The Internet is opening up a whole range of new possibilities for 401(k) participants. Many participants can now go online and, by gaining access to their retirement accounts, redistribute their investments or take out loans.

While access to an e-mail account may be somewhat commonplace in the white-collar workplace, access to the World Wide Web is not as common. Many companies restrict Internet access while others use Intranet systems that do not hook into the Web. Employees who work in the fast food and retail clothing industries, for example, or in manufacturing do not have Internet access at all on the job.

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