House Passes Bill to Loosen 401(k) Rules
New York Times (05/15/03) ; Leonhardt, David

In a 271 to 157 vote, the House has passed a bill that would allow financial services companies to provide 401(k) plan participants with investment advice, give plan participants the ability to unload their company stock after only three years, and require companies to send 401(k) reports to workers every three months. Despite some lawmakers' arguments that the bill, the Pension Security Act of 2003, may create conflicts of interest for investment companies that can tout their own funds while selling advice to participants in 401(k) plans, supporters of the bill say it will help participants make smarter choices about their 401(k) investments. A separate bill that would increase the amount people can put into their 401(k) plans and that would reduce the amount companies must contribute to their pension plans is also being considered by House lawmakers.

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