T. Rowe Price - Workplace Retirement (2023)


The Retirement Income Experience allows retirement savers to estimate the durability of their current savings across 500 randomly generated market scenarios, and to assess the impact of different savings rates, time horizons, and other variables have on the projection of retirement income. The projections are used to provide retirement income estimates and to calculate a Confidence Number® score. The Confidence Number® score represents a snapshot of the likelihood that your retirement savings will be sufficient to generate income throughout retirement sufficient to meet an assumed or specified Retirement Income Goal (i.e., spendable, after-tax income).

The projections generated by the tool regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are based on historical performance data of specific asset classes as described below, but are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results. The tool presents only a range of possible outcomes. There can be no assurance that the projected or simulated results will be achieved or sustained. The potential for loss (or gain) may be greater than demonstrated in the simulations. Results may vary with each use or over time, depending on changes to your inputs or periodic updates to the underlying assumptions. See "Limitations".


Data and Assumptions about You. In order to determine how likely your current and projected retirement savings are to last through retirement, we use data and assumptions about you, as follows.

  • The tool automatically imports your workplace plan balances and any personal investment accounts held at T. Rowe Price other than those designated for college savings. You may also provide data about outside investment accounts. Any external investment accounts that you have linked through the account aggregation service powered by Envestnet Yodlee are also automatically included in the tool's projections.
  • We use the Morningstar® asset classes to determine your current allocation and categorize them as stocks, bonds, or short-term bonds. Any percentage of holdings classified by Morningstar as "other" has been assigned to short-term bonds.
  • We use salary information you or your employer has provided, a retirement age of 65 (unless you have specified a different age), and we assume you will need savings to last through age 95 (unless you have specified a different age). If you are over age 65, then we assume a retirement age of your current age plus 1-year.
  • We use your current contribution rate (and apply any scheduled automatic increases) to project future contributions. In most cases, we will also incorporate your company’s employer contribution formula(s) (including matching contributions) and eligibility criteria (if applicable). As an alternative, we may use the employer contributions that you receive over the last 12 months as your starting annual employer contribution amount. (If you have less than 12 months of contribution data, we use the data available as your annual contribution, and this may understate the estimate). We do not project contributions to nonqualified deferred compensation plans.
  • We assume you will make contributions until your retirement age.
  • To estimate your salary growth, the projection uses Morningstar’s proprietary "salary growth curve." This curve takes into account the fact that salaries tend to grow most rapidly for young employees, peak when someone is in their 50s and then slightly decline later in life.
  • We assume you will receive Social Security benefits beginning at age 70 (unless you have specified a different age), which we estimate based on your projected salary to your retirement age.We assume Social Security benefits will increase at a rate to keep pace with inflation (assumed to be 3% based on historical inflation rates).
  • Your Retirement Income Goal (i.e., spendable, after-tax income) is determined by estimating the percentage of your projected salary at retirement required to maintain your lifestyle in retirement.This amount is based on your spending needs. Higher withdrawal amounts may be necessary due to withholding requirements or the need to pay taxes. To calculate your Retirement Income Goal, we subtract certain estimated taxes (state, federal, and employment taxes) and any regular contributions made to your account(s) from your projected salary at retirement. You may customize your retirement income goal by entering a different amount.

Calculating Hypothetical Future Values. The tool uses Monte Carlo analysis to generate 500 hypothetical market scenarios so that users can analyze hypothetical outcomes for specific asset class portfolios under a range of market conditions. (Asset classes used are limited to stocks, bonds and short-term bonds). Monte Carlo analysis provides ranges of potential future outcomes based on a probability model. Monte Carlo analysis creates potential simulated portfolio values by using asset class portfolio returns selected randomly from a consistent data set comprised of 400,000 potential annual return values. These rates account for the historical returns of the Representative Indices from the Index Data Start Date noted in the chart to 2016.

Stocks Bonds Short-term Bonds
Long-term Compound Annual Rate of Return 8.3% 5.0% 3.8%
Representative Index S&P 500 Bloomberg Barclay U.S. Aggregate Bond* Barclay 1-3 Year Gov't Credit
Index Data Start Date January 1960 January 1960* February 1976

*IA SBBI Intermediate Government from January 1960 to December 1975. Bloomberg Barclay U.S. Aggregate Index since January 1976.

These returns do not reflect fees and expenses or the effects of inflation.

We assumed a variability of returns based on historic volatility data from market indices:

Stocks Bonds Short-term Bonds
Annual Volatility 15.0% 6.0% 4.4%

Finally, we assumed that returns of each asset class would move in correlation to the other asset classes in a manner consistent with historical experience as follows:

Stocks Bonds Short-term Bonds
Stocks 0.3 0.2
Bonds 0.3 0.8
Short-term Bonds 0.2 0.8 1

The correlation (which can range from -1.0 to 1.0) indicates how much the assets move in tandem. The closer the value is to 1.0 indicates the higher the tendency the assets have to move in the same direction.

We use the assumptions above for all taxable and tax-deferred accounts. Unless you are invested in a T Rowe Price retirement date investment, the projections assume that your asset allocation will remain static (i.e., we do not assume that you will gradually reduce your equity exposure over time, making your portfolio more conservative).

Estimating Taxes. Tax rules are applied throughout the tool’s simulation process, including required minimum distribution (RMD) rules that apply to some tax-deferred accounts. The tool estimates your federal, state income, and capital gains taxes based on the current federal and state tax tables. The tool uses your salary data, as well as any income data provided for your spouse/partner, to estimate federal and state tax exposure when performing simulations and proving retirement income estimates.

Taxable Account Modeling. For taxable accounts, the tool estimates annual taxes on yield and capital gains when performing simulations and providing retirement income estimates. To compute taxes on yield, the tool determines if the yield is in the form of an equity dividend or a fixed income coupon. Federal dividend tax rates are applied to equity dividends and federal marginal ordinary income tax rates are applied to fixed income coupons. To compute capital gain taxes, the tool first calculates the assets that need to be sold each year when performing projections. Then the long-term capital gain rate is applied to these estimated realized capital gains on the assets sold.

Retirement Income Projections and Withdrawal Assumptions. In order to calculate your retirement income estimates and your post-retirement plan balance, we use the 80th percentile from the 500 hypothetical return projections. We provide an income projection for both your current strategy as well as any modeled strategy. Our monthly and annual retirement income estimates show spendable, after-tax amounts that succeed in at least 80% of the market simulations(i.e., leave at least $0.01 in the Plan at the end of retirement), and are displayed in today's dollars (unless noted otherwise). Projected retirement plan balances are displayed in future dollars.

We assume withdrawals necessary to achieve your Retirement Income Goal from the 80th percentile pro rata across asset classes. We build into the withdrawal assumptions Morningstar’s proprietary U-shaped “retirement spending curve” which includes expectations about consumption throughout retirement. Namely, expenditures tend to decrease for retirees throughout retirement and then increase toward the end.

We assume that required minimum distributions from employer sponsored retirement plan balances and non-Roth IRA accounts begin at age 70½ or 72 (depending on your age) and are made in annual payments. To the extent Social Security payments, pension benefits, and/or required minimum distributions exceed your estimated spending needs, we assume the amounts are reinvested in a taxable account (and we use the return assumptions above that apply to short-term bonds).

In withdrawing to meet your Retirement Income Goal, we assume a specific withdrawal sequence from account types. We start with any required minimum distributions. We then move to taxable accounts (if any), followed by tax-deferred accounts. With tax-deferred accounts, we assume withdrawals will come first from nonqualified deferred compensation accounts (if any), followed by after-tax sources and accounts (e.g., non-deductible IRAs), and then pre-tax sources and accounts. Finally, we withdraw from any tax-free Roth sources within your employer sponsored retirement plan(s) and then Roth IRA accounts.

Savings and Retirement Age Strategy Modeling. We’ve estimated a total retirement plan contribution rate and retirement age that will help improve your chances of achieving your Retirement Income Goal throughout retirement. If you’re enrolled in auto increase, we account for those annual increases in our calculations. We encourage you to explore different contribution increases and retirement ages to model the impact on your estimates and projections. Any suggested contribution modeling increases will default to pretax until you reach the IRS contribution limit and then to after-tax (if available). If your plan offers Roth deferrals, you can model the impact of Roth changes.

If multiple retirement plans are modeled, the plan with the greatest employer match contribution is prioritized, then the plan with a lower match is utilized. When match is maximized in each plan, suggested contribution modeling increases are then prioritized based on the plan with the higher account balance.

Confidence Number® Score. The hypothetical projections are used to determine your Confidence Number® score. This number is calculated on a 100-point scale. The basis of the Confidence Number® is the Simulation Success Rate, which is a probability measure and represents the percentage of times outcomes succeed in providing the target retirement income goal each year in the analysis.

Retirement Income Over Time Chart. This graph represents the various sources of income in retirement. Your workplace plan account(s), any personal retirement accounts held at T. Rowe Price, and any other T. Rowe Price or outside investment accounts that you’ve added are used to generate the estimates shown in the "Savings" portion of the graph. The "Pension" portion of the graph provides an income estimate from any applicable workplace pension plan, or other pension amounts that you’ve added.The “Social Security” portion of the graph represents an estimate of Social Security benefits based on your assumed or stated claiming age.Estimated taxes have been taken out of Social Security and any applicable pension amounts. Higher withdrawal amounts may be necessary from your savings due to withholding requirements or the need to pay taxes.

Optional Variables. The following optional variables can be added for a more holistic view of your retirement income projection and Confidence Number® score.

  • Spouse's income.
  • Spouse’s retirement age (we assume your spouse’s retirement will end the same year as yours).
  • Spouse’s estimated social security benefit. We assume your spouse will receive social security benefits beginning at age 70 (unless you have specified a different age), which we estimate based on your spouse’s projected salary to retirement age. We assume that you or your spouse will receive the larger of the spousal benefit or individual benefit to which you or your spouse are entitled to when claiming social security benefits.
  • Other T. Rowe Price accounts (in addition to personal retirement accounts), and outside investment accounts (including accounts belonging to your spouse). You may specify an annual savings amount for these accounts which will be included in our projections.

    If you include or change any of these variables, you must ensure the information is current and accurate in the future. The only values automatically updated are those imported using the Envestnet Yodlee aggregation capabilities.


    While Confidence Number® score and the Retirement Income Experience have been designed with reasonable assumptions and methods, the tool provides hypothetical projections only and has certain limitations.

    • Failure of the model to accurately project actual market conditions, inflation, salary growth, future account contributions or tax rates may result in over- or understatement of projected retirement savings and income projections.
    • IRS contribution and compensation limits are subject to annual cost of living increases, which the tool does not estimate. Projected future contributions may be subject to higher limits than used in our estimates, which (in some cases) may result in understatement of retirement savings and income projections.
    • Any information you manually enter in the tool will need to be updated by you to accurately reflect any changes in your profile, savings and investing data..
    • Salary information provided by you or your employer may differ from the compensation used to calculate plan contributions and/or Social Security benefits and may result in over- or understatement of retirement savings and income projections.
    • If your salary information includes salary bonuses, the variability of bonuses may result in over- or understatement of retirement savings/income projections. Similarly, if you are eligible for bonuses which are not included in your salary information, the tool's projections, including the estimate of your retirement income goal, may be understated.
    • The use of projected future salary to estimate Social Security payments may not represent your situation.
    • The assumption that Social Security payments will increase by the amount of assumed inflation (3%) may result in overstated retirement income projections.
    • If you aggregate spousal data, we assume that both you and your spouse will only need income through the end of your retirement. If your spouse lives longer than your assumed or stated retirement end date, there may not be sufficient savings to support your spouse’s retirement income goals following your death.

    The information provided in this tool is for general and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice. This tool does not provide fiduciary recommendations concerning investments or investment management. Other T. Rowe Price educational tools or advice services use different assumptions and methods and may yield different outcomes. If you wish to receive a personalized financial plan, please seek the advice of a licensed personal financial planner.

    IMPORTANT: The projections or other information generated by the Retirement Income Experience regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual Investment results, and are not guarantees of future results. The simulations are based on assumptions. There can be no assurance that the projected or simulated results will be achieved or sustained. The charts present only a range of possible outcomes. Actual results will vary with each use and over time, and such results may be better or worse than the simulated scenarios. Clients should be aware that the potential for loss (or gain) may be greater than demonstrated in the simulations.

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