It's Day 1 of Retirement: Are Your Employees Ready?

Financial representative assisting a couple
By Karnail Kooner

3 minutes

Sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group

Imagine you’ve just retired and today is the first payday you won’t be getting a regular paycheck. It’s time for your retirement income to kick in.

How much retirement income can you expect? Are you sure you’ve completed all the necessary paperwork to receive the payment in time? Did you prepare your portfolio for living in retirement? Should you roll over your savings to another investment vehicle? Should you invest in insurance like long-term care?

If you or your employees are getting anywhere close to retirement age and can’t begin to answer these questions, make sure your retirement plan provider can offer some customized, professional assistance.

In a 2016 retirement survey, two out of three workers agreed they do not know as much as they should about retirement investing. The need for help is clear. Personalized investment guidance can engage your employees in preparing for their long-term financial security. Make sure your provider has experienced, knowledgeable advisors available. Be sure that your employees feel comfortable and confident using these resources.

Janet Jones held various member service positions during her 35 years at CUES Advancing Management Group member Georgia’s Own Credit Union in Atlanta. Eight months before retirement, she learned that her retirement plan provider had a team of licensed financial representatives that participating employees could call at any stage of the planning process for education and a variety of financial services. She took advantage of it to help with her transition to retirement.

After Jones decided on a payout plan, she found that she had a limited window to get all the paperwork completed, notarized and submitted, or there would be a gap between her final paycheck and her retirement payouts. With the help of her representative, she received her retirement income on time.

Personalized retirement investment guidance can be valuable for employees at any level of your organization. In the summer of 2016, Mike Blubaugh, SVP/CFO of Whitefish Credit Union, Whitefish, Mont., with one CUES member, decided to get some guidance about preparing financially for when he retires.

Blubaugh has a diverse portfolio. He knew that properly positioning all of its elements for retirement wouldn’t be simple, so he did two things that he does routinely when managing Whitefish CU’s assets: he gathered guidance from a variety of respected sources and sought consensus from key stakeholders before enacting a strategy.

Blubaugh spoke with at least four qualified financial professionals about his situation, but none offered him a plan personalized enough to meet his specific needs. Instead, he found the personalized financial advice he needed by consulting with the financial representatives from his retirement plan provider.

Blubaugh knew he needed to consider his financial data and future needs with the other key stakeholder: his firmly risk-averse wife, Mary. Being accustomed to gaining consensus on asset management with a suitably risk-averse credit union board, he knew that thorough, realistic calculations and documentation would be critical. He made sure to choose a provider that could provide them.

According to the Transamerica Institute, nearly half of all employees simply guess at how much they will need to save for retirement. When your employees retire, help them avoid making mistakes that can have a drastic impact on the savings they’ve accumulated over their careers. Set yourself and your retirement plan participants up for success by thoroughly vetting your retirement plan provider and the retirement guidance services they offer.

Karnail Kooner is a retirement sales specialist at CUESolutions Platinum provider CUNA Mutual Group, Madison, Wis. Contact him at

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