Meeting Income Objectives in Retirement Key for Target-Date Funds

Active Management Rather Than Index-Tracking Preferred Investment Style 

NEWPORT BEACH, CA–(Marketwired – Mar 23, 2015) – Retirement plan consultants say target-date funds should be structured to help workers meet their income objectives in retirement rather than be too focused on maximizing the size of their savings, according to the 9th Annual PIMCO Defined Contribution Consulting Support and Trends Survey released today by PIMCO, a leading global investment management firm and retirement solutions provider.

Of the 58 consulting firms surveyed, nearly all say it is important or very important to evaluate glide path structures, fees, diversification of underlying investments and the probability of meeting retirement income objectives, among other attributes, in target-date strategies that gradually become more conservative as an investor ages.

More than one-third (35%) of the consultants in the survey rank maximizing asset returns while minimizing volatility relative to the retirement liability as the most important objective when evaluating target-date glide paths. And 31% rank maximizing income replacement during retirement as the top goal for glide paths. None see maximizing expected retirement savings balances as the most important objective.

"Consultants increasingly want target date funds structured so they can meet an investor's income objectives when they retire," said Stacy Schaus, executive vice president and PIMCO's Defined Contribution Practice leader. "They clearly prefer strategies that will minimize the risk of a plan participant falling short when she retires." Schaus added: "For example, when evaluating income replacement distributions, the vast majority (85%) of consultants says that a tighter distribution, in which there is less risk but also less opportunity for future gains, is more attractive in the current environment."

Other key findings:

  • Most consultants (93%) believe adding diversifying fixed income strategies is important or very important.
  • More than two-thirds recommend retirement plans consider inflation protection securities to help safeguard participant assets.
  • More than half recommend a multi-strategy liquid alternative be considered.
  • Consultants surveyed strongly favor active management over index-tracking passive strategies as the preferred investment style when allocating to most asset classes, including bonds, emerging market equities and global asset-allocation strategies.
They clearly prefer strategies that will minimize the risk of a plan participant falling short when she retires

About the Survey
PIMCO's DC Practice prepares the 2015 Defined Contribution Consulting Support and Trends Survey to help plan sponsors understand the breadth of views and specific consulting services available within the DC marketplace. Our 2015 survey captures data, trends and opinions from 58 consulting firms across the U.S., which serve over 8,500 clients with aggregate DC assets in excess of $3.2 trillion.

For survey highlights or other PIMCO DC publications, please contact us at 888.845.5012 or email us at

PIMCO is a leading global investment management firm, with offices in 12 countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Founded in 1971, PIMCO offers a wide range of innovative solutions to help millions of investors worldwide meet their needs. Our goal is to provide attractive returns while maintaining a strong culture of risk management and long-term discipline. PIMCO is owned by Allianz S.E., a leading global diversified financial services provider.

All investments contain risk and may lose value. Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including the performance of financial markets, the investment performance of PIMCO's sponsored investment products and separately managed accounts, general economic conditions, future acquisitions, competitive conditions and government regulations, including changes in tax laws.

Readers should carefully consider such factors. Further, such forward-looking statements speak only on the date at which such statements are made. PIMCO undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements.