Mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments has expanded its Premium 401(k) Program to include nine additional mutual funds, the company announced yesterday. The program is made up of a variety of employer-sponsored plans offered by third-party financial advisers to small and mid-sized companies.

The company said it has added funds from Neuberger Berman, Van Kampen and Evergreen Investments , giving it 55 third-party funds and 51 Fidelity Advisor Funds.

Fidelity's Premium 401(k) Program has grown to more than 1,800 plans since its inception five years ago, representing over 285,000 participants and approximately $6.8 billion in total administered assets. Fidelity also expanded the choice of investment menus available in its Premium 100 product designed for small companies with between 25 and 150 employees.

"The small- to medium-sized 401(k) plan marketplace represents a tremendous opportunity for advisers," said Donald Holborn, executive vice president, Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co., in a release. "Selecting, implementing and administering a 401(k) plan can be complex, and with company benefits staffs being asked to do more with less, advisers can fill a vital role in helping companies understand their options and design a plan that meets their unique needs."

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