 800.348.2272. Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA/Financial Engines) acts as a sub advisor for VRA. FEA is a federally registered investment advisor and wholly-owned subsidiary of Edelman Financial Engines, LLC. Neither VRA nor FEA provides tax or legal advice. If you need tax advice, consult your accountant, or if you need legal advice, consult your lawyer. Future results are not guaranteed by VRA, FEA or any other party, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Financial Engines® is a registered trademark of Edelman Financial Engines, LLC. All other marks are the exclusive property of their respective owners. FEA and Edelman Financial Engines, L.L.C. are not members of the Voya family of companies. ©2019 Edelman Financial Engines, LLC. Used with permission.
11. An individual must also have a minimum of $5 in their account to be enrolled in advice.