Investment Product and Service Launches for the Week

Dimensional Fund Advisors launches TDF solution; and AB reveals holistic annuity fiduciary service. 

Dimensional Fund Advisors Launches Target-Date Solution

Dimensional Fund Advisors, a global investment management firm, announced the launch of the Dimensional Target Date Retirement Income Funds, described as “a next generation solution developed to help manage uncertainty around consumption in retirement.”

The series of 13 funds are “carefully designed to address market, interest rate, and inflation risks leading up to and throughout retirement.”

David Booth, Dimensional chairman and co-CEO, says “defining and managing the right risks” are both critical steps when determining a retirement plan participants’ asset allocation. “A good target-date solution should balance the tradeoffs between growth investments and an appropriate risk-hedging asset,” he adds.

With these goals in mind, Booth notes the new Dimensional TDFs “are designed to manage relevant risks, in particular, interest rate and inflation risks, so investors are less exposed to the effects of random market forces. This may reduce uncertainty about how much consumption their investments will support in retirement, and enable plan sponsors, consultants, and financial advisers to use meaningful information about expected retirement consumption to help investors plan for a more successful retirement.”

The Dimensional Target Date Retirement Income Funds use asset-allocation strategies to invest in “income-growth investments,” mainly global equities and fixed income, as well as complementary “income risk management investments.” The portfolios aim to address risks with a hedging strategy based on established liability-driven investing (LDI) theory and an inflation-protected fixed income portfolio.

NEXT: AB Reveals Holistic Annuity Fiduciary Service

AB, formerly known as AllianceBernstein, has launched a new fiduciary service that “will assume fiduciary responsibility for annuity selection in connection with its Lifetime Income Strategy service.”

As the party responsible for annuity selection, AB will perform these duties as an investment manager under Section 3(38) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the firm notes. AB's new service is “intended to alleviate the burden and risk associated with a plan fiduciary's responsibility as it relates to the inclusion of guaranteed income options so that plan sponsors can feel more confident in offering lifetime income solutions to employees.”

Richard Davies, senior managing director for defined contribution at AB, says it is very clear that policymakers and regulators want to encourage plan sponsor adoption of guaranteed income solutions, so it makes sense to roll out this new service now. “With our new fiduciary service, a plan sponsor can delegate responsibility to AB for its insurance product selection,” he adds. “This should make plan sponsors feel more comfortable in offering employees guaranteed income in retirement.”

AB says its Lifetime Income Strategy is a natural extension of its customized target-date expertise and provides participants with a personalized asset-allocation strategy that helps build critical retirement savings, followed by guaranteed income for life. Guaranteed income through the Lifetime Income Strategy is provided by multiple insurers through a technology platform established by AB to operate as an insurer marketplace. This marketplace is a core element of AB's fiduciary service as it helps to ensure that guaranteed income is fairly priced, the firm says.

AB's multi-insurer approach is also meant to help address sponsor concerns around sustainability, as insurers participating in the marketplace can change over time without reducing the ability to generate guaranteed income for current and future plan participants.  

To learn more about AB's defined contribution solutions, go to