Even as the Securities and Exchange Commission conducts a federal investigation into conflicts of interest and rebating practices of 401(k) plan administrators nationwide, industry sources say that employers could help themselves by being more careful when setting up plans with administrators, according to the Spokane Journal of Business.

"A plan administrator can get the worst deal possible for employees and still not be violating the law. There is no law that says an administrator has to be competent," said John Nester, an SEC spokesman.

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