Community Bank System Inc. has agreed to buy Benefit Plans Administrators, a Utica, N.Y.-based, third-party administrator of defined benefit and contribution plans.

Officials said the acquisition would give Community Bank additional fee income and a means to market mutual funds and other investments. The bank will also offer mutual fund clearing services to clients of the Utica company and other third-party administrators.

The deal, estimated to be worth about $1.3 million if completed now, is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be completed by midyear. As part of it, Community Bank will issue 40,625 shares of stock.

Benefit Plans, which earned $1.3 million in its most recent fiscal year, has worked with Community Bank's employee benefit trust business for several years. The company, founded in 1973, has a staff of 23 who administer 425 plans with $350 million of assets.

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