Fidelity Investments said on Thursday that it had entered into a new agreement with Ibbotson Associates, an institutional investment advisor and leading authority on asset allocation strategies, to offer independent investment advisory services to the more than 10,000 defined contribution plan sponsors serviced by Fidelity, for their participants.

Under the agreement, Ibbotson will provide 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plan participants independent professional investment model portfolio recommendations and will directly execute them through Fidelity's defined contribution planning tools and services.

Ibbotson already serves as sub-advisor for Fidelity's Retirement Plan Manager discretionary management service.

The new deal expands Fidelity's existing guidance strategies available through Strategic Advisers, Inc., a Fidelity affiliate, and will be available to Fidelity plan sponsors nationwide by the end of this year.

"We continue to see an increasing interest among our defined contribution plan sponsors for independent professional advisory services," said Steve Deschenes, executive vice president, Fidelity Institutional Retirement Services Company. "By working with Ibbotson, we now offer plan participants access to an additional source of assistance in managing their portfolios that can help them further improve their retirement readiness."

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