Retirement Readiness
Frequently Asked Questions

Basic Program and Statement Information

Q: What is Retirement Readiness?

Retirement Readiness is a IU Human Resources initiative targeted to active employees participating in IU-sponsored retirement plans. Retirement Readiness shows how planning and saving in IU-sponsored retirement plans today translates to income for retirement.

Q: What information does the Retirement Readiness Statement provide?

The Retirement Readiness Statement is a personalized report. It provides an estimated annual lifetime retirement income amount, including Social Security, benefits from IU-sponsored retirement plans and income from other retirement savings, based on participant input.  With this information, employees can determine if the estimated annual lifetime retirement income meets their retirement financial goals or if there are steps they can take to enhance this outcome. 

Q: How frequently will account balances be updated?

IU Human Resources will refresh IU-sponsored retirement account balances twice a year.

Q: How many Retirement Readiness Statements can I run and maintain?

The most recent five (5) Retirement Readiness Statements are “stored” in the Output column with the most recent run date at the top.

Q:  How can I get copy of the various individual retirement statements?

Contact selected investment companies:

Q: What if I terminate my employment with IU?

The Retirement Readiness Statement estimate assumes the employee will remain employed at IU with no breaks in service or change in current position until full Social Security retirement age or participant selected retirement age.

Q: Is there someone I can talk to about my retirement planning needs?

Yes. IU has a dedicated retirement team who can answer plan and enrollment questions, assist with pre-retirement planning, and offer ways to maximize employee deferrals. Email IU Human Resources at or call 812.856.5191 to schedule an appointment to speak with a member of the IU Human Resources - Retirement Program Services Team.

In addition, to speak with an investment counselor, IU investment companies Fidelity and TIAA offer face-to-face and telephone consultations. To schedule a complimentary appointment visit the Retirement Planning and Investment Counseling page.

Factors used in Preparing the Retirement Readiness Statement

Q. What assumption was used for “lifetime”? 

A published mortality table was used to determine number of years the individual would receive the annual estimated retirement income, starting with the selected retirement age. The life expectancy of spouses, partners or others is not included in the estimated amount.

Q: What assumption was used for inflation?

An inflation rate was not used in this calculation, however, retirees should be mindful of the impact inflation can have on future dollars. An annual increase in salary/wage was assumed. The projected IU salary/age at selected retirement age is reflected on the Retirement Readiness Statement.

Q: What assumptions are used for the investments in the IU Retirement Plan, Retirement & Savings Plan, PERF Annuity Savings Account (ASA), and Supplemental Retirement plans?

A 4.5% annual rate of return is used for all of the IU-sponsored defined contribution plans.

 Q: Why was a 4.5% annual rate of return (ROR) used?

IU consulted with Nyhart, an actuarial firm as well as TIAA and Fidelity, to determine an assumed ROR. Actual annual ROR depends on specific asset allocation, investments and market conditions.

Q: How were balances at former TDA providers (AUL, VALIC, Sentinel) factored into this calculation?

Only balances from IU’s current approved vendors (PERF, Fidelity, and TIAA) are used in the Retirement Readiness Statement calculations.  The Retirement Readiness Online Calculator allows participants to input additional retirement savings balances from former TDA vendors and non-IU employers.

Q: Were any other assets considered in calculating the estimated annual lifetime retirement income?

No, the IU-sponsored retirement plans and Social Security are used to calculate each employee’s estimated annual lifetime retirement income.  Personal savings and/or income derived from IRAs, other retirement plans, etc. should also be considered by each employee.  The Retirement Readiness Online Calculator allows for participants to add in other forms of retirement savings and pensions.

Social Security and Retirement Age

Q: What is full Social Security retirement age? What happens if I want to retire early or after reaching full Social Security retirement age?

Full Social Security retirement age is the age defined by Social Security to receive a full Social Security benefit. It is based on date of birth. Individuals may choose to retire earlier or later than full Social Security age. By simply sliding the dial on the Retirement Readiness Online Calculator, participants have the ability to model any age between 62 – 75.

If a participant is over the age of 75, the Retirement Readiness Statement will reflect the individual’s current age. The individual will need to input a Social Security override amount for this to be reflected in the chart.

For more details related to the impact of timing and Social Security benefits, visit the Social Security website: or call the Social Security Administration at 1.800.772.1213.

Q: Does IU Retiree status affect my ability to retire?

IU Retiree status is based on age and years of service, and entitles individuals to certain benefit programs. IU Retiree status is not a determination of retirement eligibility, and is not a component of the Retirement Readiness Statement. For more information on IU Retiree status and benefits, go to IU Retiree Status and Benefits.

Q: When can I retire?

Choosing when to retire is a personal decision. Regardless of age, it is important to understand all available options and contact IU retirement professionals, IU investment company consultants, Social Security, and other trusted advisors to make an informed decision.

Q: How was the Social Security benefit determined?

The estimated Social Security benefit is based on IU salary history and the assumption that an individual will work a full career (35 years) at IU or somewhere else. The Social Security benefit used in the Retirement Readiness Statement is an estimate only—Social Security did not provide information for the Retirement Readiness Statement. If employees would like a copy of the annual Social Security statement sent by Social Security, employees may go directly to Social Security:

Q: What if I change contribution amounts for the IU supplemental retirement plans? 

For the purposes of the Retirement Readiness Statement, contribution rates are assumed to remain unchanged.  Participants can model different contribution rates to see the impact of saving more or less for retirement, but once a contribution percentage amount is set in the model, this rate is used in the calculation. If current contribution rates are different, or if they change in the future, this will impact the estimated annual lifetime retirement income.

Savings and Taxes

Q: How much retirement income will be taxable? 

The illustration provided on the Retirement Readiness Statement is before taxes. Because each individual’s tax situation is unique, employees should contact a tax advisor to discuss specific tax implications of retirement income. 

Q: How can I save more for retirement?

The Retirement Readiness Statement provides information about two IU-sponsored supplemental retirement plans. Both plans allow IU eligible employees the opportunity to save more for retirement. For details, go to the IU Supplemental Retirement Plans page or contact IU Human Resources at .


Quick links

Schedule an appointment with a retirement counselor

Get a quick benefits calculation direct from Social Security


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