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Fidelity developing phone technology for 401(k) and 403(b) plans

Fidelity is planning to introduce telephone response units that will allow investors in 401(k) and 403(b) plans to make investment changes by speaking into their phones. The company plans to start the service in early 1999 and have it available for all 401(k) and 403(b) plans by the end of the year.

To make a change within the plan, participants will select a special code and then say the fund name. Currently, customers have to scroll through a lengthy menu of fund options, seeking a four-digit number to be entered in over the phone, to make changes.