Retirement plans differ tremendously and may have different information listed on retirement plan statements, as the Department of Labor reports. Plans are required by law to regularly send statements detailing the plan's performance, total invested, vestment information, and other details.
The DOL suggests an ongoing review of retirement account statements for balance changes and vestment information. When reading retirement account statements, investors should look for the vestment schedule and performance information and read any details provided carefully. Once an investor is vested, then the total amount earned in the account belongs to the investor and cannot be forfeited. The balance on the account may change and may be more volatile depending on the investment type.
Using this information, investors may decide to change investment strategies or make account changes. Fine print information on the statement may provide important details about terms that apply for retirement plan changes. 401(k) and IRA plans have different rules governing their treatment by the IRS and by the federal government. Other plans may be governed by state law or corporate policy. All statements provide information on the total balance of the account and the vestment information needed to use the balance properly and legally, as reported by the DOL.