When the Department of Labor issued its “Tips for Plan Fiduciaries” on TDFs last month, it covered all the basics, including:

But tucked in the middle of those fundamentals was the suggestion to “inquire about whether a custom or non-proprietary target date fund would be a better fit for your plan.” If advisers needed any more ammunition to guide clients to a way to access best-in-class asset managers for their TDFs, this is it. And who knows, plan sponsors who read the DOL’s tips and haven’t already been nudged in that direction might even ask you about the option un-solicited. The DOL’s “tip” was music to the ears of Daniel A. Noto, Senior Retirement Counsel at Alliance Bernstein. AB, early to champion open architecture TDFs, has been encouraging large plan sponsors for years to adopt customization. “More recently,” Noto stated, “customization has become financially feasible for a wider asset range of plans.”

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