Retirement plan sponsors are relying more on past performance than on future expectations when it comes to choosing asset managers or investment strategies, despite all the disclaimers that warn against doing so.

That's the finding of a new paper from the University of Oxford's Saïd Business School, which found that plan sponsors make choices based on factors that will expose them to the least liability, should investment performance be poor.

In their paper, Dr. Howard Jones of the Saïd Business School and Dr. Jose Martinez of the University of Connecticut wrote that, according to a fundamental principle of financial economics, rational investors choose their investments based on how those investments might perform in the future.

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