Vanguard First to Pass $1 Trillion in Defined Contribution Assets – Investopedia

Vanguard, one of the world’s biggest fund companies and the leader in low-cost investing, has hit another new milestone: more than $1 trillion in defined contribution assets under management. That’s according to preliminary results compiled by Pension & Investments, which culls data provided by the investment managers.

According to Pension & Investments, as of the end of 2017, Vanguard had total defined contribution assets of $1.14 trillion and is now the first manager of those assets to surpass the $1 trillion mark. Pension & Investments said that $998.7 billion of those assets under management are managed internally at Vanguard. For all of 2016, Vanguard’s defined contribution assets under management were $903.6 billion.

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Pension & Investments noted that Vanguard has been the biggest defined contribution manager since the end of 2013, when it pushed Fidelity Investments out of the top spot. Martha King, managing director and head of Vanguard Institutional, told Pension & Investments in an email statement that the defined contribution side of the company’s business has grown “tremendously” during the past 10 years as plan sponsors look for low-cost investments that are of high quality.

Although Vanguard has been a leader in the defined contribution market for several years now, the company has not been resting on its laurels and continues to grow that side of the business. In December, it rolled out a new retirement plan comparison tool that enables plan sponsors to benchmark their defined contribution plans against Vanguard’s nearly 2,000 recordkept plans. Powered by Vanguard’s “How America Saves” data, the new tool allows plan sponsors to answer questions including whether participants are saving enough and if the plan offers a strong variety of investment options, among other things. “How America Saves” is Vanguard’s annual pulse check of the defined contribution retirement plan market. With the company serving more than 8,500 plans in its defined contribution recordkeeping business, Vanguard has unique insights into how Americans are saving.

Using the tool, plan sponsors can choose a slew of topics to compare their plans against, including account balances, asset allocations, contribution allocations, contribution types and participation rates, to name a few. According to Vanguard, the new tool enables plan sponsors to make more effective plan decisions based on industry and plan data, view the retirement savings behavior of more than 4 million Vanguard recordkept plan participants, and develop and analyze customized reports.

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