Filed Under:Markets, Employee Benefits

Record number of smaller companies adding DC plans

More small- to mid-size businesses added 401(k) plans in 2012, according to a new report by Fidelity Investments.

According to the largest workplace retirement plan provider, there was a 34 percent increase in defined contribution sales, representing assets of $8.4 billion. The number of plans sold to this market, defined as $50 million in retirement assets or less, reached nearly 1,500 last year, a 36 percent jump over 2011.

In 2012, Fidelity strengthened its support for advisors by adding additional field representatives to increase local support and by building leading-edge tools that advisors can leverage to measure plan performance, such as asset allocation, participation and deferral rates.

The company also works closely with advisors to craft smart design strategies to improve and streamline plans, and provide fiduciary support around today's regulatory environment surrounding fee disclosure, often a costly and complex issue for small and mid-market plan sponsors. These enhancements allow advisors to spend more time focusing on their relationships with clients while creating more efficient, higher-performing plans.

"Fidelity understands the important relationships that advisors have with their clients who need help navigating today's complex regulatory environment while seeking measureable results," said Jeffrey Lagarce, executive vice president at Fidelity Investments. "As an increasingly important market for Fidelity, we bolstered our efforts to support the unique needs of both advisors and plan sponsors and continue to leverage our learnings as a retirement leader to help drive engagement and ultimately better outcomes for employees' retirement."

Fidelity Investments is one of the world's largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $4 trillion, including managed assets of $1.7 trillion, as of Jan. 31, 2013.

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Originally published on BenefitsPro. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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