SOURCE: BrightScope

November 02, 2009 09:00 ET

401k Ratings Firm BrightScope Partners With Target Date Analytics to Unveil the BrightScope On Target Index

Partnership Enables BrightScope to Establish a National Standard Target Date Benchmark for the 401k Industry -- to Help Millions of Americans Retire on Time

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - November 2, 2009) - BrightScope (, a 401k data and analytics firm, today announced a strategic partnership with Target Date Analytics LLC (, a consulting and research firm that designs target date fund indexes. Together they announce the BrightScope On Target Index, designed to assist 401k plan sponsors, advisors and participants in measuring the performance and risk attributes of their target date funds.

Many of the most respected investment managers, investment committees, investment advisors, investment stewards, trust companies and record keepers already rely on Target Date Analytics' target date research, data, and indices. "We've worked with Target Date Analytics for several years and been very impressed," said David Hand, CEO of Hand Benefits & Trust. "BrightScope is a leading provider of 401k data and analytics and I'm confident this new partnership will be beneficial for the industry."

The BrightScope On Target Index gives 401k market participants the ability to see how accurately a target date fund lives up to its stated goals as outlined in the prospectus. Unlike other target date indexes, the BrightScope On Target Index considers actual participant behavior when determining the appropriate asset allocation for participants approaching retirement. Industry adoption of the BrightScope On Target Index will help improve participant outcomes and ensure retirement income security.

"BrightScope has already created the industry standard 401k rating, so we're uniquely positioned to standardize target date funds in a way that both plan sponsors and participants can easily understand," said Mike Alfred, CEO and co-founder of BrightScope. "The BrightScope On Target Index will serve as a catalyst for change, throwing out the current perception that target date funds have failed to meet their stated objectives. The index provides plan sponsors, advisors, and participants with an essential barometer for both performance and risk."

"The new BrightScope On Target Index taps into an untouched market. As it stands now, the 401k industry doesn't have any pure, objective, benchmarking firms that provide this data," said Joseph C. Nagengast, principal of Target Date Analytics LLC. "BrightScope and Target Date Analytics are each committed to improving participant outcomes and retirement income security through increased industry transparency -- and together we can do more than either of us can do alone."

BrightScope's On Target Index arrives at the ideal time for the average American. A new survey released by Bankrate, the Web's leading aggregator of financial information, shows a majority of Americans plan to work as long as they can past retirement age. Specifically, 75 percent of the respondents plan to work past the official retirement age, a third of whom state their decision is based on financial constraints.

BrightScope has rated more than 16,500 401k plans, spanning more than 27 million workers and over $1.6 trillion in assets. The BrightScope Rating covers small plans with assets of $50,000 through large plans with more than $30 billion, and can be found at its public disclosure Web site: The company is working to rate more than 30,000 plans by the end of 2009.

About BrightScope

BrightScope is committed to helping America's workforce retire in dignity. BrightScope is an independent data analytics firm that quantitatively rates 401k plans and gives employers, employees, and brokers tools to enhance plan performance and maximize retirement outlook. The BrightScope Rating ™ developed in partnership with leading independent 401k fiduciaries, reviews more than 200 unique data inputs per plan and calculates a single numerical score which defines 401k plan quality at the company level. BrightScope-published ratings, rating definitions, criteria and methodologies are available on the agency's public site,

About Target Date Analytics

The leading independent source of detailed information on target date theory, design, and analysis, Target Date Analytics LLC (TDA) specializes in target date indexes for reporting clarity and glide path licensing. TDA created and maintains the BrightScope On Target Indexes (OTI). TDA is the sub-advisor to the Hand Benefits & Trust SMART Funds®, a series of target date collective investment trusts, based on the OTI. Target Date Analytics is the home of "Popping the Hood," a recurring and comprehensive analysis of target date fund families. TDA also consults plan sponsors, advisors, and fund companies on glide path design and allocation, and assists with the creation of custom target date solutions. For more information on TDA, visit

Contact Information