Defined contribution plan participants, by and large, understand what target-date funds are and how they work, with a notable exception: they have unrealistic expectations about what those funds will provide upon retirement, according to a survey from AllianceBernstein released Monday.
Survey respondents fall into two groups, says the company: active investors (43%) who indicate that they enjoy making decisions about their retirement funds and who are confident about their retirement prospects, and accidental investors (57%) who don’t enjoy it, don’t pay much attention to it, and are not confident about their ability to make such decisions.
The survey, titled “Inside the Minds of Plan Participants,” found that the vast majority—81%—of employees are also equally or more satisfied with target-date funds, compared with others offered by their plans. However, 51% mistakenly believe that such funds will guarantee that they will have sufficient retirement income. When broken down by group, that mistaken belief is even more prevalent among active investors than the accidentals, with 59% of the former and 38% of the latter saying that is the case.