About the MFHA Retirement Readiness Calculator (MyPRIM)
The starting point for any retirement planning is to know how you stand right now. MFHA's calculator will help you do just that. We call it the My Personal Retirement Index Measure (MyPRIM) report. Created by our actuary, it's a proprietary calculator that will get you started on your retirement planning journey.
With MyPRIM, you'll get a clear picture of how your retirement is shaping up compared to your current lifestyle. It will help you discover:
- how much retirement income you'll get after taxes;
- how much you will need to pay for your expenses; and
- how a change in lifestyle might impact your expenses.
We use our proprietary actuarial calculations to summarize your information in a score that tells you how well prepared you are for retirement, using your current lifestyle as a benchmark. A MyPRIM score of 100 (or higher) means your after-tax retirement income is projected to be the same (or more) than your projected expenses. Aim for as high a number as possible; however, you do not need a MyPRIM of 100 to have a great retirement life.
You can rerun the report with different retirement dates to see how retiring early affects you.
MyPRIM also shows you where your retirement income will come from—government pensions, Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), Tax-Free Savings (TFSAs) and/or employer-based savings plans. This is key to knowing if you need to make any changes to a specific income stream.
How does MyPRIM work?
First, we'll ask for some basic personal and financial information, such as your current pension plan (if you have one) and any other savings strategies, such as an RRSP and a TFSA. We assume, if you are in a pension plan, that you will continue to earn pensionable service until you retire.
The more accurate your information is, the more accurate your MyPRIM score will be. This will help you make better retirement planning decisions.
What if MyPRIM is not as high as I want?
In addition to your score, MyPRIM offers advice on how to improve your preparation for retirement. These tips include looking at your rate of savings, deciding on a strategy for your investments, and figuring out where to invest your savings.
Remember, just because your MyPRIM score is less than 100, it doesn't mean your retirement will be limited. That's because expenses often decrease close to and after retirement, so you may not need the same level of income as you have now.
What if I am in a pension plan?
Your MyPRIM score will be affected to some extent by the type of pension plan you belong to.
With a defined benefit (DB) pension, you have a fixed pension at retirement based on your service (or hours worked) and your salary/wages, calculated in accordance with the plan rules. This makes pension income easier to predict. By using MyPRIM, you'll be able to see more clearly how any other retirement savings plans that you have will impact your retirement income.
With a defined contribution (DC) pension, your retirement income is not as easily determined because it's based on the investment performance of your pension assets. Using MyPRIM, you'll be able to see more clearly what your retirement income will look like.
If you are in one of the BC Public Service pension plans, or any of the Federal pension plans, your pension income will decrease at age 65, when your bridge pension stops. A bridge pension is a temporary income supplement for people who retire early that mimics the government pensions that aren't available until age 60 or 65 so that your retirement income is more consistent. Because this benefit stops at 65, you may see a dip in MyPRIM at that time. Remember, if you know that a future income stream will reduce, you'll have to save more now to make up the shortfall.
Indexing is important
With inflation increasing, it is even more important now to factor in the cost of keeping up with inflation.
MyPRIM compares your income to your expenses with an adjustment each year to reflect inflation. This means that you may have to save even more if you want to maintain the same standard of living during retirement each year.
MyPRIM shows you how purchasing an annuity might be a better option for you than paying yourself out of your savings, at least for part of your income needs. An annuity is the only way to ensure you receive enough income to last your lifetime in addition to government benefits and any DB pensions you might be entitled to. Read more about annuities here.
What if I am not in a pension plan?
If you aren't in a pension plan, your main retirement income will come from RRSPs and TFSAs. The retirement income generated by your RRSPs and TFSAs is best determined using the actuarial factors and financial models that are built into MyPRIM.
Run the report today to get a snapshot of where you stand now!