Eighty-four percent of people with 401k plans would like to see information in their statements that isn’t currently there, according to “Key Data Missing from your 401(k) Statement” by Carla Fried of The Retirement Beat. People looking to retire would like to know how much monthly income they can receive from a 401k annuity transfer of their lump-sum balance. Knowing the monthly income you can expect from your 401k’s lump sum helps you determine if you are financially ready for retirement. Pre-retirees hope to withdraw 9-10% of their retirement each year to sustain their lifestyle. But at that rate, most would run out of money in about a decade and be left for years or even decades struggling to get by.
In Washington, the government is aware of how substantial this problem is and they are working on making immediate annuities a required option with 401k plans. No one would be forced into transferring to an immediate annuity, but the option for a lifetime stream of monthly income would be available to all 401k plan participants. The biggest challenge right now seems to be educating 401k plan participants on the importance of immediate fixed annuities in retirement. Many have antiquated negative ideas about annuities so the government and the financial industry have work to do educating pre-retirees on the benefits they can receive from a 401k annuity transfer.