Main sources of retirement income

The four main sources of retirement income

Once you’ve retired, your income will probably come from one or more of four sources:

  • Pensions - This employer-provided benefit may not provide all you need. Did you know only 21% of private-sector, state and local government workers participate in a pension plan?1
  • Personal savings – Think about how much you’ll need to save in order to live the retirement you imagine
  • Employer retirement plan - These plans allow you to defer contributions from your paycheck to a supplemental retirement account (e.g. your 401(k), 457(b), 401(a) or 403(b)) and are quickly becoming the largest form of retirement income
  • Social Security - According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security benefits typically account for (at most) 40% of what you earn now2

Use My Interactive Retirement PlannerSM to see if your retirement income will be enough.


2 Better Information on Income Replacement Rates Needed to Help Workers Plan for Retirement, Government Accountability Office (March 2016); Understanding The Benefits, Social Security Administration (July 2017). Calculated as amount of pre-retirement income GAO says an average person needs in retirement less the amount of income SSA says Social Security replaces, on average.