As a participant in your employer’s retirement plan, you are always in control of and responsible for making your investment decisions. Understanding and monitoring your investment elections are an essential part of participating in your retirement plan and evaluating your progress towards achieving your retirement savings goals. Your risk tolerance and financial needs are bound to change throughout your career, so it’s a good idea to periodically review your investment elections to make sure they align with your needs.
Depending on your retirement plan’s investment options, some investment options and strategies below may or may not be available to you. Vestwell does not provide any legal, financial, or investment advice to plan participants, but we offer information for general education purposes that you may wish to consider when making your investment selections. More information and important information about your investment options can be found here: Understanding Investment Options.
If you have questions about the investment election process or any topics covered below, please reach out to email@example.com.
First, some important things to know:
At all times, you control and are solely responsible for making and monitoring your investment selections. Vestwell is not a financial, tax, or investment advisor to any individuals and we urge you to carefully review all of the information about the investment options available to you. After enrolling in the plan, you can select your investments using various methods to accommodate your desired goals and risk tolerance. Your plan offers investments that you can select using various methods:
Age-Based strategies are generally intended for participants who prefer to select their investments based on their time horizon before retirement. Target Date Funds generally provide a combination of capital appreciation and preservation of capital that becomes more conservative as you reach your intended retirement age. You may enter your desired retirement age, and a target date fund will be suggested. You may choose to customize your Target Date Fund selection to select a more or less aggressive strategy, which may be an important consideration, especially if you believe you will stop working full-time before or after you reach age 65. You may also consider a Target Date Fund based on when you plan to start taking distributions from your retirement plan. For example, your Target Date Fund selection may be different if you plan to retire early, at say age 62, and do not intend to withdraw the funds until age 72. You may change your selection at any time.
Risk-Based strategies let you select investments based on the proportion of equities and fixed-income investments in the portfolio. Aggressive strategies generally have a higher allocation of stocks and other equities as compared to fixed income and similar investments. More conservative strategies have a higher weighting of fixed-income assets (such as bonds). Unlike Target Date Funds, the asset allocation within these portfolios does not automatically adjust as you age or near retirement.
Goals-Based investments refer to the Managed Account feature. Some plans offer this feature where your plan’s investment fiduciary has selected investment options for your plan and, based on information that you or your employer provide to Vestwell, the feature displays a possible investment allocation. You can accept these suggestions or change them at any time. You can also provide additional information through our platform, such as your desired timeline to retirement and the level of risk you are comfortable with, and the engine will display a different allocation that you can accept or change as well. This feature is not available for all plans on our platform at this time.
This feature allows participants to include funds from other income sources that are outside of their retirement plans such as a Social Security account or other outside personal accounts that are marked as retirement funds not held by Vestwell (“Outside Accounts”). You can add up to three savings, retirement, or brokerage accounts. Adding other Outside Accounts to the goals-based investment section may provide a more comprehensive view of your retirement income projection.
When adding a Social Security account, you will be prompted to select the age at which you would like to draw social security income. Keep in mind this age cannot be less than 62 years old and cannot be over 70 years old.
When adding Outside Accounts, provide an account name, select the account type you can add savings, retirement, or brokerage accounts then finally provide the amount you would like to include.
Custom Allocation. You may also select your investment mix from your workplace retirement fund lineup of a low-cost, diversified mix of Exchange Traded Funds and mutual funds that your plan’s investment fiduciary selected for your plan. Like the Risk-Based strategies, the investment mix you choose does not automatically adjust over time.
Regardless of which investments or investment strategies you utilize, you are always solely responsible for monitoring your portfolio, making selections that you feel are appropriate, and adjusting your investment portfolio if and when you wish to suit your needs.
Where can I see my current investment selection?
You can review more information about your existing investment allocations at any time by clicking on the “Manage Investments” button on your Retirement Summary page. You will be taken to a page that displays your current portfolio with links to educational materials about those investments and other available options for your plan.
Under the 'Customer Allocation' window you will be able to run through the following options:
- Adjust Allocation: You can choose from a line-up of investment options selected by the plan's investment manager.
- Rebalance Settings: You can turn on auto-rebalancing in order to balance your investments based on market fluctuations. You can also select One-Time Rebalance.
- Disclaimer: Review some important considerations under the disclaimer section.
What does the target asset allocation of my portfolio mean?
Asset allocation is the mix of stocks, bonds, and other investments that comprise your portfolio. Each portfolio has a targeted mix that will drift over time as equities tend to appreciate faster than fixed fee investments. Portfolios are typically rebalanced at the beginning of each quarter to restore the target allocation. To view the actual value of your holdings at any time, click on the Investments tab.
How do I see all of the investment options available in my plan?
Please click on the 'Investments' tab you can then navigate through your 'Holdings', and 'Performance'.
On the upper right-hand side of your screen select 'Manage Your Investment' you will see:
- Custom Allocations
You can also select 'All Investment Options' where it will display all the options above.
Another shortcut you can take to get to your 'Investment Options' is going to the Home screen, selecting 'Manage Investments', and selecting 'Change Strategy'
Why don’t the allocations in my holdings match the target allocations on the manage investments page?
Market fluctuations may cause some of your investments to appreciate or depreciate, which could make your portfolio shift away from your target allocation. You can perform a one-time rebalance to bring your portfolio back in line with your target asset allocation. Or, if you have automatic rebalancing turned on, your portfolio will be automatically rebalanced quarterly.
How do I change my investments or rebalance my portfolio?
Please see our article on How to Change Your Investment Elections.
View our Trading Policies and Procedures, or go to the Plan Documents section of your portal.
We hope this article was helpful; if you need further assistance please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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All data shown on our websites and by using our tools are estimates only, they are provided for your general education purposes, and should not be used or relied upon for any other purpose or by any other individual or organization. Any estimates provided are one of many potential outcomes and any future investment returns provided on our sites or by using our tools are solely hypothetical in nature and they depend on numerous conditions, assumptions, probabilities, and dependencies, which may change and which may or may not reflect current, actual, or future plan expenses or investment performance. The actual future value of your account or future investment performance may be materially different from this estimate. Our tools may be underestimating extreme negative scenarios unobserved in the historical period on which the estimate is based. None of the information provided on our sites or through the use of our tools is intended as a guarantee or probability of attaining any investment goal. Any retirement income estimate is based on a single snapshot of your retirement savings at the time you use the tool. You may see different results each time you use the tool because of changes to your investment mix, revisions to the allocations or investments in any investment option available to your plan, and other factors.
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The tool is based on many assumptions, including but not limited to assumptions that you will be fully vested in your retirement plan balance, that you can access any other benefits or balances you enter without restriction, and that you will continue to work at your current employer until your retirement age. You or your employer may change or stop contributing to your current retirement plan at any time. Any retirement benefits to which you are entitled under the terms of any of your employer plans will also depend on the official plan documents (as interpreted by the Plan administrator in its sole discretion) and laws that govern each plan will be followed in determining your rights and benefits under each plan. Your employer reserves the right to amend, modify, suspend, or terminate the plans, in whole or in part, at any time without prior notice, to the extent allowed by law. This means your employer has the right to change plan terms (including eligibility for benefits) or to discontinue any part or all of the benefits described herein at any time. Any withdrawals from your retirement savings exceeding your retirement income estimate will significantly impact the estimate's accuracy. This tool does not consider any taxes you may owe on withdrawals from your retirement savings or required minimum distributions from your retirement savings mandated by the IRS. Withdrawals taken from tax-advantaged accounts prior to age 59½ are generally subject to a 10% federal tax penalty. Any benefits you enter are assumed to be the amounts payable at retirement and will not be adjusted for inflation by the tool. The tool does not consider any loans from your retirement plan. A loan balance could reduce your savings if you leave the plan.
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