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Feds Opt For Lifecycle Funds

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Administrators of the federal Thrift Savings Plan say they will add lifecycle funds to the plan’s investment menu starting Aug. 1.[@@]

The list of lifecycle funds on tap will include a fund designed to generate income for current retirees and funds designed for employees set to retire around 2010, 2020, 2030 and 2040, officials say.

The Thrift Savings Plan is a retirement savings program that serves 3.4 million federal employees.

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, the agency that chooses the savings plan investment options, will organize an extensive communications effort in connection with the rollout of the plan’s new “L” funds, says Gary Amelio, the agency’s executive director.

Managers of lifecycle funds, which are sometimes called lifestyle funds, try to simplify investing for participants by allocating assets to match the needs of participants who expect to retire at certain specified times.

As the target date approaches, the lifecycle fund’s investment mix is supposed to become more conservative, eliminating the need for participants to reallocate their own assets, Amelio says.

President Bush has been using the savings plan’s limited investment menu as a model for what the investment menu for a personal Social Security savings account program might look like.