BOSTON — State Street Research and Management Co., a unit of MetLife, announced is offering external mutual funds on its retirement platforms to provide a wider range of choices.

Customers of State Street Research’s 401(k) plans with $1.5 million or more of assets have access to 22 mutual funds from other investment companies, including Janus, Fidelity Investments, American Century, and OppenheimerFunds Inc., as well as State Street’s family of 21 funds.

Kevin Wilkins, executive vice president and head of retail marketing and client services, said the addition of external funds, announced Feb. 6, makes State Street more competitive in retirement products.

State Street manages $53 billion of assets, including $34 billion from institutional clients and $19 billion from mutual fund and variable annuity portfolios. It manages money for 11 of the 15 largest U.S. corporate pension plans, public employee pension plans, union programs, individually managed accounts for affluent investors, and mutual funds for over 530,000 shareholder accounts.

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