A Target-Date Fund Industry Snapshot

The five leading TDF families by assets dwarf their competition, and the biggest provider keeps getting bigger.

The 2019 PLANSPONSOR Target-Date Fund (TDF) Survey and Buyer’s Guide includes a sharable TDF industry snapshot, meant to be a helpful resource for retirement plan sponsors and their service provider partners as they conduct investment committee training and fund menu reviews. 

Among the insights included in the snapshot is the fact that the top five TDF families continue to dwarf the competition—and the biggest provider continues to get bigger. Vanguard, which managed 33.6% of TDF assets in 2017, has grown to control 37.8% of the marketplace. The four next-biggest providers are Fidelity, which controlled 21.2% of assets in 2017 versus 19.4% in 2019; T. Rowe Price, controlling 16.4% in 2017 and 12.4% in 2019; American Funds, managing 7.2% in 2017 and 10.5% in 2019, making it the only other top-five provider besides Vanguard to gain market share; and J.P. Morgan, which managed 5.0% of TDF assets in 2017 and now manages 4.3%.

Those figures imply that all other TDF providers manage just 15.6% of the marketplace—down from 16.6% in 2017. The other largest providers include Nuveen/TIAA, BlackRock, Principal Funds and John Hancock Investments.

The Broader TDF Marketplace

The TDF Survey and Buyer’s Guide examines various other aspects of the TDF landscape, including a deep dive into the custom market. Data points include the names of custom TDF families and their providers, the number of funds in a given custom series, the underlying fund management approach, glide path fund landing points, asset totals and more.

The Buyer’s Guide also includes an index of TDF products and providers. Each fund page includes an overview, fund attributes, a breakdown of assets under management and information about the use of unaffiliated managers.

Finally, advisers with upcoming plan participant or sponsor meetings can take advantage of the visually engaging industry snapshot, which, for example, maps the market share of the top five TDF families against the rest of the TDF industry combined. We hope you will share some of what you read with a client or colleague!