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10 things

Feb. 23, 2013, 7:01 a.m. EST

10 things 401(k) plans won’t tell you

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By Elizabeth O'Brien

Continued from page 1

2. We have no clue how much cash you’ll need in retirement....

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Market volatility rewarded patient 401(k) investors

WSJ Retirement Weekly Editor Robert Powell points out that investors who held steady during the economic downturn since 2008. He also offers advice for investors paying close attention to retirement savings.

When it comes to actually figuring out how much to save to live a comfortable retirement, most workers are on their own. And once they stop working, it’s up to workers to figure out how to turn their nest egg into an income stream. Only 28% of employers offer automatic projections of how much retirement income a participant’s 401(k) account might produce, according to a study done earlier this year by MetLife.

Instead of providing information particular to a worker’s plan, employers tend to offer online tools to help participants prepare their own retirement income projections. But few workers have enthusiastically embraced the challenge of doing this themselves. Employers “spend all this money on education and tools, and everyone’s just using automatic features” like the default option, says Robyn Credico, a defined-contribution specialist for Towers Watson, a benefits consultancy.

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