To protect 401(k) participants from conflicts of interest, the Department of Labor has proposed broadening the definition of fiduciary to include investment advisers who work on 401(k) plans. The proposed rules would classify advisers as fiduciaries even if they don't regularly provide advice, but not if all they do is sell financial products. Employers have usually been held accountable for making sure employees who are enrolled in 401(k) plans get sound investment advice and choices.

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