BlackRock has added 10 index funds to its retirement platform, nine of them the target-date BlackRock LifePath Index Portfolios and the 10ths the All Country World Index ex-U.S. Fund. The new LifePath Index Portfolios extend the investment horizon out by 44 years, with the funds having target dates of 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, 2045, 2050 and 2055.

With the additions, BlackRock now offers a suite of 16 core index funds to retirement plan sponsors.

BlackRock said that while large retirement plans have long embraced index funds, it expects usage among small to mid-sized plans to increase.

“BlackRock is uniquely positioned to serve small and mid-sized DC plan sponsors that want to apply index strategies in their plans,” said Chip Castille, managing director and head of BlackRock’s U.S. and Canada defined contribution group. “Now, with our enhanced lineup, we can help those that prefer to implement this form of investment style through their use of mutual funds. The growing indexing trend in this market is partly in response to regulatory focus on fees and the desire for increased transparency.”

BlackRock said industry projections show index funds’ share of DC assets to grow from 11% in 2005 to 20% by 2015.

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