In the first of a series of papers examining key economic, regulatory, and legal issues related to target date funds (TDFs), Brattle experts Chris Laursen, Ioannis Gkatzimas, and Branko Jovanovic provide an overview of TDFs, report on significant market trends, and summarize recent related litigation.

TDFs currently account for over $1 trillion dollars in assets. They have experienced significant growth over the past decade, and are becoming an increasingly important part of the retirement investment universe. These funds are often thought of as holding a mix of debt and equity investments, with the equity proportion declining over time following a predetermined glide path.

In reality, though, current TDFs are far more complex. New regulations, including the recent Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary Rule, are creating uncertainties for TDFs going forward. Given these dynamics and the sheer size of the TDF market, the current docket of TDF-related litigation is likely to grow.

The paper, “Target Date Funds: Economic Regulatory, and Legal Trends,” is available for download below.

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