It may no longer be enough for a mutual fund company to supply defined contribution plan participants with a trusted brand name, a diversified portfolio of funds, strong performance and a glossy investment kit.

Plan sponsors are beginning to require mutual fund companies to include investment advisory software and telephone services in their plans so that employees can make better informed choices about their 401(k) investments. In fact, in the past few months, employers have begun making these stipulations in requests for proposal guidelines, according to industry executives.

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