Business & Finance

Two Choices for Retirement Planning

By Derrill Holly | ECT Staff Writer Published: April 2nd, 2012

Electric cooperative employees can now tune in to a short video to get helpful information about making the right financial choices for their retirement.

The co-op linemen characters Joe and Jake offer hard lessons in the short video, “A Tale of Two Choices.” (Illustration By: NRECA)

The co-op linemen characters Joe and Jake offer hard lessons in the short video, “A Tale of Two Choices.” (Illustration By: NRECA)

This story about the retirement experiences of two linemen, introduced to co-op human resources and benefits staffers in 2011, could soon be familiar to thousands of co-op employees.

“Invest in yourself by starting to save early,” wrote NRECA CEO Glenn English in a recent email to co-op CEOs, encouraging them to urge their staffs to watch “A Tale of Two Choices.” The video is available for viewing by registered users of cooperative.com.

It “tells the story of two co-op linemen who take different savings and financial planning paths during their careers into retirement,” wrote English. “I believe this video can compel viewers to strongly consider making positive changes in their financial health—regardless of their age or career stage.”

The story follows the lives of Joe and Jake, two co-op linemen, and their wives, Diane and Suzy, from middle-age through their final years.

While Jake relied heavily upon the co-op-funded Retirement Security (RS) Plan, and only made minimal contributions to his NRECA 401(k) Plan account late in his career, Joe supplemented his pension plan by also saving aggressively in the NRECA 401(k) Plan for lifelong financial security.

“I wanted to present this story in a way that is interesting, believable and one that people can relate to,” said Zuraidah Hoffman, the NRECA senior investment communications advisor who developed the script for the video. “The subject of retirement, and planning for it, can be intimidating and complicated, but it is important. Living to be 100 years old can be scary if you don’t plan for it financially.”

Hoffman took characters developed by Mary Jo Arthur, an NRECA benefits plan consultant, and used them in the development of this video aimed at co-op employees of all ages, including those already contributing to their retirement savings.

According to John Wade, NRECA’s chief actuary, nearly 56,000 cooperative employees currently participate in the NRECA RS Plan. About 3,500 retirees and their survivors are now receiving lifetime annuities from the retirement security plan, and just over 2,000 employees retire from co-ops each year.

The retirement planning video “A Tale of Two Choices” offers co-op staffers and directors a glimpse into their possible financial futures.  (Illustration By: NRECA)

The retirement planning video “A Tale of Two Choices” offers co-op staffers and directors a glimpse into their possible financial futures. (Illustration By: NRECA)

“My hope is that this video will help co-op employees make more informed decisions about their future financial needs and to start saving for retirement as early in their careers as possible,” said Peter Baxter, NRECA’s senior vice president of Insurance & Financial Services.

“NRECA makes its Personal Investment and Retirement Consulting (PIRC) personnel available to participants in the RS Plan and NRECA 401(k) Plan at no additional cost,” said Baxter. “Talking to a PIRC advisor is an important step in planning for retirement and developing a good understanding of your retirement choices.”

NRECA retirement plan participants can contact PIRC for information on retirement planning. See the benefits section of cooperative.com for details.

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