After surveying 1,000 small business owners with no more than 20 employees about 401(k)s, Fidelity Investments found that 43% don't want to offer them because they mistakenly think they are too expensive.

Another 26% cited fiduciary responsibilities and the perceived complexity of plan administration as drawbacks, while 29% said they don't believe there are 401(k) options available to suit a company of their size. Sixty-two percent said they were not confident in their familiarity with 401(k) plans.

"This is a case where perception is not reality, because small businesses of any size can get a 401(k) plan today that is cost effective and easy to implement and administer," said Edmund F. Murphy, EVP of Fidelity Institutional Retirement Services Co.

"With the responsibility to save for retirement increasingly being placed on the shoulders of the individual, we want to encourage every small business owner to take the necessary steps today to secure their future, and those of their workers, by offering a workplace savings plan," Murphy added.

By some estimates, there are 13.6 million workers at small businesses who are not being offered a 401(k) plan. Fidelity is trying to counter this with an online 401(k) calculator that shows plan fees, projects how they would change as assets grow over several years, and compares Fidelity's fees to industry averages.

(c) 2006 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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