SOURCE: BrightScope


April 01, 2014 08:00 ET

BrightScope Issues Updated List of the Top 20 TIPS Funds Held in America's 401k Plans

Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Moves to the Top Spot, Followed by PIMCO Real Return

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 1, 2014) - BrightScope (, a leading provider of independent financial information and investment research, today announced the Top 20 Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) Fund Distribution for the 401k and defined contribution industry. TIPS funds represent roughly $31 billion of investable assets in the $3.2 trillion BrightScope Beacon DC database, but that number has been growing at 35% a year rate as plan sponsors, consultants and advisors see more value in the diversification and inflation-resistant potential of TIPS funds. This list is part of a series of rankings BrightScope will regularly publish to provide investment managers, mutual fund companies, investors, and others with more insight into the top funds and managers in the retirement marketplace.

"Inflation is a major concern for 401k participants and plan sponsors," said Brooks Herman, Head of Data & Research at BrightScope. "The marketplace views TIPS as a suitable hedge against inflation. As baby boomers move to retirement, we expect assets in TIPS to continue to grow."

Since its infancy, the 401k marketplace has suffered from a lack of quality data that is comprehensive enough to be useful for most strategic functions. Historically, it has been virtually impossible to determine a specific mutual fund's total distribution in 401k plans. BrightScope's revolutionary database includes a detailed investment menu on nearly 50,000 plans, representing nearly 90 percent of all the assets in 401ks. With this dataset, BrightScope is able to provide detailed analysis of total fund distributions.

Noteworthy findings since BrightScope's last published this list, in February 2012:

  • Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities and PIMCO Real Return swapped rankings, to No. 1 and No. 2, respectively
  • Russell Inflation Protected Securities (No. 16) and PIMCO Private Real Return (No. 17) are new to the list

The Top 20 TIPS funds by total distribution:

1. Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities

2. PIMCO Real Return

3. TIAA-CREF Inflation-Linked Bond

4. BlackRock US TIPS

5. SSgA US Inflation-Protected Bond Index

6. BlackRock Inflation Protected Bond

7. American Century Inflation-Adjusted Bond

8. Northern Trust Daily TIPS

9. Fidelity Inflation-Protected Bond

10. FFTW Inflation-Indexed Bond

11. Western Asset Inflation Indexed Plus Bond

12. American Beacon Treasury Inflation Protected Securities

13. DFA Inflation-Protected Securities

14. Wellington Management TIPS Plus

15. MassMutual Premier Inflation-Protected Bond

16. Russell Inflation Protected Securities

17. PIMCO Private Real Return

18. American Century Inflation Protection Bond

19. Transamerica Partners Institutional Inflation-Protected Securities

20. Fidelity Advisor Inflation-Protected Bond

BrightScope's technology uncovers audited financial data on investment funds held within real 401k plans. The BrightScope database is superior to the industry's traditional survey-based approach. When surveys are done, they usually capture no more than 10 percent of total distribution and skew heavily towards funds prominent in the survey company's client base. Through BrightScope Beacon, investment managers can access comprehensive data, giving them a transparent view into their own fund distribution, as well as the distribution of their competitors.

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About BrightScope
BrightScope is a financial information company that brings transparency to opaque markets through independent research and analysis. Delivered through web-based software, BrightScope data drives better decision-making for individual investors, corporate plan sponsors, asset managers, broker-dealers, and financial advisors. 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 plan quality at the company level. In April 2011, the company launched BrightScope Advisor Pages™, the first comprehensive and publicly available directory of financial advisors designed to help consumers discover information and conduct due diligence on wealth management professionals. BrightScope also markets a suite of data analytics software products to Fortune 1000 companies, asset managers, broker-dealers, financial advisors, and other market participants. Public ratings for nearly 50,000 retirement plans as well as rating definitions, criteria and methodologies, and information on more than 680,000 registered financial advisors and nearly 33,000 active advisory firms are available for free at