SURVEY SAYS: Incorporating DOL TDF Tips

September 23, 2015 ( - In March, the Department of Labor (DOL) prepared general guidance to assist plan fiduciaries in selecting and monitoring target-date funds (TDFs).

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers which, if any, of the tips they incorporate in their processes, and what they think about the guidance in general.

The responses were:

  • Establish a process for comparing and selecting TDFs – 23.1%;
  • Establish a process for the periodic review of selected TDFs – 46.2%;
  • Understand the fund’s investments—the allocation in different asset classes (stocks, bonds, cash), individual investments and how these will change over time – 46.2%;
  • Review the fund’s fees and investment expenses – 61.5%;
  • Inquire about whether a custom or nonproprietary target-date fund would be a better fit for the plan – 15.4%;
  • Develop effective employee communications – 46.2%;
  • Use a variety of available information and resources to learn about and evaluate funds – 46.2%;
  • All of them – 23.1%;
  • None – 15.4%; and
  • We don’t offer TDFs and haven’t considered offering them – 15.4%.


Responding readers were not very verbal in this survey, but Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “There was nothing new in the DOL tips that a prudent plan would not have already been doing.”



Other than the tripwire regarding non-proprietary and custom TDFs, there was nothing new here. And that's probably a good thing.


Whew, it says tips. I cringe when I hear "we're the gov't and we're here to help you."


We were already there. There was nothing new in the DOL tips that a prudent plan would not have already been doing



 NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.