Washington (Oct. 1, 2002) -- The mutual fund industry Monday urged Congress to get to work on passing bipartisan reform of 401(k) plans that gives taxpayers greater flexibility to diversify, and offers them more education and advice.

The Investment Company Institute, the trade organization for U.S. mutual funds, said legislators are in a unique position to help reform and revitalize such retirement savings plans.

"The vast majority of working Americans who invest in 401(k) plans remain focused on their long-term retirement goals, despite recent unsettling events and market conditions," the Institute said. "But it is important, before Congress adjourns, to help 401(k) investors expand their knowledge about investing, better monitor their retirement savings and, for the first time, gain easy and affordable access to professional advice about their investment choices and retirement savings objectives."

Current legislation being considered includes provisions which would allow workers to more quickly diversify out of their company's stock; require that workers receive quarterly statements with reminders about the benefits of diversification; provide them with access to comparable summaries of information about their investment options; and ensure access to professional advice to help them achieve their financial goals.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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