Workplace retirement plan investors feel more secure about reaching their investing goals when using target-date funds, according to a new study by ING.

Almost three-quarters (71%) of target-date fund investors say that target-date funds have made them feel more confident they were making good investment decisions, according to the study.

That said, workers seem to have definite preferences when it comes to specific features of target-date funds. For instance, 93% of target-date investors and 71% of those who do not now invest in target-date funds agree that they would want a fund that could provide stronger protection against market losses during and just before retirement. And 61% of target-date investors prefer multi-manager strategies, compared with only 14% who prefer a single manager.

“Like many of the latest 401(k) features, target-date funds have evolved as a way to make saving for retirement easier and more automatic for the average plan investor,” according to Rick Mason, president of corporate markets, ING U.S. Retirement. According to Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer of multi-asset strategies for ING Investment Management, “these findings suggest that diversified, age-adjusted target date funds … may work better than traditional offerings in bridging the gap between investor knowledge and long-term retirement objectives.”

The study, commissioned by ING Investment Management U.S. and the ING Retirement Research Institute surveyed 540 active defined contribution plan participants aged 25 to 69. Of those, 212 invested in target-date funds and 328 did not.


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