Target-date funds have become a standard retirement vehicle offered by a majority of plan sponsors. Roughly seven in 10 plans offer a suite of TDFs, according to research conducted by BrightScope and the Investment Company Institute, which analyzed more than 35,000 defined contribution plans — mostly 401(k)s — that have between four and 100 investment options.

“There’s been a big upturn in both the availability and usage of target-date funds,” says Holly Verdeyen, Russell Investments’ director of defined contribution investments. There are five reasons for popularity among TDFs, she says. Those include:

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