Although mutual fund groups are developing plain English prospectuses, progress is slow and even the Securities and Exchange Commission, which ordered the new prospectuses, will be hard pressed to meet its own deadlines for approving the revised documents.

The deadline for investment companies to begin efforts to produce the new prospectuses with the submission of new registration statements is Dec. 1 of this year. Although annual statements after that date must be updated under the new regulations and fund groups have a phase-in schedule, full compliance is required by all companies by Dec. 1, 1999.

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