SURVEY SAYS – Taking a Closer Look at Target-Dates?

May 14, 2009 ( - Without question, the past few months have tried and tested the best investment strategies.

BONUS:    Increasingly participants hold out the notion of working longer as at least a partial solution to the dilemma of retirement savings.   This week, I’d (also) like to know,

Do you see more workers delaying retirement now than you did five years ago?

REPLY to this week’s bonus survey question HERE

A recent Callan study suggests that target-date fund managers are taking another, and perhaps sharper, look at their glidepaths (see  Providers Examine Target-Date Funds More Closely During Downturn )

This week I asked readers if they were taking a closer look at your target-date fund(s) – and, based on this week’s responses, it looks like the answer is…


Well, that was the answer of a third of this week’s respondents, anyway, with another 17.5% implying that that action was forthcoming by responding “not yet.”

Of course, the issue was moot for the 22.5% who said they didn’t have target-date funds in their plan.   Ditto the 10% who said that keeping an eye on the target-date funds was “somebody else’s job.”

As for the 5% who responded “What’s a glide path?” – well, let’s hope its someone else’s job (for more information on that, you can check out  The End of the Road ).

And then there was the 12.5% who simply said they weren’t taking a closer look.


As for comments, there weren't many - but there were some:

"We just completed an extensive review of our target date funds and affirmed our decision to maintain the current offerings," noted one.

"Maybe target funds should rename their dates to date of death instead of retirement," suggested another.   "Or rename the funds to TWO dates - date of retirement and date of death i.e. assume retire at age 65, die and age 90: Target 2025/2050. Or maybe another fund manager thinks you'll live longer and their funds would be called Target 2025/2055. That could allows simple comparison or at least create awareness of differences between manager assumptions."

"After the market downturn, and after trying to get appropriate benchmarks, we believe that the target date funds we use are not performing as advertised," observed one reader.

"We're aware our mutual fund manager is addressing this; no internal management questions have arisen (which makes it so much easier!)?

But this week's Editor's Choice goes to the reader who said, "I invested $10k in a 2015 fund about 3 years ago. I now hope to see the fund increase to $10k by 2015."

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!