While self-directed brokerage options are still something of a novelty in 401(k) plans that could change as more providers offer the capability.
Barriers to offering those services appear to be coming down, thanks to the new generation platforms of today’s e-brokers.
Great-West will offer access through DLJdirect, which recently announced a similar arrangement with John Hancock Retirement Services.
DLJdirect is the online brokerage service arm of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc.
Customers who add the self-directed option will have access to 7,300 mutual funds, as well as stocks and bonds.
Recently, Connecticut-based Circle Trust and American Express have added self-directed options for their 401(k) clients.
According to a 1999 survey from Hewitt Associates, 7% of large plans offered a self-directed option, up from 5% in 1997. In 1995 less than 1% offered the capability.