Wells Fargo Employee Retirement: 5-Step Checklist

wells fargo employee retirement

Plan Now for a Smooth Transition into Wells Fargo Employee Retirement

You’ve worked hard in your career at Wells Fargo. You are reaching Wells Fargo employee retirement. It’s time to review plans, choices, and important actions to make sure you can enjoy this phase of your life and reap all that you’ve invested.

This article details five key steps leading up to your Wells Fargo employee retirement. Cover these bases and you’ll ensure a smooth transition into your next chapter. You’ll want to take advantage of all the benefits available to you in retirement and prepare for any contingencies.

1.) Choose your Wells Fargo employee retirement date and update your info.

Choosing the date you plan to retire is a big first step. This move will set a host of other actions in motion!  Check your calendar and select a date that gives you enough time to get everything in order. We suggest giving yourself 90 days so that you’re able to complete all the key tasks comfortably without rushing.

While there are no specific requirements to meet when you retire or end your employment with Wells Fargo, you’ll want to be aware of numerous eligibility requirements for particular benefits and compensation plans.

A few other small but critical moves to make when you choose your date:

  • Verify and update your personal information and beneficiary designations

For Wells Fargo employee retirement, it’s important that Wells Fargo has your correct contact information on file so that you receive all the necessary correspondence once you retire. Confirm your home address and other personal contact information from your Profile on Workday. This includes things such as a personal cell phone number and email address.

Now is also an important time to review your existing beneficiary designations for benefit plans you participate in and make sure that they still meet your needs. Beneficiary designations are maintained separately for each plan. This means you’ll need to update your beneficiary designations separately for each of the plans in which you participate. Visit the beneficiary designations page on the HR Services & Support site.

  • Use up PTO

Accrued, unused PTO is paid out as part of your final pay at retirement. Personal holidays, floating holidays, and community service time will not be paid out if they’re not used. This means you should plan to use them up before your last day! 

2.) Set up your Wells Fargo employee retirement income

The time has arrived to plan what sources of income you’ll use in retirement. This includes your retirement savings, and how and when you’ll access those funds.  

Retirement income can come from retirement plans (which may include your 401(k) Plan and the Wells Fargo Cash Balance Plan), as well as Social Security retirement benefits, and other personal savings such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and brokerage accounts.

This section provides general information about your options and the resources available to support you.

Wells Fargo 401 (k) Plan

You’ll need to decide what to do with your 401(k) Plan account balance upon retirement.

After employment ends, you’ll receive a brochure in the mail from Empower Retirement. This brochure details information about your 401(k) Plan withdrawal options. You can also review this information anytime on the Wells Fargo 401(k) Plan website. You may also want to talk to a tax or financial advisor before taking a withdrawal from the 401(k) Plan.

There are three main options regarding your 401(k) plan.

TAKE IT

You can take all your retirement savings as cash, payable to you. You can receive it as a lump sum paid in one payment, a partial lump sum (paid in two or more partial payments), or in a series of installment payments (you select the time period or frequency). It’s important to note that with few exceptions, the IRS may impose an early withdrawal tax of 10% if you choose this option before reaching age 59½. The withdrawal(s) will also be taxable as ordinary income.

ROLL IT

You can roll your 401(k) Plan account into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or another employer’s qualified retirement plan. The rollover alone is not a taxable event.

LEAVE IT

You can leave your retirement savings in the 401(k) Plan after your retirement. In doing this, you’ll receive a Wells Fargo employee retirement income from your 401(k) Plan account. According to tax rules, you must begin taking Minimum Distribution withdrawals from your retirement savings by April 1st of the calendar year following your last day of employment, OR April 1st of the calendar year following the date you turn 74—whichever is later.

You can initiate a 401(k) Plan withdrawal over the phone or online as follows:

  • Over the phone: Call 1-877-HRWELLS (1-877-479-3557), and select option 1, 1,.
  • From work: On HR Services & Support , go to HR Tools, and under Benefits select 401(k) Plan
  • From home: Go to my401kplan.wf.com

Wells Fargo Cash Balance Plan

The Cash Balance Plan is a Wells Fargo pension plan. It was only available to eligible employees before July 1, 2009. The Cash Balance Plan is now frozen, but cash balance accounts continue to receive investment credits on a quarterly basis.

If you were eligible and have an existing benefit in the Cash Balance Plan, you’ll need to decide how and when you want to initiate payment of your benefit when you retire.

TAKE IT

When taking a distribution from the Cash Balance Plan, you can opt to receive payment in one of the following ways:

  • Life-only annuity: A life-only annuity pays you a monthly benefit for your lifetime. Payments cease when you’re no longer living.  
  • Joint and 50%, 75%, or 100% survivor annuity: A joint and survivor annuity pays a monthly benefit for your lifetime. It also pays a survivor benefit to your joint annuitant or beneficiary, if he or she is living at the time of your death. With a joint and survivor annuity, the amount of the monthly payment is generally less than it is in a life-only annuity, because the payments are expected to extend over a longer period of time (i.e., over the joint life expectancy of you and your beneficiary).
  • Ten-year certain and life annuity: A 10-year certain and life annuity pays a monthly benefit for your lifetime with a guarantee of at least 10 years of payments. If you die before you have received 10 years of payments, your named beneficiary will receive the same monthly benefit for the remainder of the 10-year period.
  • Lump-sum distribution: You can receive a one-time payment of the entire amount due to you.

ROLL IT

Your lump-sum distribution from the Cash Balance Plan can be rolled over into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or another employer’s qualified retirement plan.

LEAVE IT

You can leave your benefit in the Cash Balance Plan until April 1st of the calendar year following your last day of employment, or April 1st of the calendar year following the date you turn 72, whichever is later. Your Cash Balance Plan account will continue to earn investment credits until you elect to receive payment.

You can initiate either of the distribution options over the phone (1-877-HR WELLS) or online:

  • From work: On HR Services & Support, go to HR Tools and under Benefits select Cash Balance Plan
  • From home: Sign on to benefitconnect.wf.ehr.com/ess

Wells Fargo & Company Stock Purchase Plan (“Stock Purchase Plan”)

The Wells Fargo & Company Stock Purchase Plan (“Stock Purchase Plan”) is a voluntary plan. Eligible employees can use this plan to purchase Wells Fargo & Company common stock via payroll deductions. Participation in this plan ends when you retire. There is a requirement to take a full distribution of your Stock Purchase Plan account within 60 days of your last day of employment. Following the end of your employment, you’ll receive a letter outlining available distribution options.

If you don’t call to request a distribution from this plan within 60 days of your last day of employment, a withdrawal will be processed automatically. Your shares will be distributed as full shares and credited to a DRS book-entry account in your name with EQ Shareowner Services.

Social Security

Social Security retirement benefits are an important part of most individual’s retirement income. It’s important to understand what Social Security benefits you’re entitled to, and when and how you can begin receiving benefits. It’s also important to know how your age at the time you begin receiving benefits can impact the amount of your Social Security retirement benefit payment.

The Social Security Administration recommends that you apply for Social Security retirement benefits three months before you want your benefit to begin. You can apply for Social Security retirement benefits using one of the options below:

  • Online: Visit ssa.gov/retire1
  • By phone: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time
  • In-person: At your local Social Security office

For more information about Social Security retirement benefits, and to estimate your Social Security retirement benefit amount at different ages, sign in to ssa.gov/retire

Discretionary Wells Fargo Bonus, Commission, and other Short-Term Incentive Plan awards

For eligible participants in the Wells Fargo Bonus Plan, any awards with approval receive payment no later than the March following your retirement date.

To receive an incentive payment, you may need to have employment on the award payment date. It’s important to check your plan documents and review your plan terms with your manager to confirm your award eligibility.

If you don’t need to be employed and the terms of your discretionary incentive plan provide award eligibility for retired employees, you must be in a benefits-eligible regular or part-time position on your last day of employment and meet one of the following age and service requirements:

  • Age 55 with at least 10 completed years of service,
  • Age 65 with at least one completed year of service, or
  • 80 points (based on age + completed years of service)

Go to HR Services & Support and search “Incentive Plans” for more information about the Wells Fargo Bonus Plan. You can find the Wells Fargo Bonus Plan document in the Wells Fargo Bonus Plan Summary.

Wells Fargo Long-Term Incentive Compensation Plan

Restricted share rights (RSRs) are a type of equity compensation that is subject to a vesting schedule. With the Wells Fargo restricted share rights plan, the company grants shares of company stock to employees, subject to a vesting schedule and other conditions (i.e., “restricted”). Once vested, the RSRs are just like any other shares of company stock.

If you were granted RSR awards, shares of Wells Fargo stock are generally issued in your name (net of required tax withholdings) into your shareholder account three business days after the vesting date.

With RSRs, you’re taxed when you receive the shares. Your taxable income is the market value of the shares at vesting. This typically carries less risk than a stock option, which can lose all practical value with a falling stock price.   

You can refer to your award agreement for details regarding the vesting of your outstanding awards upon retirement, or email Executive Compensation at execcomp@wellsfargo.com

To review your restricted share rights, sign on to the Long-Term Equity Awards tool as follows:

  • From work: On HR Services & Support, go to HR Tools, and in the Search tool type Executive Compensation.
  • From home: Go to teamworks.wellsfargo.com and select Log-In Help under Long-Term Incentive Compensation Plan.

Wells Fargo Deferred Compensation Plan

If you participate in the Wells Fargo Deferred Compensation Plan and you retire before distribution begins, your account balance will be distributed in whatever form you elected when you signed up (lump sum or installment payments) beginning in the month of March following your last day of employment. 

To review your balances and distribution elections online, sign on as follows:

  • From work: On HR Services & Support, go to HR Tools, and in the Search tool type About Deferred Compensation.
  • From home: Go to the SkyComp website at bfp-skycomp.com/wf

You can also contact Executive Compensation with questions at 1-888-383-2203.

Wells Fargo Long-Term Cash Award Plan

If you meet the retirement eligibility requirements for the Long-Term Cash Award Plan (LTCAP) below, your awards will continue to vest following your last day of employment, based on your original vesting schedule. The requirements are:

  • Age 55 with at least 10 completed years of service,
  • Age 65, or
  • 80 points (based on age + completed years of service)

You can view your Long-Term Cash Awards online as follows:

  • From work: On HR Services & Support, go to HR Tools, and in the Search tool type About Deferred Compensation.
  • From home: Go to the SkyComp website at bfp-skycomp.com/wf

To confirm whether you meet the retirement eligibility for the LTCAP, or if you have general questions, contact Executive Compensation at 1-888-383-2203

Wells Fargo Supplemental 401(k) Plan & Wells Fargo Supplemental Cash Balance Plan

If you participate in the Wells Fargo Supplemental (401k) or Wells Fargo Supplemental Cash Balance Plan, call 1-877-479-3557 and select option 1, 1, to discuss your distribution options and the timing of your withdrawals following your retirement.

3.) Plan for health care coverage in Wells Fargo employee retirement

Another important step in preparing for your retirement is making sure you have health care coverage that is adequate for you and your family at this time. As you approach retirement, it’s important to assess all the healthcare options available to you. This may include coverage under the Wells Fargo & Company Retiree Plan (“Retiree Plan”), COBRA continuation of your active employee coverage, coverage available to you through a working spouse or partner, or coverage through the public or private marketplace.

Your options and concerns regarding health care coverage in retirement will depend on whether you’re eligible for Medicare (generally age 65 or older) or not yet eligible for Medicare (generally under age 65) at the time of your retirement.

FOR THOSE NOT YET ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICARE

(generally under age 65)

It’s important to understand when your active employee health care coverage will end when you retire, consider the coverage options available to you after retirement, and know what happens to funds in any health accounts once you retire.

When active employee health care coverage ends

Your active-employee medical, dental, and vision coverage will terminate at the end of the month in which your last day of employment takes place. Coverage for your enrolled dependents also ends when your coverage ends.

Coverage under the Wells Fargo & Company Retiree Plan

If you’re in a regular or fixed-term (full-time or part-time) employment classification on your last day of employment, and you meet one of the following age and service requirements, you’re eligible for retiree medical coverage (and dental coverage if you’re under age 65) under the Retiree Plan:

  • Age 55 with at least 10 completed years of service,
  • Age 65 with at least one completed year of service,
  • 80 points (based on age + completed years of service), OR
  • If you were in a benefits-eligible position and on Wachovia’s payroll as of December 31, 2009, and your age plus full years of service equaled 50 or greater as of January 1, 2010, AND
  • On your last day of employment with Wells Fargo you’re at least age 50 with 10+ full years of service.

Note that retiree medical coverage when you’re not yet eligible for Medicare is generally more expensive than active employee coverage. There are several reasons for this. The average age and health care needs of participants in retiree medical plans results in higher monthly premiums for all participants in the plan. In addition, most retirees pay the full cost of retiree health care coverage, whereas when enrolled in active employee coverage you pay only a portion of the cost.

To find out if you’re eligible for coverage under the Retiree Plan—or eligible for a subsidy toward the cost of Wells Fargo-sponsored retiree health care coverage—contact the Wells Fargo Retirement Service Center at 1-877-HRWELLS (1-877-479-3557) and select option 1, 3.

You can also model your retiree health care options online:
  • Sign on to benefitconnect.wf.ehr.com/ess1 and select Model Retiree Health Care Benefits.
  • Enter your expected last day of employment and note the options available to you.

Your expected last day of employment must be within the current calendar year to request a Retiree Health Care Enrollment Kit or to model your retiree health care coverage options online.

If you plan to elect coverage under the Retiree Plan, you must make your elections up to 90 days before your last day of employment or within 60 days after your last day of employment. If you don’t elect coverage during this enrollment period at the time of your retirement, you won’t be eligible to enroll in the future.

You may also elect coverage for your eligible dependents if you elect Wells Fargo-sponsored retiree medical or dental coverage.

For additional information about the Wells Fargo & Company Retiree Plan, refer to the Retiree Benefits Book in HR Services & Support.  

COBRA

If you’re enrolled in active employee medical, dental, vision, or Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) coverage on your last day of employment, you and your enrolled dependents will be eligible for COBRA continuation.

What is COBRA?

COBRA is a temporary continuation of your active employee coverage that generally lasts for 18 months (under some circumstances, COBRA continuation may last for 36 months). You and each of your covered dependents can elect COBRA continuation independently. This means your covered spouse, partner, or other dependents can elect COBRA continuation even if you don’t.

Cost of coverage

Under COBRA continuation, you pay the full cost of your coverage plus a 2% administrative fee. Wells Fargo doesn’t pay any of the cost, as is the case when you have enrollment in active employee coverage. Therefore, COBRA continuation will cost significantly more than your active employee coverage.

After your last day of employment, a COBRA Election Notice and additional information about your COBRA continuation coverage options and costs will come via mail to your home address on record. You have until the either 60 days from the date of your COBRA Election Notice or 60 days from the date your active employee coverage ends (whichever is later) to elect COBRA continuation.

If you elect COBRA continuation, your coverage doesn’t go into effect until your first premium payment is received. Once your premium payment is received, your coverage is generally effective on the day after your active employee coverage ended. This means you won’t have a gap in coverage between your active employee coverage ends and your COBRA continuation coverage.

If you’re eligible for Wells Fargo-sponsored retiree health care coverage and you’re considering electing COBRA, it’s important to note that you will not be able to elect Wells Fargo-sponsored retiree health care coverage after your COBRA coverage ends. Retiree health care elections must be made within 60 days after your last day of employment.

Coverage available through the health insurance marketplace

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows you to purchase individual health care coverage through the health insurance marketplace. This gives you an additional option to consider for health care coverage in retirement.

Special enrollment period

Because you’re retiring and will no longer have access to active employee health care coverage, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period that allows you to elect coverage through the public health insurance marketplace. Your Special Enrollment Period begins 60 days before your active employee health care coverage ends. The Special Enrollment period ends 60 days after your active employee coverage ends. You may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period even if you’re eligible for Wells Fargo-sponsored retiree health care coverage.

Premium tax credits

Depending on your household income, you may be eligible for a premium tax credit toward the cost of marketplace coverage. To determine if you’re eligible for a premium tax credit toward coverage purchased through the public marketplace, visit healthcare.gov/lower-costs.

Electing coverage

To review marketplace plan options and costs, and elect coverage, visit healthcare.gov, or contact the Marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325).

Health Savings Account (HSA)

An HSA is an individual ownership account, so your HSA will continue to be yours even after you retire. Your HSA account number remains the same, and you can continue to use your current Health Savings Account Debit Mastercard®.

Using your HSA in retirement

HSA funds can be used to pay for health care expenses in retirement. As long as you’re enrolled in a qualified high-deductible health plan, you can continue to contribute to your HSA on an after-tax basis until you enroll in Medicare.

After-tax contributions to your HSA are tax-deductible on your federal income tax return, and will reduce your taxable income.

Once you enroll in Medicare, you can no longer contribute to an HSA, but you can continue to use existing funds to pay for eligible expenses such as copays, coinsurance and premiums for Medicare Part B or Part D, as well as Medicare Advantage plans. You cannot use HSA funds to pay premiums for Medicare Supplement plans (also known as Medigap plans).

At age 65, you can also take penalty-free distributions from your HSA for nonmedical expenses.

Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)

You will no longer have access to funds in your HRA, including health and wellness dollars, once your active employee medical coverage ends, unless you either:
  • Enroll in COBRA continuation of the Copay Plan with HRA, or
  • Enroll in the Wells Fargo-sponsored HRA-Based Medical Plan for retirees.

Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Your participation in the Full-Purpose Health Care FSA and the Limited Dental/Vision FSA ends on the last day of the month in which your employment ended. Expenses incurred after your participation ends are not eligible for reimbursement. The exception to that would be if you’re eligible to enroll in COBRA continuation of your FSA. COBRA continuation of your FSA requires you to make after-tax contributions to the FSA by ACH or check.

Filing claims

Your HealthEquity FSA Card will no longer be active when your participation in the FSA ends. After your participation in the FSA has ended, if you’re making payments for an FSA-eligible expense incurred while you were still participating, you’ll need to use another form of payment and request reimbursement at participant.wageworks.com.

You can continue to file FSA claims for eligible expenses that were incurred before your participation ended. You can do so until your available account balance is zero or until April 30 of the calendar year after your last day of employment, whichever occurs first. Any remaining balance after that time is forfeited.

FOR THOSE ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICARE

(generally age 65+)

If you’re eligible for Medicare at the time you retire, you’ll want to pay close attention to some critical dates. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) determines when you need to enroll in Medicare to avoid being subject to late enrollment penalties. You also may need to elect retiree medical coverage to ensure that you don’t have a gap in coverage between the time your active employee medical coverage ends and your retiree coverage begins.

Generally, eligibility for Medicare begins on the first day of the month in which you turn 65. If your birthday is on the first of the month, then you become eligible for Medicare on the first of the month before you turn 65.

Signing up for Medicare

Medicare Part A

You need to have enrollment in Medicare Part A before you can enroll in Medicare Part B. Your Part A coverage will generally begin retroactively six months prior to the date you sign up (but no earlier than the first month you’re eligible for Medicare). Generally, you don’t pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A.  

If you’re just becoming eligible for Medicare at the time you retire

CMS allows you to enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which is a seven-month period that begins three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after you turn 65. Suppose your birthday is on the first of the month, then you become eligible for Medicare on the first of the month before you turn 65 and your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before you become eligible for Medicare.

If you’re already eligible for Medicare at the time of your retirement

If you’re eligible for Medicare and are covered under the Wells Fargo & Company active employee medical plan at the time you retire, CMS allows you (and your Medicare-eligible enrolled spouse, if applicable) access to a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to sign up for Medicare. You can sign up for Medicare anytime while you’re covered under the Wells Fargo active employee medical plan, or during the eight-month period that begins the month after your employment ends.

The SEP is not generally available for domestic partners. If you currently cover your domestic partner with your health plan, contact Medicare for information about enrollment periods for domestic partners.

After you enroll in Medicare

About 30 days after you enroll in Medicare, you’ll receive a Medicare ID card with your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).

You cannot enroll in COBRA coverage once you already enroll in Medicare. Enrolling in COBRA does not extend your Special Enrollment Period. You won’t be eligible for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period when your COBRA coverage ends.

4.) Evaluate financial protection benefits

Financial protection benefits are optional and not everyone wants to invest in them. However, these benefits may provide peace of mind and protect you and your family if financial hardships affect your stability.

You may have coverage under the Wells Fargo & Company Life Insurance Plan, Wells Fargo & Company Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plan (“AD&D Plan”), or the Wells Fargo & Company Legal Services Plan. You may be eligible to port or convert coverage in retirement. This would be done on your last day of employment.

Also, you may wish to obtain voluntary long-term care insurance. This coverage is for nonmedical personal care and assistance should you require it. This type of assistance generally does not have coverage by health plans or Medicare.

5.) Enjoy your Wells Fargo Employee Retirement!

Congratulations! You made it to a momentous milestone in life. As this chapter begins, you’ll want to plan ways to keep growing, learning, active, productive, energized, and fulfilled. It’s important to find ways to sustain a sense of purpose despite the work chapter of your life ending. Some retirees prefer to relax, travel, or spend time with family and friends. Others engage more deeply in hobbies, volunteering, education, or even a second career. Regardless, your retirement represents a big departure from the work routine you’re familiar with. Plan ahead to make the most of it!

Want to Learn More About Wells Fargo Employee Retirement?

Visit Calamita Wealth Management to receive all the financial help and knowledge you need. Not only do we cover Wells Fargo employee retirement information, but we also cover other information regarding financial and investing management.

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