NEW YORK (TheStreet) — There's no doubting the pervasiveness and popularity of the 401(k) plan — it really is the go-to retirement investment vehicle for tens of millions of Americans.
A survey of 1,000 plan holders by Schwab Retirement Plan Service reinforces their popularity but strikes an alarming note on how Americans fall short in many areas related to 401(k) investing.
There's one finding in the survey, though, that really stands out — mainly because these are still the days of controversy and confusion over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
According to the Investment Company Institute, the total value of all 401(k) plan participant accounts amounts to $2.8 trillion, for more than 50 million U.S. plan holders. That's also roughly the total of U.S. health care spending — and that's 17% of the country's economy.
According to the survey, "half of those surveyed (50%) say their 401(k) plan investment information is more confusing than their health care benefits information." Confused investors can make poor choices, but that's not stopping Americans from making some risky choices in a financial market they really don't understand.