Most Have No Formal Retirement Withdrawal Strategy

July 30, 2014 ( – Just 43% of retirement plan participants older than age 50 have considered a formal withdrawal strategy for accumulated assets, according to a OneAmerica survey.

The survey from American United Life Insurance Company, a OneAmerica company, finds workers older than 50 are more likely to have considered how to pay for health care after they retire than they are to have formed an income plan—with 64% of respondents saying they’ve considered post-retirement health care expenses.

“We’re glad consumers are considering health care as a major part of retirement expenses—as they should—but they also need to have a plan for how to withdraw retirement assets and maintain an income throughout their life,” explains Marsha Whitehead, vice president of marketing for retirement services and employee benefits at OneAmerica. “Managing income in retirement is especially important given the additional healthcare expenses and the uncertainty of how long you’ll need it.”

One example of a post-retirement income strategy is to consider annuities, the firm suggests. As long-term, tax-deferred investment options, annuities can provide a fixed or variable stream of income during retirement. Among the participants who have a withdrawal strategy, 51% have considered annuitizing at least a portion of their assets.

OneAmerica surveyed visitors to its retirement plan participant website to better understand their behaviors and learn which resources might help them prepare for retirement. As detailed in OneAmerica’s infographic, 57% of participants say they are not contributing more to their retirement plan due to other financial commitments. The data also shows online education has gained more popularity among participants, with 56% favoring online tools such as videos and other interactive content.

People are also attempting to cut down on costs by not hiring someone to assist with retirement planning or with their overall financial dilemmas. The survey reveals 20% of participants do not work with a financial professional “because it’s too much of an expense.”

— Matthew Miseli