In concert with the launch of the new funds, Van Kampen said it will unveil a program for financial advisers that will provide support for, and education about, target-date funds. One element of this new program, built on proprietary research conducted for Van Kampen by research firm Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research, examines the language typically used to describe target-date funds and how different word choices can more powerfully communicate the concepts underpinning these investment strategies, according to a Van Kampen release.
The release also said the new target-date offering involves a partnership with Russell Investments.
The series consists of nine funds with target retirement dates from 2010 to 2050 (in five-year increments) and an “In Retirement” fund. Each is structured as a fund-of-funds, investing primarily in a combination of Van Kampen-managed mutual funds and multi-firm managed funds advised by Russell Investments.
The announcement said its asset allocation model for the new offerings incorporates a strategic approach that builds toward retirement goals while managing risk over time.
Each Van Kampen Retirement Strategy Fund achieves asset class diversification through allocations to nine distinct asset classes, including international equities and real estate securities. Additionally, the funds invest an increasing amount in inflation-indexed securities (TIPS) as they approach the target retirement date, to address the risk of inflation.
As it is increasingly common for plan participants to transition into retirement over a period of years, the funds will manage risk reduction through an individual’s entire accumulation phase and another 15 years beyond the retirement date.
“The market is evolving to the next generation of target-date funds, where asset allocation founded on pension principles, multi-firm management, and a broad range of asset classes are essential elements,” said Andrew Scherer, Managing Director, U.S. Intermediary Retail and Sales, in the news release. “The Van Kampen Retirement Strategy Funds bring next-generation thinking to target-date investing.’