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Unum expands retirement benefits to help employees invest

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Employees are demanding more from their benefits these days and want a wide variety of offerings to support their present and future selves.

Retirement planning is one area where employees want solutions that help them build a strong financial future. Financial benefits provider Unum is tackling this need by expanding its own retirement program with a new, low-cost, professionally managed fund, offered through Fidelity Investments.

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The benefit was designed to future-proof an employee’s retirement income as they get closer to transitioning out of the workforce and into retirement, says Carol Gagnon, assistant vice president of Unum global financial well-being.

“One of the things employees struggle with is that as they get to the stage where they’re thinking about leaving the company, retiring and going into their next phase of life, we didn’t make it easy enough for them to be able to transition into that phase,” Gagnon says. “We really want to target the employees who are starting that three to five year life path towards leaving the company and retiring.”

The fund allows employees to invest their existing 401(k) and other assets and then determine how they will utilize it during retirement. Employees will be able to choose how often they receive withdrawal payments and they will have the option to receive money on a biweekly basis, similar to how they were paid while working.

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“The tools give them a calculation as to how much they would get, per month or week or quarter,” Gagnon says. “And in addition to taking that distribution out, the managed retirement fund continues to invest the balance of that account for the employee.”

Beyond a 401(k), employees are looking for more guidance when planning for their post-work years. Employers are expected to provide the education and resources they need to achieve that goal.

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Over four out of five workers say their employer converting retirement savings into regular income would be helpful, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute. One quarter of workers said they feel their workplace retirement plan would be better if there were more investment options designed for people after retirement.

“Getting ready for retirement can be daunting, but this solution makes me feel more prepared for what’s ahead,” an Unum employee said in a release. “It gives me a sense of financial stability and will help ease the transition into retirement.”