Participant Statement

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on July 11, 2023

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What Is a Participant Statement?

A participant statement in retirement planning is a document that outlines an individual's financial information, investment objectives, risk tolerance, and retirement goals.

This statement serves as a foundation for retirement planning and guides the participant, as well as financial advisors and plan providers, in making investment decisions that align with the participant's unique needs and objectives.

A comprehensive participant statement is crucial for effective retirement planning. It allows individuals to understand their current financial situation and set realistic retirement goals.

This also helps financial advisors and plan providers to customize investment options based on the participant's specific needs and risk tolerance.

In essence, a well-prepared participant statement is the cornerstone of a successful retirement planning strategy.

Elements of a Participant Statement

Personal Information

The participant statement begins with the individual's personal information, such as their name, date of birth, Social Security number, and contact details.

This information is essential for accurately identifying the participant and ensuring that any communications, account statements, and tax documents are correctly directed to the appropriate individual.

In addition, the personal information section may include details about the participant's marital status and dependents, as these factors can significantly impact retirement planning decisions.

Investment Objectives

The investment objectives section of a participant statement outlines the participant's financial goals and the overall purpose of their retirement savings.

This may include objectives such as capital preservation, income generation, or long-term growth. Clearly defining these objectives helps the participant and their financial advisor to select investment options that are aligned with the desired outcomes.

Moreover, understanding one's investment objectives can help participants stay focused on their goals and avoid making impulsive decisions that may jeopardize their long-term financial security.

Risk Tolerance

Risk tolerance refers to an individual's ability and willingness to accept potential losses in their investments in pursuit of higher returns. The participant statement should include an assessment of the participant's risk tolerance, which can range from conservative to aggressive.

Knowing one's risk tolerance is crucial for selecting appropriate investment options and maintaining a well-diversified portfolio that balances potential risks and rewards.

Time Horizon

The time horizon is the period between the present and the anticipated start of retirement. This factor is critical in retirement planning, as it determines the amount of time an individual has to save, invest, and grow their retirement assets.

The participant statement should include the participant's current age and expected retirement age, allowing for an accurate estimation of their time horizon.

A longer time horizon typically allows for a more aggressive investment strategy, while a shorter time horizon may require a more conservative approach to minimize potential losses.

Income Needs

The participant statement should outline the individual's current and projected income needs, including sources of income, expenses, and any anticipated changes in these factors.

This information helps participants determine the amount of retirement savings needed to maintain their desired standard of living and can guide investment decisions accordingly.

Additionally, understanding one's income needs can assist in planning for potential risks, such as inflation or unexpected expenses, that may arise during retirement.

Retirement Goals

The retirement goals section of a participant statement includes specific objectives for the individual's retirement, such as desired retirement age, lifestyle expectations, and any planned major expenditures, such as travel or healthcare costs.

These goals provide a clear target for the participant's retirement planning efforts and enable them to track their progress toward achieving these objectives.

Having well-defined retirement goals is essential for maintaining motivation and staying on track with one's retirement planning strategy.

Elements of a Participant Statement

Importance of a Participant Statement

Helps Participants Determine Retirement Goals

A comprehensive participant statement assists individuals in defining their retirement goals by providing a clear picture of their current financial situation, investment objectives, and risk tolerance.

This information allows participants to set realistic expectations and develop a retirement plan that aligns with their unique needs and aspirations.

By establishing clear retirement goals, participants can better understand the steps they need to take to achieve these objectives and make more informed decisions about their retirement savings strategy.

Assists in Making Investment Decisions

A participant statement serves as a valuable guide for making investment decisions, as it outlines the individual's investment objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon.

This information enables participants and their financial advisors to select investment options that are consistent with their goals and risk preferences.

Additionally, having a well-prepared participant statement can help individuals maintain focus on their long-term objectives, avoid emotional decision-making, and make necessary adjustments to their investment strategy as their circumstances change.

Enables Retirement Plan Providers to Customize Investment Options

A participant statement is not only beneficial for individuals but also for retirement plan providers.

By understanding the unique needs and objectives of their participants, plan providers can offer customized investment options and services that better align with the participant's financial goals.

This personalized approach can lead to more effective retirement planning and ultimately result in better outcomes for participants.

Provides a Benchmark for Measuring Progress Towards Retirement Goals

A participant statement also serves as a benchmark for monitoring progress towards retirement goals.

By regularly reviewing and updating their participant statement, individuals can track their financial growth, assess whether they are on track to achieve their objectives, and make necessary adjustments to their retirement planning strategy as needed.

Having a clear benchmark helps participants maintain motivation and stay accountable to their retirement goals, ensuring that they remain focused on their long-term financial security.

Importance of a Participant Statement


A participant statement is a vital component of effective retirement planning.

It provides individuals with a comprehensive overview of their financial situation, investment objectives, risk tolerance, and retirement goals, enabling them to make informed decisions about their retirement savings strategy.

Additionally, a well-prepared participant statement can assist financial advisors and plan providers in offering customized investment options that align with the participant's unique needs and objectives.

To ensure a successful retirement planning strategy, it is recommended that participants take the time to complete a comprehensive participant statement.

This process involves gathering accurate personal and financial information, assessing investment objectives and risk tolerance, estimating income needs and expenses, and setting clear retirement goals.

Regularly reviewing and updating the participant statement is also crucial, as it allows participants to track their progress towards their retirement objectives and make any necessary adjustments to their investment strategy as their circumstances change.

By taking these steps, individuals can create a solid foundation for their retirement planning efforts and increase the likelihood of achieving their desired financial security in retirement.

Participant Statement FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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