While the Internet is providing a greater degree of convenience for 401(k) plan participants, it is also increasing the occurrence of market timing and turnover within retirement plans, according to a recent study by Hewitt Associates of Lincolnshire, Ill.

Two large U.S. companies were part of a three-year study that examined how Internet access to retirement plans affects participants' trading habits. Both companies' retirement plans were made available to over 60,000 employees on a website where they could switch their funds among different plan sub-accounts. The study examines the employees' trading habits and measures trading activity 18 months before and after the introduction of the Internet.

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