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Fringe Benefit Expands Menu

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A benefits distributor is extending its list of investment plan options in preparation for what it expects to be major growth in public works project contracting.

Fringe Benefit Group Inc., Austin, Texas, has started offering the mutual fund-based Nationwide Retirement Clear Advantage program.

Fringe Benefit will be marketing the program, from a unit of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio, along with a group annuity-based program that it already offers. The group annuity-based program comes from Transamerica, Los Angeles, a unit of AEGON N.V., The Hague, Netherlands.

Fringe Benefit will distribute both the Nationwide and Transamerica investment menu packages through The Contractors Plan program.

The Contractors Plan program is a Fringe Benefit service designed for employers that bid on government projects and other large projects. The managers soliciting the bids often require the contractors to provide workers with a minimum level of wages and benefits. The federal government, for example, requires contractors to comply with “prevailing wage” standards.

State and local governments now are in the process of seeking bids for projects backed by federal stimulus funding.

RSGroup Trust Company, a unit of Retirement Systems Group Inc., White Plains, N.Y., is the trustee for The Contractors Plan.

Manning & Napier Advisors Inc., Fairport, N.Y., serves as RSGroup’s investment consultant.