'Investment Behavior of Target-Date Fund Users Having Other Funds in 401(k) Plan Accounts,' and 'What Do We Know About Enrollment in Consumer-Driven Health Plans?'

December 2009, Vol. 30, No. 12
Paperback, 16 pp.
PDF, 707 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2009

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Executive Summary

Investment Behavior of Target-Date Fund Users Having Other Funds in 401(k) Plan Accounts


WHY TARGET-DATE FUNDS ARE IMPORTANT: Target-date funds (TDFs) are designed to simplify retirement plan asset allocation as an “all-in-one” investment option, which automatically rebalances the account to a mix of asset classes that are more conservative as the investor ages. Because of recent legislative and regulatory inducements, they are rapidly growing as an investment in 401(k) retirement plans, and about 7 percent of all 401(k) assets are currently invested in TDFs.


MIXED TDF USERS: As TDFs grow, a new class of 401(k) investor is emerging: “mixed” target-date fund users who hold the funds in combination with other non-TDF funds in the plan menu.


LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF TDFS: This study shows that some mixed TDF investors apparently fail to understand either the purpose or the benefit of a TDF designed as an “all-in-one” portfolio solution. However, holding TDFs with other funds could lead to an unexpected result of ending up with a potentially inferior portfolio in terms of risk/return tradeoff from more assets allocated to some sectors than the designers of the target date funds had planned.


 


What Do We Know About Enrollment in Consumer-Driven Health Plans?


WIDE-RANGING ESTIMATES: Since consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) were first offered in 2001, estimates of how many workers would be enrolled in these plans has varied widely. The U.S. Treasury Department has predicted that 25–30 million people would be covered by a health savings account (HSA)-eligible plan and would have an account by 2010.


CURRENT RANGE OF ESTIMATES: This article summarizes the literature on CDHP offer rates and enrollment. The percentage of employers offering CDHPs has gone from virtually none in 2000 to 12 percent in 2009. Based on the various sources of data on enrollment in health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and HSA-eligible plans, it appears that 15–19 million people were enrolled in these plans in 2009, representing 9–11 percent of the privately insured market.