The Associated Press

Getting a first-quarter 401(k) report may be a good time to review your fund performance and assess whether changes are needed. Here are four important tips to keep in mind as you review your retirement plan, recommended by Rod Bare, an index director at Morningstar Inc.

1. Make sure you're saving enough. "No investment product can save you if you're not saving enough," Bare said. He said today's workers should be saving 12 to 15 percent of their income to end up with enough money in retirement. That takes into account longer life expectancies and increased health care costs.

2. Understand your appetite for market risk. Try to find a fund with the mix of stocks that fits your goals.

3. Look for adequate asset class diversity. Some products in 401(k) plans don't have enough ingredients in the recipe to make the best cake, Bare said. If you have just stocks in U.S. companies, or just domestic bonds and cash, your fund is likely not working as well as someone who added some international stocks, bonds and commodities. "A lot of research has been done to show how all those work together to drive optimal performance," he said. "Look for ways to take advantage of that."

4. Assess your fund options. Look at the funds inside your plan to see if they are actively managed funds with high fees but yet are underperforming. Perhaps there's a lower cost index fund that's doing better. Those are the types of things you can check into to understand better how efficient your fund is operating. Some 401(k) funds offer limited choices and Bare said there's nothing wrong with going to your company's human resources or retirement fund manager and suggesting better options.

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