BOSTON (TheStreet) -- A quick way for any website or publication to grab eyeballs is to either predict the demise of 401(k) plans or lament their shortcomings.
The doom and gloom isn't entirely unwarranted. Intended as an alternative to traditional pensions, 401(k)s have offered both success and failure to investors. Some of those failings are self-inflicted by investors -- not saving enough, taking loans and hardship withdrawals. The more than $1 trillion lost to the market collapse of 2007-08, however, was an unavoidable disaster, especially for those nearing retirement.
We took a look at some of the ways 401(k)s, by design -- though not necessarily intent -- can fail you: