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The Hartford, Lord Abbett Form Strategic Alliance

The Hartford is likely to make an offer to Lord Abbett clients to transfer their 401(k) retirement plans to its platform

The Hartford Financial Services Group and Lord Abbett have entered into a strategic alliance to offer Lord Abbett’s 401(k) plan sponsors a transition to a new plan provider, an offer to waive transfer fees, and expanded investment opportunities.

Lord Abbett manages nearly 8,000 bundled small 401(k) plans comprising more than 59,000 participants and more than $1.2 billion in assets. The process to transfer many of these plans will begin immediately, said The Harford.

Jim Davey, executive vice president of The Hartford’s Investments and Retirement division, said: “The Hartford views its retirement plan business as a significant growth opportunity and we are actively looking to expand our presence in the marketplace. We are excited about this strategic alliance and the opportunity for us to provide these retirement plan clients access to our products and new investment opportunities. We have long respected Lord Abbett’s money management expertise, and we are pleased to expand our relationship with such a strong partner.”

The Hartford will make an offer to Lord Abbett clients to transfer their 401(k) retirement plans to its platform. The offer includes a waiver of all contingent deferred sales charges (CDSCs) on all A and C share plans, the waiver of a plan termination fee, and the waiver of a 2010 billing fee for plans that submit account opening paperwork by April 1, 2010.

In addition, Lord Abbett clients that transfer, will have access to a selection of investment options from The Hartford’s open-architecture lineup of 401(k) products.

The Hartford’s Aviator 401(k) program series will be available to Lord Abbett clients. The Aviator program features expanded fund choices, underwriting and pricing flexibility, as well as an independent, third-party co-fiduciary service offered at no additional cost.