A survey of 401(k) plan sponsors shows that companies are putting a premium on the quality of record keepers' Web services when choosing plans for their employees.

The report, released this summer by Boston Research Group, says that "The quality of providers' Internet capabilities has become a key factor" for employers in choosing 401(k) plans. In addition, the study said those employers are looking for services such as participant education services that are provided through easy-access, well-designed Web channels.

Seventy-four percent of plan sponsors with between $10 and $99 million in assets said a provider's Web site is a key factor in choosing to use them. Of sponsors with between $100 and $249 million in assets, 81% said providers' Web services were a key factor.

Boston Research Group conducted the survey this spring. Participants were chosen from an amalgam of nationwide databases. Only those with $5 million or more assets were surveyed.

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