A growing number of employers with 401(k) plans are trying to do more to help their workers save for retirement, but often fall short in how they select and evaluate target-date funds, according to preliminary results from Towers Watson's 2014 Defined Contribution survey. 

"The vast majority of plan sponsors selecting TDF offerings focus on investment metrics and not bigger-picture measurements such as retirement success rates or income replacement ratios," Towers Watson said in a summary of its survey. "Investment metrics are important; however, metrics that reflect retirement outcomes represent a more holistic view and should drive evaluation, selection and monitoring of TDFs." 

The good news, on the other hand, is that more sponsors are embracing more complex strategies in order to meet the retirement needs of their participants, according to the study.   

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.