John Hancock Retirement Plan Services announced it will add two new Retirement Choices target-date portfolios, designed to take participants “to” retirement and allow the participant to select another investment strategy at that point.

The portfolio consists of index funds and the design features a lower amount of equities near retirement.

The company said in a press release that the new funds will give managers and investors a wider array of asset allocation options to match their individual 401(k) needs.

Hancock introduced its first family of lifecycle funds in 2006, which has since been renamed the Retirement Living Lifecycle Portfolios. These funds, which are designed to allow investors to stay in the same portfolio throughout retirement, offer higher exposure to equities.

“People saving for retirement have different needs, and today’s announcement further enhances our participants’ ability to select the Lifecycle alternative that is right for them,” Ed Eng, a senior vice president of product development for John Hancock Retirement Plan Services, said in a press release.

Before launching the new funds, John Hancock commissioned a survey of almost 1,000 participants to gain a better understanding of what they are looking for in asset allocation solutions, and specifically when it comes to target-date funds.

Eighty-three percent of participants who responded to the survey felt it was important for their plan to offer a choice of target-date funds designed to meet the needs of different types of investors.

When asked about preference for “to” retirement versus “through” retirement lifecycle options, respondents were split almost evenly between the two choices.

“This finding is absolutely in line with our belief that participants need meaningful choices – in investment options in general but within target-date solutions as well,” Eng said. “With these new portfolios, we took a very participant-centric approach by addressing the simple fact that participants have different needs.”

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