Senate Democrats on Wednesday introduced broad legislation intended to overhaul pension laws.

Among other things, the bill would let companies give their employees access to independent investment advisers at registered broker-dealers, banks, or insurance companies. It would prohibit administrators of a company's pension or 401(k) plan from also serving as advisers.

Republican pension reform bills introduced in the House and Senate would allow financial services firms to provide investment advice about the funds they administer. Republicans say their approach would reduce administrative costs.

The Democratic bill does not go as far as a measure introduced last year by Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Jon Corzine, D-N.J., that would restrict the amount of a single company's stock to 20% of employee pension plans.

Instead, the bill -- which Sens. Boxer and Corzine are backing -- would require that employees be notified every quarter if the amount of stock in a single company goes over 20%.

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