By David Twiddy, AP Business Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Are you going to be ready for retirement?
Retirement-plan ratings firm Fiduciary Benchmarks on Monday unveiled a new index that measures how well 401(k) plans for thousands of companies are preparing their employees.
Besides evaluating individual company retirement plans, the Retirement Readiness Index also crunches the numbers by industry, showing users whether their plans are keeping pace or falling behind their peers.
For example, the index estimates that retirement funds in the agriculture and forestry industry will, on average, provide 61% more than employees need to live comfortably in retirement. At the other end of the spectrum is data processing, hosting and related services, whose company plans the index estimates will provide 30% less than the average employee needs.
Tom Kmak, chief executive officer of Fiduciary Benchmarks, said the index isn't designed to convince someone to change careers. He noted that there is a wide variation between companies in the same industry and even among workers, depending on when they plan to retire and other factors. But he said the information should give employees and those overseeing the 401(k) plans clues as to whether they need to make changes.
"We're trying to be the catalyst to get people to focus on the most important question: Are you going to have enough money when you retire?" Kmak said.
Users of the Web site can get a basic report showing their company's rating and the average rating for their industry for free. Companies will be able to buy more detailed reports, including a breakdown of index ratings by company and the data used to build the index, for $100.