Providers Pull Down 401(k) Language Barriers

June 26, 2001 ( -The language barrier continues to fall in 401(k) servicing, with nearly three-quarters of providers surveyed offering access to Spanish-speaking operators.

More than half now provide access to operators fluent in other languages.

Those were among the conclusions in a report released Tuesday of the 401(k) market based on a survey by Search401k, which operates an online 401(k) proposal search service.

In addition, the report also found that:

  • more than one third of 401(k) products place no restrictions on the amount of employer stock that can be invested in the plan
  • nearly a third of providers that offer self-directed brokerage accounts place no restrictions on the amount of money that can be traded.
  • 30 percent of the providers have an outside consultant review their products’ investment offerings.
  • 5 percent of providers have a live operator available 24 hours a day
  • 41 percent offer online investment advice
  • 59 percent have phone operators with either Chapter 6 or Chapter 7 SEC-sponsored investment licenses
  • more than half the providers indicated that they do not assume a fiduciary role with regard to the administration of the plans they support

Tuesday’s findings are based on summaries of fifty-nine of the nation’s 401(k) plan providers residing on Search401k’s.

– Fred Schneyer