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The Department of Labor is making some in the retirement plan services industry uneasy by proposing to consider more people as fiduciaries if they provide advice on employee benefit plans. Organizations that represent plan sponsors worry the change could have a chilling effect on service providers doing such routine tasks as supplying companies with information on investment choices. Under the Labor proposal released in October, the definition of a fiduciary would no longer be limited to those who buy or sell securities for plans, but would extend to anyone who exercises any control with respect to plans, as well as anyone who provides appraisals for employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

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