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For Immediate Release

ShareBuilder 401k Reports Surging Demand for Small Biz 401(k) Plans

Despite Tough Economy, Sales of Small Biz 401(k) Increased by 116 Percent in Q1 2008

BELLEVUE, Wash. — At a time when many Americans are scrambling to make ends meet, a surprising number of small businesses are finding the wherewithal to finally begin saving for retirement, according to ShareBuilder 401(k), a leading provider of 401(k) plans for small businesses.

“When times get tough, one of the first things people scale-back on is contributions to their retirement. Seeing small businesses aggressively bucking that trend is pretty remarkable,” said Stuart Robertson, general manager ShareBuilder Advisors, LLC, a subsidiary of ING Direct. “During the first quarter of this year, our sales jumped 116 percent year over year and plan sales continued to be very strong through April.”

Just over half of sales during the period were made to one-person businesses seeking a solo 401(k) with the remaining sales to small businesses 2-99 employees in size. Robertson attributes the increase to a growing recognition that, in both the short- and long-term, 401(k) plans help small businesses to keep more money.

“Each tax season, small business come face-to-face with the realization that they’re giving the IRS money that could be, and should be, their own to keep,” said Robertson. “When you couple that with the fear of a possible recession, people tend to give their finances some deeper thought.”

Robertson also believes that other factors are helping to buoy sales including the growing availability of low-cost 401(k)s in the market and easy-to-use features that enable small businesses owners and their employees to sign-up and manage their accounts online without any paper work or hassles.

“In the past, the thought of talking to someone about a 401(k) plan was pretty intimidating to a small business — to the point that most never took the first step,” said Robertson. “Now it’s easier for these same folks to go online, in a pressure-free environment, and check things out. When they do, they see that a 401(k) is well within reach and more readily sign-up.”

About ShareBuilder 401(k)

ShareBuilder 401(k) provides easy, affordable and smart 401(k) retirement plans for small businesses, ranging from the self-employed to those with 25 or even more employees. ShareBuilder 401(k) is a leader in providing 100 percent index-based ETF investments (plus a money market) in 401(k) plans. ShareBuilder 401(k) offers a suite of on-demand services that make it simple for employers and employees to open and manage their retirement plans online at ShareBuilder 401(k) plans provide market-efficient investments and model portfolios that make it easy for employees to select the smart investments to help them get on track to meet their retirement goals. Customers can also take advantage of ShareBuilder 401(k) Consultants, Customer Success Managers, and Customer Care Agents to receive assistance in choosing and managing their retirement benefits.

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Dan Branley, Launch Communications

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