NEW YORK - J.P. Morgan and American Century Funds recently quizzed 401(k) participants, and the grades were far from excellent.

The 10-question quiz on the basics of 401(k) plans went to 750 people actively invested in them. Only 17% knew that the maximum annual contribution allowed under the law is $10,500; only half knew that employees make their own investment decisions, not their employer or plan administrator; and only 35% knew that investing too conservatively is one of the biggest mistakes 401(k) investors make.

Only two answered all 10 questions correctly. American Century, of Kansas City, Mo., has no plans to alter its retirement benefits program, a spokeswoman said.

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