What's your plan's fund story?

Your plan’s average rate of return may be a reflection of participant investment confusion.

Plan fund facts

Choosing your investment lineup and helping participants invest appropriately can be among the most challenging aspects of sponsoring a retirement plan. 22% of 401(k) plan sponsors say that improving the quality of the plan lineup is their top plan-related priority.1 Only 21% of plan sponsors are satisfied with their participants’ investment diversification.2

What story does your data tell?

To explore your plan’s fund story, look at the average rate of return – a key performance indicator:

When asked which plan-related topics or issues they wish they better understood, more participants admit confusion about investments as compared to any other topic. 44% of participants say they wish they better understood which investments to choose, and 35% wish they better understood how to manage their investments as they age.3

Dig deeper into the fund story

With such participant uncertainty regarding investments, it’s no surprise that the average rate of return on participant accounts in your plan may be dissatisfying. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your investment lineup offer a variety of options that enable participants to diversify?
  • Do you offer target-date funds?
  • What is your year-over-year change rate? Are you improving?
  • How do you compare to your peers?

Take action with plan funds

Participant education and a diverse investment lineup can help participants make informed decisions that may help them reach their goals while also improving plan health.


Our education materials help participants understand the basics, such as risk tolerance, asset classes, and the importance of diversification, so they can make decisions that are right for them. This flier  provides a short overview of materials that are easy for participants to understand—not filled with confusing jargon.


Make sure participants can properly diversify their investments using the funds offered in your lineup. Target-date funds may be an option for participants who want an all-in-one, diversified choice that they don’t have to manage.


Consider providing access to financial advisors if participants need investment education or want help choosing investments for their account.

Get customized support

Selecting the investment lineup that will be most effective for your unique employee demographics and plan goals can be challenging. Contact your Lincoln representative for additional information.

1Cerulli, U.S. Retirement Markets, 2018.

2Alight Solutions LLC, 2018 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Wellbeing, http://go.alightsolutions.com/hot-topics .

3Lincoln Retirement Power® Participant Study, 2017.