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Your WEC Energy Group Benefits & Career: Financial Planning for Employees and Executives

By  Brian Thorp

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Do you work at WEC Energy Group? Get the resources you need and expert insights from financial professionals who specialize in helping WEC Energy Group employees make the most of their compensation package and benefits.

Whether you’re a new WEC Energy Group employee or you’ve moved up the ranks into a management or executive leadership role over a multi-year career, it’s important to make smart money moves with your income and employee benefits. For example:

✅ Do you know the right moves to make to get the greatest value from the WEC Energy Group benefits available to you?

✅If you’re thinking about leaving WEC Energy Group for another job or planning to retire from the company in a few years, are you taking the right steps today to ensure you will receive all of the compensation and benefits that you’ve earned?

Get the Most Value from Your WEC Energy Group Benefits and Compensation Package

Throughout the year, WEC Energy Group provides its employees and executives with updates about their benefits ranging from health insurance and health savings plans to retirement plans like a 401(k), deferred compensation plans, and stock options. While the company offers many useful resources and access to knowledgeable staff who can assist with questions, you’ll also find financial professionals not affiliated with WEC Energy Group who specialize in helping WEC Energy Group employees make the most of their income and benefits.

Whether you work in the WEC Energy Group headquarters in Milwaukee, another office location around the Midwest, or remotely from home, you may have questions about your compensation package and benefits better suited for a financial professional who can offer unbiased advice and guidance.

For example, sensitive topics like discussing the steps you should take before quitting your job at WEC Energy Group to work elsewhere, protecting yourself in advance of a corporate layoff, or deciding when you should plan to retire are all conversations that may be more comfortable with a trusted financial advisor.

Should you hire a WEC Energy Group specialist financial advisor or an advisor close to home?

You’ll likely find dozens of nearby financial advisors well-suited to help you reach your money goals with a personalized plan. But it may be more difficult to find a financial advisor who specializes in serving WEC Energy Group employees.

Fortunately, many financial advisors offer virtual services so you can meet online no matter where you (or they) live.

This means you can choose to hire a specialist financial advisor who lives hundreds of miles away if you decide their knowledge and experience working with WEC Energy Group employees is a better fit to help with your unique needs.

💡 In the Q&A below, you’ll gain insights from financial advisors who work with WEC Energy Group employees to help them make smart decisions to get the most value from their compensation and benefits, reduce their money stress, and prepare for a comfortable retirement.

🙋‍♀️ Do you have questions not yet answered? Use the form below to submit questions anonymously and watch this article for updates with answers to your questions. You can also reach out to the financial advisors below to set up an introductory call or contact them with your questions by email.


💸 Smart Money Insights for WEC Energy Group Employees & Executives

This page is organized into sections to help you quickly find the information you need and get answers to your questions:

  1. Q&A: Financial Planning Tips for WEC Energy Group Employees & Executives
  2. Get Answers to Your Questions About Your WEC Energy Group Benefits and Career
  3. Quick Facts & Resources for WEC Energy Group Employees
  4. Browse Related Articles

Q&A: Financial Planning Tips for WEC Energy Group Employees & Executives

Answers to Questions with Jeremy Keil, CFP®, CFA, CIMA®

Jeremy Keil is a financial advisor based in New Berlin, Wisconsin, who specializes in offering financial planning services to WEC Energy Group employees. Jeremy helps his clients get the most value from their WEC Energy Group benefits and compensation package so they can enjoy life and feel confident about their financial future.

Q: As a financial advisor with experience helping WEC Energy Group employees save for their retirement, how do you help them make the most of their employee benefits?

There are three big benefits that WEC Energy Group employees need to explore:

1. How to get the most out of their pension. Many employees aren’t aware of how the pension works, when it maxes out, how to get the most out of it or how to evaluate the monthly payment vs. lump sum decision.

2. Many employees have WEC stock within their 401(k). If so, they could be making use of a little-known rule called Net Unrealized Appreciation. This could allow them to turn part of that stock from higher income tax rate treatment into lower capital gain tax rate treatment. It could turn into a big benefit for their beneficiaries, as well.

3. WEC Employees have access to the Blended Rate Interest Fund (BRIF) in their 401(k), which is a stable value fund. Stable Value funds are only available within 401(k)s and a few other qualified plan types and could potentially get a higher rate of interest than bank accounts. Even better, executives may have access to the “WEC Energy Group, Inc. Prime Rate Fund” through their Deferred Compensation Plan. These are both highly valuable options that need to be explored.

Q: When you first speak with a WEC Energy Group employee, what questions do you like to ask to better understand their unique circumstances and determine how you can best help them achieve their goals?

The key is to understand what benefits they have available. There are different options for sick and PTO leave at retirement, depending on whether they are corporate or union. Some people have a pension that maxes at 62; others max out at 69 and 11 months. These are things we can explore that they’ve likely never seen before and yet could add up to 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars over their lifetime.

Q: Is there a particular benefit available to WEC Energy Group employees you feel isn’t as well utilized or understood by employees as it should be?

Most employees don’t understand how to get the most out of their pension. We can walk them through their NetBenefits pension area and help them discover all their options so they can start to get the most out of their pension.

Q: Beyond WEC Energy Group employee benefits for retirement savings, are there other types of benefits offered by the company that you find valuable to discuss with your clients (e.g., stock, education savings, health savings)?

Many retirees can make use of the charitable gift matching by the We Energies Foundation. This benefit might last for just another 12 months after retirement. in 2022 this could add up to a $20,000 gift match on their charitable contributions.

They also sometimes have the ability to have retiree health coverage until age 65 and to make use of a company-connected Medicare Advantage plan. These options compare very favorably against private options.

Q: For WEC Energy Group employees thinking about leaving the company to accept a job elsewhere, what actions do you recommend they take before resigning and shortly thereafter?

Explore how your leaving the company will affect your pension and healthcare. You might be maxed out on your pension and not be as tied to the company as you think you are. You might be able to decline retiree health coverage now and add it on later. We can help you arm yourself with the information.

Get to Know Jeremy Keil, Financial Advisor for WEC Energy Group Employees:

View Jeremy’s profile page on Wealthtender or visit his website to learn more.
See disclosures below.

Q: For WEC Energy Group employees approaching retirement age, how do you recommend they prepare to make the transition from living off their salary to relying upon other sources of income?

The first step is to determine what you will SPEND in retirement, and a great first place to look is your take-home pay. Usually, what shows up in your checking account gets spent! You’ll also need to estimate your tax and health care/insurance costs, too.

The next step is to figure out what you will MAKE in retirement – try to optimize your Social Security and pension to get the most you can over your lifetime (and that of your spouse!).

The third step is to determine what you need right NOW for spending over the next few years and get that money out of the market.

Fourth, make sure the money you need LATER for growth matches the level of risk you’re willing to take.

Finally, review your financial LEGACY and make sure you and your family are protected against all the risks that could hurt your retirement and also have the right legal documents in place to make any situations as smooth as they can be.

Q: For WEC Energy Group employees who have managed their finances on their own to this point, what would you suggest they consider to help them decide if they should begin working with a financial advisor at this stage in their lives?

A good financial advisor will help you discover things you weren’t aware of, especially around your 401(k) and pension. They’ll educate you and help you figure out how to get more out of your pension and Social Security throughout your lifetime and hopefully reduce your lifetime income taxes.

Q: What are some of the unique financial planning challenges you commonly see among your clients who are WEC Energy Group employees, and how do you help them overcome these obstacles?

The 2 biggest challenges are that there are so many opportunities within their retirement package, and yet many people aren’t aware of them. WEC Energy Group will send you the retirement package AFTER you choose a date – not before! We have worked with countless employees to get the right information beforehand so they can make informed decisions.

Q: What questions do you recommend WEC Energy Group employees ask financial advisors they’re considering hiring to help them decide if they’re a good fit?

If the advisor isn’t trying to get all the pension options and isn’t trying to find out about the ‘cost basis’ of the stock in their 401(k) and isn’t looking into the interest rate on the BRIF fund or Prime Rate fund (deferred comp), then they aren’t exploring all the options for you.

Q: Is there anything that comes up frequently in your initial meeting with WEC Energy Group employees that surprises you?

Most employees aren’t aware of how their pension works or how to get the most out of it. Many times they don’t get all the information they need until AFTER they’ve filed their Intent to Retire paperwork. We can help you get this information ahead of time so you can make an informed decision and get the most out of your hard-earned retirement package.

Q: For highly compensated WEC Energy Group employees and executives, are there any special benefits you believe it’s important to take into consideration when preparing their financial plan?

Yes, make the most of the WEC stock Net Unrealize Appreciation opportunity within the 401(k) and look into the investment options through Deferred Comp, especially the Prime Rate Fund

Q: Is there a particularly memorable experience or a moment you recall with a client who worked at WEC Energy Group when you realized they have unique opportunities and circumstances when it comes to their financial planning needs?

Yes, we met someone who was convinced their pension maxed out at 62, and we were able to show her that it kept on growing through age 69 and 11 months, including a doubling of the monthly pension amount in just the last 4 years! At the same time, we often meet people who are working to grow their pension and then discover that it maxed out at 62 and that they don’t have to work anymore to get the max out of their own pension!

Disclosures:

Keil Financial Partners of Thrivent Financial is not affiliated with WEC Energy Group, nor representatives of their benefits, retirement or pension plans. They have extensive knowledge of the WEC Energy Group Benefit and Retirement Plans, but do not have full expertise for a complete discussion of the details of your specific situation. For complete details, contact the WEC Energy Group H.R. department and/or Retirement Plan Administrator for complete details.

This material is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. The views and strategies described may not be suitable for all investors. They also do not include all fees or expenses that may be incurred by investing in specific products. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. You cannot invest directly in an index. The opinions expressed are subject to change as subsequent conditions vary. Advisory services offered through Thrivent Advisor Network, LLC.

Advisory Persons of Thrivent provide advisory services under a practice name or “doing business as” name or may have their own legal business entities. However, advisory services are engaged exclusively through Thrivent Advisor Network, LLC, a registered investment adviser. Keil Financial Partners and Thrivent Advisor Network, LLC are not affiliated companies. Information in this message is for the intended recipient[s] only. Please visit our website www.KeilFP.com for important disclosures.

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Quick Facts & Resources for WEC Energy Group Employees

WEC Energy Group Quick Facts & ResourcesDetails / Useful Links
WEC Energy Group Corporate Headquarters Address231 W. Michigan St. Milwaukee, WI 53203 (📍 Google Maps)
Overview of WEC Energy Group BenefitsVisit the WEC Energy Group Benefits Page
How do I contact the WEC Energy Group Employee Service Center?The Employee Service Center is available to help WEC Energy Group employees understand their benefits and enroll in health plans. The staff is available year-round, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Central time by phone: 414-221-2800 or 800-499-2800 and by email: employeeservicecenter@wecenergygroup.com
How much do WEC Energy Group employees Make?View WEC Energy Group Salary Research on Glassdoor
Where can I learn more about careers at WEC Energy Group?Visit the WEC Energy Group Careers Page
How many people work for WEC Energy Group?WEC Energy Group employs around 7,000 people. (Source: WEC Energy Group)
What is the ticker symbol for WEC Energy Group stock?The WEC Energy Group ticker symbol is WEC.


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About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

Brian Thorp

Founder and CEO, Wealthtender

Brian and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: In order to make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured on our platform. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor promotion of our clients over other professionals and firms not featured on Wealthtender. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

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