BlackRock Adds to DC Plan Index Fund Offerings

August 8, 2011 ( – BlackRock, Inc. has announced the expansion of its menu of index mutual funds for defined contribution (DC) plans with the launch of nine BlackRock LifePath Index Portfolios, and the All Country World Index ex U.S. Fund. 

According to a press release, the firm now features a full suite of 16 core index mutual funds that sponsors can use to construct a menu of investment choices for their participants. The newest funds are expected to be available on most major recordkeeping platforms. 

The LifePath Index Portfolios employ combinations of equity and bond index funds, money market funds, and iShares ETFs. Each portfolio invests all of its assets in a range of classes including U.S. large cap equities, U.S. small/mid cap equities, international equities, U.S. bonds, U.S. inflation linked bonds, and money markets. 

Offered in five year increments from 2020 to 2055, each portfolio grows more conservative as it approaches its target date; an allocation intended for plan participants at retirement is also offered through the LifePath Index Retirement Portfolio.  The LifePath suite also includes LifePath Retirement Income, a collective trust fund that combines target-date fund technology and annuities with the goal of being able to generate secure income during the retirement years. 

“BlackRock is uniquely positioned to serve small and mid-sized DC plan sponsors that want to apply index strategies in their plans,” said Chip Castille, Managing Director and head of BlackRock’s U.S. and Canada Defined Contribution Group, in the announcement. “With our enhanced line-up we can help those that prefer to implement this form of investment style through their use of mutual funds.”  

Castille concluded, “We are dedicated to offering a comprehensive menu of DC investment choices that address the broad spectrum of critical sponsor concerns, including specific plan objectives, investment management philosophy, participant risk tolerance, retirement income, and plan costs.” 


-Sara Kelly