* Offsets recent retirement plan losses for Fidelity
* GE spokeswoman cites added services
BOSTON Jan 26 General Electric Co (GE.N) said
on Tuesday it recently hired Fidelity Investments to run a
major retirement savings plan, a contract that offsets two
recent losses in the same market for the mutual fund firm.
GE spokeswoman Susan Bishop said that effective Dec. 1 the
largest U.S. conglomerate hired Boston-based Fidelity to
administer and do recordkeeping for the company's main 401(k)
plan. It had $15.8 billion of assets under management as of the
end of 2008, the most recent figure available.
GE had previously handled most of its 401(k) administration
internally and will continue to manage assets in the plan,
which covers some 245,000 employees and retirees, Bishop said.
Fidelity is the largest administrator of so-called
"defined-contribution" retirement plans like 401(k)s, a sector
that faces growing competition and regulatory scrutiny.
Reuters reported on Monday that Fidelity recently lost
contracts to run similar defined-contribution retirement plans
for Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O).
A spokeswoman for Fidelity previously confirmed a major
contract win but declined to name the client.
For Fidelity, picking up GE's business marks a contrast
with the other plans shifts. For instance, Ford cited the lower
costs it obtained by dropping Fidelity, a sign of rising cost
pressure in the sector.
But Bishop, the GE spokeswoman, said its main consideration
in hiring Fidelity was not price but to offer more consulting
services to plan participants.
(Reporting by Ross Kerber and Scott Malone; Editing by Steve