Retirement plan participants whose savings aren’t quite up topar are now able to get a graphic demonstration of that online,thanks to the Principal Financial Group.

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Those who are doing really well will get a little motivation tostick with it, too, since the “Retirement Wellness Score,”according to the company, represents the percentage of aparticipant’s preretirement income they are able to maintain atretirement.

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The wellness score takes into account a variety of incomesources that include account balances, contribution levels andbenefits in retirement plans (including defined contribution,defined benefit and nonqualified), outside savings that theparticipant enters into the system, and even an estimate of incomefrom Social Security. Together with other assumptions and data, allthose income sources are processed and the score is revealed onlinein a range from zero percent to 100+ percent.

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The system demonstrates the status of a participant’s standingat retirement based on present data in a red-yellow-green format,with the score embedded in a color-coded band that representsdifferent ranges of income replacement:

  • 70 percent to 100+ percent falls, as one might expect, withinthe green band;
  • 50 percent to 69 percent in the yellow band; and
  • Zero percent to 49 percent in the red band.

“It’s important to begin the retirement-planning process with agoal in mind — a desired outcome,” said Jerry Patterson, seniorvice president of retirement and investor services at thePrincipal, in a statement. “We believe the retirement wellnessscore is a great place to begin. This one number, displayed frontand center on every participant’s account home page, allows them toknow in real time whether they’re on track for a secureretirement.”

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Patterson continued, “The score is straightforward, simple andeasy to understand. The resources on the new account homepageenable participants to quickly and easily model and implementchanges to their savings strategy to improve the score.”

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