Defined contribution investment solutions designed to improve participant outcomes
A well-designed defined contribution (DC) plan will typically offer a combination of default investments for participants who wish to leave the management and monitoring of their portfolios to a professional along with other core investment options for those participants who prefer to be more personally involved.
In their role as a qualified default investment option (QDIA), target date funds have become the centerpiece of many DC plans. In addition to our LifePoints® Institutional Target Date Strategy Funds, we offer several default investment options to meet the unique needs of your plan, including custom Target Date Funds and the Adaptive Retirement Account (ARA) managed account solution. We also offer a large selection of individual, institutionally priced multi-asset funds in both traditional asset classes and real asset solutions for an efficient core investment menu.
Recognizing the characteristics of your employee investors
We believe retirement plan participants often fall into three tiers, each of which has a corresponding investment solution that may satisfy their needs and help make their investment decisions easier and more relevant.
When selecting investment options, plan sponsors should consider the characteristics of their employee base. All participant needs are not created equal. While many plan participants could be well-served by having access to professionally managed, asset allocated portfolios, others may prefer to be involved at some level in building and maintaining their own portfolios.
Know your qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) choices
The Department of Labor (DOL) has approved the following options as having safe harbor status:
- Target Date Fund - A product with a mix of investments that takes into account the individual's age or retirement date.
- Managed account - A product that allocates a plan participant's contributions among existing plan options to provide an asset mix that takes into account the individual's age or retirement date.
- Balanced Fund - A product with a mix of investments that takes into account the characteristics of the group of employees as a whole, rather than those of each individual participant.
- A capital preservation product - Allowed only for the first 120 days of participation for sponsors wishing to simplify administration if workers opt out of participation before incurring an additional tax.*
*Source: "Regulation Relating to Qualified Default Investing Alternatives in Participant-Directed Individual Account Plans," a DOL fact sheet vailable at https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/fact-sheets/final-rule-qdia-in-participant-directed-account-plans.pdf.
What is a hybrid QDIA?
A hybrid QDIA combines an asset allocation QDIA solution, such as a target date fund or balanced fund, with the features of a managed account such as Adaptive Retirement Accounts (see below).
Participants can be defaulted into different types of QDIAs depending upon their age and financial circumstances. Participants who are defaulted into a target date/balanced fund have the opportunity to transition into a managed account when their financial situations become increasingly complex.
Incorporating a multi-asset investment approach
Multi-asset investing is the process of incorporating exposures to a globally diverse mix of asset classes and dynamically managing those exposures to capture short-term return market opportunities and to mitigate risks. While in most portfolios, tactical shifts are a separate sleeve of the portfolio, our multi-asset approach is designed to make tactical shifts throughout the portfolio that are informed by the underlying holdings of the managers and strategies. This allows the portfolio managers greater flexibility to adapt the portfolio for short-term market shifts and retain long-term return potential.
This strategic, multi-asset approach is designed to enhance returns and mitigate risks and it requires the skills of a team of full-time, dedicated, experienced investment professionals. This capability is built into every OCIO solution we offer to our clients.
Multi-asset investing is an integral part of our DC solutions.
For illustrative purposes only.
This portfolio is constructed using single asset class sleeves combined with an additional tactical sleeve bolted onto the portfolio. In this type of portfolio construction, each sleeve is managed separately, and the tactical sleeve is applied without taking into account the current position and risk budget of the managers in each individual asset class sleeve. In this approach, the decision about what tactical shifts to make are informed by the underlying holdings of the managers and strategies, plus the risk budget of the total portfolio and the shifts taking place in the market. This approach gives our portfolio managers greater flexibility to adapt the portfolio to short-term market shifts to help retain long-term return potential.
The financial well-being of your defined contribution plan is critical to ensuring that you’re able to provide high quality results to your participants. That’s why it’s so important to work with a provider who has experience holistically managing distinct asset pools and aligning them with the financial outcomes desired by your organization. We’d love to put our team to work helping you achieve your goals.
Explore more with these related links:
At-a-glance: Russell Investments defined contribution overview
Handbook: DC retirement handbook
Request research: Defined contribution outsourcing compendium
Research: The human element of OCIO
Brochure: Defined contribution solutions
Infographic: Winds of change
Research library: View defined contribution-specific research