In the past two years, four providers of target-date funds havestarted collective investment trust versions of life cyclestrategies to complement traditional mutual fund offerings.

The largest target date fund (TDF) providers continue tostrongly favor the mutual fund form of TDFs over the collective investment trust form,as one-third of the providers only offer TDFs through a mutual fundvehicle, according to PortfolioEvaluations Inc., a Warren, N.J.-based consultancy thatbenchmarks investments for retirement plans.

Collective investment trusts are only available to investorsthrough qualified retirement plans. Because they are not soldthrough the retail market, they have fewer disclosure requirementsand subsequent costs. Issued by banks, they are not regulated bythe Securities and Exchange Commission, but rather by state bankingregulators in most cases.

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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.