Standard & Poor's has signed an agreement to buy Rational Investors, a developer of 401(k) software for the Internet.

The deal coincides with the launching of Standard & Poor's 401(k) Advisor, a Web-based service designed for 401(k) plan providers, sponsors, and participants. Advisor was developed with Rational Investors during the past year.

Advisor delivers retirement investment services over the Internet and corporate intranets and eventually will offer record keeping services. Standard & Poor's will deliver information via direct mail and telephone for sponsors and participants that do have Internet access.

Standard & Poor's, a division of McGraw-Hill Companies, has provided retirement information and consulting services for a decade.

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