Only one percent of retirement savers in a telephone survey among 750 401(k) plan participants could correctly answer 10 questions regarding benefits, contribution limits and penalties related to their plans.
The survey results, released today by J.P. Morgan/ American Century Retirement Plan Services, reveal that investors had a better understanding of 401(k) plans this year than last year, but continue to struggle with some aspects of the plans.
In the second annual survey, 30 percent of respondents correctly answered at least seven of the 10 survey questions, up from only 24 percent last year.
More than 45 percent of respondents were unaware of the annual 401(k) contribution limit of $10,500, and more than one-third believed there was no annual limit.
Sixty percent of respondents could not correctly identify all of the benefits of a 401(k) plan. Less than one-third of respondents cited investing too conservatively as one of the biggest mistakes 401(k) participants make.
Plan participants did score well on their rights as employees and laws regulating employers. Sixty-two percent of respondents said they understood that they were ultimately responsible for their investment decisions, and three-quarters understood that if their employer filed for bankruptcy, the company could not tap employee plan assets.