5. The most important measure of a 401k or 403b retirement plan is…?

Individual employee success.

The 401k and 403b plans that are intended to be retirement plans (no longer supplements to traditional pension plans) are technically called employer-sponsored plans. But they function much like individual employee retirement plan accounts.

Each employee is responsible for defining and achieving the account balance needed to provide the financial future he or she wants. To succeed, they must have a target, contribute at a rate – and invest wisely – to achieve it, and withdraw in a way that the money will last a lifetime.

If the plan is intended to be a retirement plan, then employees’ success in reaching their retirement goals is the key measure. Plan averages should be important only in meeting the outdated IRS participation requirements.