United Technologies Company last week took the plunge into providing its employees a steady stream of retirement income. The 199,900-employee Hartford, Conn.-based firm added the Lifetime Income Strategy, a customized age-based default investment program designed by Alliance Bernstein, into its $14 billion 401(k) plan.

The UTC 401(k) plan is the largest plan to date to embrace the otherwise unpopular plan option. An executive at another asset management firm said that: "While the [Department of Labor] and Treasury have been very encouraging and supporting innovation of annuities within 401(k)s, there are no safe harbors at this point, or even fiduciary guidelines for how sponsors select insurance partners."

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