Stylized guinea pig aka tribble-ish animal You could liken the explosive target-date fundmovement to that of Star Trek's tribbles. Not only does everyoneseem to adore TDFs, but they may very well consume the 401(k) planindustry. But are TDFs really the “right” thing to do? (Photo:Shutterstock)

In “The Trouble with Tribbles,” one of the most popular StarTrek episodes, Captain Kirk had a perplexing challenge: He neededto solve the problem of the tribble. Tribbles were a guineapig-like ball of fur that everyone loved, and that seemed tomultiply exponentially – to the point where they nearlyoverwhelmed the ship.

It's not hard to imagine likening the explosive target-date fund movement to that of StarTrek's tribbles. Not only does everyone seem to adore TDFs, but they may very well consume the401(k) plan industry. But are TDFs really the “right” thing todo?

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook ( Twitter (