How Can I Check My 401(k) Plan?

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on March 29, 2023

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How Can I Check My 401(k) Plan?

Generally, the easiest way to check up on the status of your 401(k) plan is to contact the human resources department or the administrator overseeing your plan.

You may have to present some information, such as your employment dates and social security number, for the administrator to locate your records.

The Importance of Checking Your 401(k) Plan

Investing in a 401(k) plan is a great way to build wealth early while taking advantage of employer contributions and tax advantages.

However, in order to get the most out of your 401(k) plan and ensure that it is working for you, it is vital to check its status on a regular basis.

Here are some reasons why checking the status of your 401(k) plan is essential:

Why Is It Important to Check Your 40(k) Plan?

Track Contributions and Investments

Regularly reviewing statements from your 401(k) plan allows you to track the contributions and investments made into the account. This helps ensure that everything is as it should be in terms of fees, taxes, and growth opportunities.

Make Changes When Necessary

It is essential to make any necessary adjustments when you find discrepancies or issues with your plan or investment choices. Making these changes can help maximize the potential growth of your investments so that you are getting the most out of your 401(k).

Monitor Your Progress

Doing check-ups on your 401(k) plan periodically gives you an opportunity to spot any problems before they become too large and make sure that you are meeting your long-term goals for retirement savings.

Having a reliable retirement fund can provide peace of mind when it comes time to retire, so checking the status of your 401(k) regularly is one of the best ways to protect yourself and make sure that you are getting all available benefits from this type of retirement savings plan.

How to Check the Status of Your 401(k) Plan

When it comes to retirement planning, 401(k) plans are one of the best options. With a 401(k), you can set aside money for your retirement and benefit from employer contributions and tax advantages.

However, it is important to monitor your plan's status to ensure everything is on track and you are getting the most out of your investment.

Review Your Statements

Checking your 401(k) regularly is essential to ensure that all information associated with it is accurate and up-to-date.

By reviewing regular statements from the plan, you can monitor fees, taxes, and growth opportunities associated with it. Doing so can help you make necessary adjustments when needed.

Talk to Your Human Resources Department

If you need assistance understanding any aspect of your 401(k) plan or have questions regarding it, speaking with someone from the HR department can be a great resource.

They should be able to answer any inquiries and provide clarification on contributions or other features of the plan.

Contact Your Plan Administrator

If you need more detailed information about fees, investments, or other features of your plan, getting in touch with the administrator can provide additional insight. They should be able to answer more specific questions regarding the 401(k) plan’s setup and operation.

How to Check the Status of Your 401(k) Plan

Having a 401(k) gives you a great opportunity for saving up money for retirement while enjoying employer matches and tax breaks.

With regular reviews and communication with HR professionals or administrators, you can ensure that you understand how this type of retirement savings works and get the most out of it going forward.

How Often Should You Check Your 401(k) Plan?

Checking your 401(k) plan regularly is key to making sure you are getting the most out of your retirement savings. How often you should check it, however, can vary based on individual circumstances.

For some, an annual review may be sufficient to stay on top of fees and other costs associated with their plan as well as investments that may be available.

Others might consider more frequent reviews if they have a higher volume of contributions or if their plan has more complex features. It is also crucial to monitor account performance over time.

Regularly reviewing performance can help you make adjustments if needed or take advantage of any potential returns on investment.

Additionally, 401(k) plans often offer a variety of features that could help you maximize your savings, such as company matches and tax-deferred growth — taking advantage of these features is crucial for optimizing your retirement goals.

Ultimately, how frequently you should check your 401(k) plan depends on the specifics of your situation and goals.

Taking the time to understand how the plan works and familiarizing yourself with its features will enable you to make informed decisions about when and how often you need to review it in order to get the most benefits from it.

Drawbacks of Not Checking Your 401(k) Plan

It is no secret that 401(k) plans are a great way to save for the future. However, if you are not careful, they can also be an easy way to miss out on potential savings.

Here are some of the biggest drawbacks of not checking in on your 401(k) plan:

  • Missing out on employer-matching opportunities

  • A lack of knowledge regarding fees and other costs associated with the plan, which can reduce savings

  • An inability to respond in a timely manner if changes need to be made to the plan

  • Loss of potential returns on investments due to missed contributions or lack of research into available options

  • Loss of potential for maximizing retirement savings by leaving funds uninvested in the account

Final Thoughts

When it comes to planning for your future, taking a look at your 401(k) plan is essential. Checking on the status of your 401(k) can help you determine if you've made sound investments and if it is meeting your retirement goals.

You can do this by logging into your account online, accessing statements from your employer, or seeking assistance from an advisor.

When reviewing how your plan is doing, make sure to keep in mind not only what you are currently investing in, but also how that might change over time to meet the needs of different phases of life.

Doing so will ensure that you are always making the best long-term decisions for yourself and for your family.

How Can I Check My 401(k) Plan? 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 or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.

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