Kemper Financial Services launched the next generation of its retirement fund series this week.

"Increased importance has been placed on retirement planning largely due to the huge number of baby boomers acknowledging the need to plan for a comfortable retirement," said William Chapman, executive vice president of marketing and product management.

The Kemper Retirement Fund Series V is a long-term capital growth fund with a guaranteed return on investment for investors who hold their shares will until Nov. 15, 2004 - the maturity date - and reinvest all dividends.

The Chicago-based mutual funds giant, which has more than $71 billion of assets under management, is able to offer this guarantee by purchasing government zero coupon bonds for the fund. The remainder of money is invested in growth stocks.

"The beauty of this fund is that it can address multiple financial goals, such as retirement, investing for college or a new home, and future funding for medical concerns," Mr. Chapman said.

Oppenheimer Fund Management Inc. plans to introduce class C shares on Dec. 1 for eight of its funds.

"Pricing has become a dominant issue in the mutual fund business," said Maryann Bruce, senior vice president and director of the financial institutions division at Oppenheimer, in a recent letter to broker/dealers.

"To help the financial advisers selling Oppenheimer Funds remain competitive, we have created numerous pricing options to meet the diverse needs to customers," she added.

No Initial Sales Fee

Class C shares, also known as level load shares in industry jargon, have no initial sales fee. The shares will have a 1% sales charge if they are redeemed within one year of purchase and a 1% charge is levied annually. Dealers are paid 1%, including the first-year service fee.

Class C shares are considered attractive by customers who are averse to paying front-end loads, but do not object to paying an annual fee on investments.

"In the bank market, we believe C share pricing may be specially appealing to the trust and private banking departments because of its a similarity to a wrap account," said Bruce C. Dunbar, an Oppenheimer spokesman.

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