With investment choices expanding and corporate-benefits staffs contracting, employers are relying on intermediaries and advisers more to help with investing their qualified plan benefits, both for themselves and their employees.

So Fidelity Investments, which has long lagged its rivals in 401(k) production, is relying on a different sort of contraction to boost its qualified plan business and its use of intermediaries. The Boston company last week established Fidelity Retirement Business Unit, which begins with $48 billion of assets under management and will target intermediaries such as broker-dealers, discount brokers, and financial planners to distribute its retirement plans and the investments customers use in them.

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