A 401(k) provider must give an account holder a statement each quarter that provides the account holder with the balance of his account, says Bankrate. This is mandatory by law. If the 401(k) account holder has online access, information on a 401(k) account is also available there. When account holders have access to their plans, they have the ability to estimate their financial situations for the future.
Employees should try to contribute as much as they can to their 401(k) account, because there is often a matching employer contribution, says Bloomberg. Plus, employees can take advantage of deferred taxes on the earnings and contributions, which makes a 401(k) a useful savings tool.
An account holder can get the most from his 401(k) plan by monitoring its returns and examining the mix of shares and bonds in which the plan invests, explains Bankrate. Bonds usually provide a 5-percent return rate, and shares provide a 10-percent return rate.
The rate of return on a 401(k) account is affected slightly by the fee paid to the fund manager, notes Kiplinger. An employee can maximize his returns by knowing these fees, and asking the employer to shift to a less expensive fund manager, if necessary.