Custom target-date strategies will hold 22% of 401(k) target-date assets by 2016, or $218 billion, according to research from Cerulli Associates. That will be a nearly four-fold increase from the 2011 asset level of $46.4 billion.

"The use of custom target-date funds provides access for DCIO asset managers to the growing pool of DC assets. In addition, these products also allow new asset managers to participate in this market, outside of the few that have dominated the space since the Pension Protection Act of 2006 blessed these funds as Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIAs)," stated Kevin Chisholm, senior analyst and lead author of this new Cerulli study entitled: "The State of Large and Mega Defined Contribution Plans: Investment Innovation and the Plan Sponsor Perspective."

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