The selection of a service provider for a 401(k) plan is a daunting task. There are about 5,700 companies that offer some level of 401(k) plan services. Of these, about 500 are national vendors, and of these, about 200 are main players with name recognition.

Furthermore, different providers have strengths in different areas. For example, some providers can handle employer stock as an investment and others cannot; some offer access to self-directed brokerage accounts and others do not.

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