Pad Your Nest Egg: 5 Simple Tips Every Worker Should Know

Filed in DOL, Education, Retirement by on April 17, 2013 1 Comment

Many workers worry about their finances, including whether they will have enough money when they retire. Here are five simple steps you can take to save for a secure retirement, and new resources from the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration that will help you get started.

1. Plan ahead

The easiest way to start saving for retirement is your employer’s plan. Save as much as you can afford to contribute. It’s a smart investment, and for many workers there may be an added benefit of matching contributions from your employer.

Piggy Bank

It’s never too early to start saving! Get your finances in order with dozens of personal financing tools, including EBSA's retirement planning calculator, at

2.      Read the fine print

If you participate in a 401(k) plan, carefully review the information provided by your plan to select the best investment options for your needs. All investment plans are not created equal, and the difference between your best choice and a pretty good choice can have a real impact on how much your retirement savings grow.

3.      Get smart

EBSA’s financial education focuses on workers at all stages of their careers and involves working with many partners. For example, EBSA is participating in the Financial Literacy and Education Commission’s focus on Starting Early for Financial Success by cohosting a webcast on April 30 to help college seniors and young workers take charge of their financial future. EBSA’s goal is to protect workers’ retirement and health benefits. A critical part of this important responsibility is educating workers about saving through workplace retirement plans. Check out our website to learn more about preparing for your financial future – and how we can help.

 4.      Get a gadget

This month, in partnership with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, EBSA is issuing an expanded version of our publication Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future with worksheets to help new to mid-career workers manage their financial life, including identifying short and long term goals, calculating net worth, building a budget, tracking debt and determining a target retirement saving rate. For workers near retirement, we are releasing a retirement toolkit developed with the Social Security Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services providing information and resources on workplace retirement plans, Social Security benefits and Medicare.

 5.      Save early and often

April is Financial Capability Month! Take advantage of the opportunity to start securing your financial future. Get started now and make saving a habit: The sooner you start, the more time your money has to grow.

Phyllis C. Borzi is the assistant secretary of labor for employee benefits security.

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  1. Jean Bell says:

    There is one thing that can’t be planned, but DOL may have a way to help: employers unilaterally reducing health benefits from 1980s “window plans” by restating their plan documents during updates for COBRA, HIPAA and so forth, and sliding in reservations of rights for rights they did not reserve in the materials inviting employees to sign up for enhanced early retirements. The employers sold the rights. They traded the improvement to their bottom line in exchange for deferred compensation in the form of health benefits for life. One reality that aids and abets the bold takeaway, however, is that current benefits administration employees were not present when the offers were made, and they do not believe such a thing was done. But it was. Although the employee SPDs with no reservation of rights are still in our hands, the Amara case has set the precedent to disallow relying on them. It is suddenly impossible to get a copy of a plan document from the 1980s.

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