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How does your 401(k) measure up (or fall short)?

In the current economic climate, few of us want to open our 401(k) statements.  As we've written in the past, the faltering stock market, combined with employers eliminating their 401(k) matching contributions, has made retirement security quite a gamble.  But if you are one of the brave, a new tool can help you find out how your 401(k) measures up to 401(k) plans at other companies.

BusinessWeek has published a list of the best 401(k) plans, which draws on data compiled by BrightScope, an online tool that rates more than 1,000 401(k) plans.  The ratings are based on plan features "such as the participation rate, default [employee contribution] rate, fees, and the employer match."  The BusinessWeek chart gives an average account balance, the number of participants, and the net plan assets for BrightScope's top 50 401(k) plans.

If your plan isn't in the BusinessWeek list, you can search for your company on the BrightScope web site.  Even if it hasn't rated your plan, the web site publishes general information about each 401(k) plan, including an average account balance for almost any company-provided 401(k).  Visit BrightScope.com to find out how your 401(k) measures up.

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