To minimize their fiduciary liability, retirement plan sponsors should offer a number of lifestyle or risk-based options on their investment menus, according to a research paper by Manning & Napier, an investment advisory firm.

Every employee is in a different place when it comes to saving for retirement, so by offering a number of risk-based options, employers are more likely to meet everyone's retirement objectives. Employees who have many years ahead of them to save for retirement are more interested in portfolios with greater volatility, while those closer to retirement are more risk averse and interested in less volatile areas of the market, like bonds and cash.

Lifestyle options are typically grouped into a family of options with different investment and risk objectives.

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