401(k) do-over bandwagon filling up

The 401(k) plan just isn't cutting it. The larger question: what should we do about it?
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

The 401(k) plan just isn't cutting it. The larger question is what should we do about it?

Time's cover story this week calls 401(k) plans a sick joke that have bombed just when people need them most. The problem is that we just don't know when we'll have enough data to know that the 401(k) plans are successful.

Should you ditch your 401(k)? Probably not. The flawed 401(k) is the only national retirement plan we have. The Time story follows a post by MoneyWatch chief Eric Schurenberg over the summer. He noted:

You still have to save for retirement and the 401(k), flawed as it is, is the best way we’ve got to do that. I am saying is that we should do better.  We are asking the 401(k) to play a role for which it was never intended, and we should reshape the plan to fit that role, or get a new plan.

Although the need to reshape the 401(k) is an obvious issue it's unclear how to rewrite retirement. Congress, investors and market participants, notably mutual funds, will all have to be involved. Chances are the outcome from this money scrum will be something as flawed as the 401(k) if not worse.

How would you reshape the 401(k) and what features would you add?

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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