An insurer is trying to help 403(b) plan sponsors comply with new federal rules that require them to keep tabs on plan participants.

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, is making automated, online data available to independent plan administrators, or third-party administrators, to increase plan sponsors’ ability to get participant data.

The federal government now is asking the schools and other nonprofit employers that offer 403(b) defined contribution retirement plans to monitor participant activities such as contributions, loans and hardship withdrawals.

Many sponsors have been unable to get the required data, Hartford says.

Hartford says its new data-sharing service meets standards recently established by the SPARK Institute, Simsbury, Conn., a group that represents large retirement services vendors.