Getting Started

Securing your financial well-being is one of the most important things in life.

How does a retirement plan work? Why should I join? Collapsed Expanded

Contribute to your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan to help begin building a secure financial future.

  • It’s Easy: Your contributions are automatically deducted from your pay and deposited directly into your account — this way you aren’t tempted to spend the money because income you don’t see, you don’t spend. 
  • It Reduces Your Current Taxes: Depending on your plan, you may be able to contribute to your retirement savings plan account before taxes are taken out. That means you have the opportunity to put more money toward your retirement savings.
  • It Grows Tax-Deferred: Pre-tax contributions and earnings are not subject to tax until funds are withdrawn from the plan. 
  • It’s Never Too Early: The younger you are, the longer you can take advantage of the power of tax-deferred contributing and compounding. Compounding is simply your money earning money.
  • It’s Never Too Late: Even if you didn’t start early, you need not despair. If you’re over age 50, you may be eligible to make catch-up contributions.
  • It’s Your Choice: You can decide how much you want to contribute, subject to plan limits and legal limits. Generally, you also have the ability to choose which funding options, with different levels of risk and potential returns, are right for your account allocation.
  • Your Employer May Be Contributing As Well: Some employers make contributions to their employee retirement savings plans. Others make contributions based on your contributions to the plan — referred to as matching contributions. Refer to the plan documents or check with your employer to determine whether your employer makes contributions to the plan.
  • Convenient Access to Your Account: You have the ability to keep track of your account by either logging onto the plan’s website or calling the toll-free phone number.

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When’s the best time for me to start saving? Collapsed Expanded

Now! When it comes to saving for retirement, time is your best friend. Over time, your money benefits from compounding — where you can earn interest on your interest. If you haven't begun saving through your employer's retirement savings plan, it's wise to start right away.

The power of compounding can be impressive, but it takes time for it to do its work. If you wait, you may miss a great opportunity and have to make much larger annual contributions later to help reach your retirement savings goal. Don’t procrastinate! See how starting early impacts how much more you can save for the future. 

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How do I enroll? Collapsed Expanded

Enrolling online in your retirement plan with EnrollNow is quick, easy and convenient.

Be Ready: Decide how much you want to start saving and how you want to invest your retirement savings. You’ll find videos, calculators and information on this website that can help you make informed retirement planning decisions.

Get Set: Have your Plan Number, Social Security Number and your beneficiary's Social Security Number handy. 

EnrollNow: Visit to enroll online now. 

Watch this video to see how easy it is to enroll online.

How much should I be saving? Collapsed Expanded

Now that you have a clearer picture of your retirement goal, it’s time to estimate how large your retirement nest egg needs to be and how much you need to save each paycheck to reach that goal.

An easy rule of thumb is that you’ll need to replace about 70–85 percent of your pre-retirement income1, but where do you begin? A retirement savings calculator can help give you an idea about how to reach your savings goal. Calculate how much money you should be saving for retirement.

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1Source: March 1, 2016 —

Am I eligible for the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (Saver's Credit)? Collapsed Expanded

When you save for retirement, you may be able to get money back, or reduce the amount owed when you file your federal income taxes. It comes in the form of a tax credit which is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your tax bill.

The Saver’s Credit is available to individuals who are 18 years or older, not a full-time student and not claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return. Certain income limits apply. Rollover contributions (money that you moved from another retirement plan or IRA) are not eligible for the Saver’s Credit. Also, the amount of any contribution eligible for the credit may be reduced by certain taxable distributions received by the taxpayer and the taxpayer’s spouse, if filing jointly. To obtain the benefit of this credit, you must file a federal income tax return and use the credit to offset your other federal income taxes.

Find out if you may qualify and calculate your credit.

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What is a beneficiary? Collapsed Expanded

A beneficiary is a person, trust or entity you want to inherit your retirement savings. You can assign one or more beneficiaries to your retirement account. Naming a beneficiary will help ensure that your assets pass to the persons, trusts or entities that you want them to go to. If you are married, by default, your primary beneficiary is your spouse. You can select alternate beneficiaries, if desired, should none of your primary beneficiaries survive you. Be ready with your beneficiary’s Social Security Number.

What are the basics of investing? Collapsed Expanded

When it comes to retirement planning, we all know what saving is — putting your money away. But just as important is how to put your savings to work for you. Successful investing requires setting goals, evaluating the choices available, as well as understanding and managing risks. Learn the basics about mutual funds, stocks, bonds, asset allocation, and diversification.

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What are target date funds and risk-based portfolios? Collapsed Expanded

A target date fund invests in a set of underlying mutual funds with different investment styles which invest in different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds and cash. The "target date" refers to a potential retirement date or the date when you plan to begin withdrawing money. Typically, the investments within a target date fund are weighted more towards equities when the target date is far away and adjusts over time, so that it becomes more heavily weighted towards bonds as the target date approaches.

However, each target date fund determines its own mix of equities and bonds so that two funds with the same target date may have different asset allocations between equities and bonds, different investment strategies and different risk profiles. In addition, while the "target date" may align with your goal for withdrawing money, a particular fund's asset mix may not coincide with your risk tolerance and financial situation. You should consult the prospectus for the fund for more details before you decide to invest.

Risk-based portfolios are tailored to an investor’s level of risk tolerance. They feature a mix of different investment types and equity levels.

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What is dollar cost averaging? Collapsed Expanded

Employee-sponsored retirement plans benefit from dollar cost averaging. But what is dollar cost averaging? It’s the process of investing a set amount of money at regular intervals over a long period of time — regardless of the share price. This approach can potentially reduce the risk of investing a large amount in a single investment when the cost per share is inflated. Basically, you purchase more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high.

Dollar cost averaging is a good way to develop a disciplined investing habit and the process can be automated. If you set up regular, automatic contributions, you’re less likely to miss the money you invest, more likely to develop investing discipline, and more likely to stick to your plan. It can also reduce the anxiety of trying to time the market and minimize regret for an investor who tends to pull out of the market when it takes a dip — potentially causing an inopportune loss in profit.

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How should I allocate my contributions and my plan account? Collapsed Expanded

After you've decided how much to contribute to your retirement savings plan, you need to choose where those dollars will be invested — this process is called asset allocation. Investors typically diversify by allocating certain percentages of their accounts to one or more of the three major asset classes: stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents. Each asset class has its own risk and return characteristics. Also, each asset class has a benchmark index, which tracks a particular group of funds that are representative of a market, as a way of measuring that market's performance.

The idea behind diversification is that each type of funding option has strengths and weaknesses in various market situations. By spreading your money among various types of investments and asset classes, you take advantage of their respective strengths without exposing all of your plan account to an investment in one concentrated area. While diversification through an asset allocation strategy is a useful technique that can help to manage overall portfolio risk and volatility, there is no certainty or assurance that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall return or outperform one that is not diversified.

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The information contained within this website is intended to be informational in nature and should not be considered a recommendation or individualized advice to a specific individual. Links to third party websites are provided for your convenience and information only. The content in any linked websites is not under our control and we are not responsible for it.

Any discussion of taxes is for general informational purposes only, does not purport to be complete or cover every situation, and should not be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice. Clients should confer with their own qualified legal, tax and accounting advisors as appropriate.