Defined Contribution Plans

Schroders' Global Investor Study (pension fund investors) – Focusing on investment outcomes and ESG issues

Published by: Schroders

A new political and economic landscape is changing investors’ priorities and approach. The Schroders Global Investor Study shows that a focus on investment outcome rather than relative return is fuelling a significant rise in multi-asset and smart beta investing.

A different kind of target-date investor

Published by: Vanguard

In A different kind of target-date investor, from Vanguard Center for Investor Research, authors examine how participants become mixed target-date investors, determine if the concerns raised about mixed target-date investors are valid, and suggest measures to avoid such risks.

An examination of global asset allocation and home bias

Research has found that asset allocation is the key driver of return variability for a diversified portfolio. Vanguard offers clarity with two questions: How does asset allocation affect risk/return expectations? And how much home bias is reasonable?

Retirement distribution decisions among DC participants

Published by: Vanguard

The majority of retirement-age DC plan participants leave their plan within five years of separation from service. Participants are more likely to remain when plans permit flexible distributions, having implications for target-date fund design and retirement income programs.

Lengthening the Investment Time Horizon

Published by: MFS Investment Management

Investors are increasingly making decisions based on short-term market trends due to the role of incentives, the media, financial reporting, and other decision-making biases. But there are opportunities for differentiated performance when investors hold securities for longer periods.

The Changing Equation: Building for Retirement in a Low Return World

Published by: BlackRock

What happens when longer retirements meet lower returns? DC plan participants need action and guidance to prepare. Explore BlackRock’s The Changing Equation: Building for Retirement in a Low Return World.

Vanguard Life-Cycle Investing Model: A framework for building target-date portfolios

Published by: Vanguard

New tools from Vanguard can help determine if plan participants could benefit from a glide path designed for unique participant populations. Vanguard explains the inner workings of their proprietary model for glide path construction.

A powerful combination: Target-date funds and managed accounts

Published by: Vanguard

Cynthia Pagliaro and Stephen Utkus, Vanguard Center for Retirement Research, explain how a combination of target-date funds and managed accounts can work with all your plan participants.

Beyond Labels: Advancing Your Approach to Target-Date Evaluation and Selection

Published by: American Century Investments

Overview of four common labels to better compare TDFs – and advance the manager selection process.

DC Plan of the Future: DB Principles for the DC Generation

Published by: BNY Mellon

The age of DB may be over but many of its principles can be used to improve DC plans. BNY Mellon has revealing insights into how DC plan sponsors are drawing on DB best practices to increase efficiency.

Defined Contribution Balances: Finding the Right Solution for Participant Management

Published by: Northern Trust

As DC plans increasingly replace defined benefit plans, responsibility for retirement readiness has shifted to employees. Auto-enrollment and auto-escalation help, but how else can we prepare participants to shoulder responsibility for their retirement outcomes?

Mapping the Boundaries Between Education and Advice Under the New Fiduciary Rule

Published by: PNC Retirement Solutions®

The Department of Labor set a clear framework for defining when communications to retirement plan participants and IRA owners constitute advice. Knowing where the line is drawn between communications that trigger fiduciary status and those that do not will be an important element in managing your fiduciary risk exposure.

Passive and Active Fulfillment Choices
Target Date Funds: Combining the Best of Active and Passive

Published by: QMA

QMA discusses the characteristics of different types of active equity managers and examines the advantages of combining a quant approach with indexing. We also consider the implications in target date funds and how fulfillment choices impact retirement savings and income.

The Ease of Automation and Guaranteed Lifetime Income

Published by: Prudential Financial, Inc.

Prudential Retirement commissioned a survey that asked plan participants their thoughts on plan design features. This whitepaper takes an in-depth look at the findings and suggests ways for plan sponsors to better meet participant needs and expectations.

Rising interest rates: Weighing risk for TDF retirees

Published by: Vanguard

Vanguard discusses how a higher interest rate environment might impact investors who rely on target-date funds in retirement. The authors argue that a hike in interest rates can be positive for retirees, particularly if it coincides with economic growth.

Engagement for Satisfaction: A retirement advisor’s guide to showing value

Published by: Wells Fargo Asset Management

Looking for the key to show your value with sponsors? The Engagement for Satisfaction guide reveals ways to start conversations with sponsors about plan and participant insights. A sample participant education opportunity: 68% of workers over 40 regret not saving earlier.

China's debt problem may be different from what you think

Published by: BNP Paribas Investment Partners

Debt arises when an economy transforms its savings into investment. Some observers argue that China’s debt-to-GDP ratio, estimated at close to 250% in 2015, has reached a point that could soon trigger a systemic collapse. This paper goes back to the basics to assess the situation.

DC Goes Global: 10 Best Practices for Global DC Plans

Published by: State Street Global Advisors

State Street Global Advisors partnered with their multinational clients to provide 10 best practices for Global DC Plans. These guidelines help establish a strong framework for efficiently managing DC plans for a globalized workforce.

Expanding the Case for Stable Value - What drives decision-makers to embrace stable value

Published by: Prudential Retirement

What drives decision-makers to adopt stable value funds? That is the question at the heart of Prudential Retirement’s latest research paper, Expanding the Case for Stable Value: New Insights into What Drives Decision-Makers to Embrace Stable Value Funds.

Retirement: From the mind of the TDF investor

Published by: Vanguard

In this third of three papers, Vanguard experts present key findings from Vanguard's target-date fund investor survey.

Key to Sponsor Satisfaction: A retirement advisor's guide to unlocking sponsor secrets

Published by: Wells Fargo Asset Management

Looking for the key to unlock sponsor satisfaction? The Formulas for Satisfaction guide reveals what sponsors expect from top retirement advisors and provides actions you can take to improve your relationships.

Introducing an Innovative Approach to Retirement Investing

Published by: S&P Dow Jones Indices

As the ongoing shift from DB to DC continues, individuals are challenged with the burdens of long term investing and judiciously transitioning to income generation. Learn how the S&P STRIDE Indices offer an innovative approach to these significant hurdles.

Risk Tolerance: From the mind of the TDF investor

Published by: Vanguard

In this second of three papers, Vanguard experts present key findings from Vanguard's target-date fund investor survey.

Archived White Papers by Topic

All white papers posted were created by the listed authors who are solely responsible for the research, finding and all materials contained therein. Pensions & Investments has not verified or edited the materials (other than for length and style) and does not necessarily agree or disagree with the analysis and positions expressed by the authors. Reference to any company, product or service does not imply recommendation or sponsorship by Pensions & Investments.

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For more information on submitting a white paper, please contact Richard Scanlon at rscanlon@pionline.com or 212-210-0157.