Have you reviewed your 401(k) plan lately?

It's possible that when you first signed up for your employer's 401(k) plan, you didn't review all of the stocks and funds that your money was being put in. And we don't blame you! Some businesses give their employees a giant book of 401(k) plans to go through and basically say, "Have at it,"  with no guidance or suggestions. 

If you don't review your 401(k) regularly, you may discover that your hard-earned income may be tied up in funds that are way beyond your risk tolerance. These investments may also be on a different time table than your retirement plans. 

In an article on CNBC.com, Washington, D.C.-based financial planner Ivory Johnson wrote that even though some companies have a 401(k) advisor on call, these professionals are rarely able to offer any meaningful assistance.

"Despite the fact that the advisor of record for a firm's 401(k) plan has a fiduciary responsibility to offer investors a diversified mix of securities, the level of advice afforded is rarely continuous or sophisticated," Johnson wrote. "As a consequence, many workers find their nest egg unattended to, likely because many financial advisors are unable to be compensated from 401(k) assets." 

Johnson added that these so-called advisors are more likely to offer better service for individuals who hold money outside of employer-sponsored savings plans. 

So what can you do to to make your 401(k) provide you with what you need to adequately prepare for retirement? First you need to find out where your money is going. If you don't like what you see, you can reallocate the portfolio. Alternatively, you could convert your 401(k) to an individual retirement account in which you'll have more control over your investment options. 

To protect your assets, it may be necessary to pursue alternative retirement planning strategies.