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Consulting firm to study small business 401(k) plans

Spectrem Group, a San Francisco-based research and consulting firm, is launching a new study of the market for retirement plans among the estimated nine million U.S. companies with less than 100 employees.

The study will be designed for mutual fund firms as well as banks, insurance companies and other providers of retirement plans services. Spectrem officials say that the study will seek, among other things, to determine the size of the potential retirement plan market and to measure brand awareness of the leading providers.

Early subscribers to the study will have a chance to shape the questionnaire used in the survey, which will be based on interviews with decision makers from 1,200 U.S. companies that have been in business at least three years. It will include those with and without retirement plan offerings.