As lawmakers in Washington continue their high-profile debate over Social Security privatization, mutual fund industry insiders are quietly conducting their own deliberations on the issue.

Some experts have said the fund industry could profit modestly from President Bush's proposal to divert about 4% of Social Security payroll taxes into personal retirement accounts. The proposal closely resembles the government's existing Thrift Savings Plan, a tax-deferred retirement plan that minimizes risk by providing just three to five diversified investment funds.

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