SOURCE: BrightScope


July 09, 2015 08:00 ET

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

Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Holds Down the Top Spot, Followed by BlackRock US TIPS

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 9, 2015) -  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. This list is part of a series of rankings BrightScope regularly publishes to provide investment managers, mutual fund companies, investors, and others with more insight into the top funds and managers in the retirement marketplace.

Based on a sample set of just under 20,000 audited plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) from 2010-13, TIPS assets decreased from 2012-13 to represent nearly $28 billion of ERISA defined contribution assets in the BrightScope Beacon DC database of $4.2 trillion. Through BrightScope Beacon, investment managers have access to comprehensive data, giving them a transparent view into their own fund distribution, as well as the distribution of their competitors.

"Plan Sponsors continue to see the value in offering inflation protected securities, as we have witnessed an increase in plans offering TIPS products over the past several years," said Brooks Herman, Head of Data and Research at BrightScope. "Based on BrightScope's data for 2013, we saw that plan participants moved away from TIPS for the first time."

Noteworthy findings since BrightScope last published this list in April 2014:

  • Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities holds the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row
  • BlackRock US TIPS jumped two spots to No. 2
  • Northern Trust Treasury Inflation (No. 6), SSgA TIPS Index (No. 9), BlackRock US TIPS Index (No. 10), Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index (No. 12) and Northern Trust Daily TIPS (No. 20) are new to the list

The Top 20 TIPS funds by total distribution:

1. Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities

2. BlackRock US TIPS

3. PIMCO Real Return

4. TIAA-CREF Inflation-Linked Bond

5. SSgA US Inflation-Protected Bond Index

6. Northern Trust Treasury Inflation

7. BlackRock Inflation Protected Bond

8. American Century Inflation-Adjusted Bond

9. SSgA TIPS Index

10. BlackRock US TIPS Index

11. Fidelity Inflation-Protected Bond

12. Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index

13. DFA Inflation-Protected Securities

14. FFTW Inflation-Indexed Bond

15. Western Asset Inflation Indexed Plus Bond

16. Northern Trust Daily TIPS

17. American Beacon Treasury Inflation Protected Securities

18. Wellington Management TIPS Plus

19. Russell Inflation Protected Securities

20. American Century Short Duration Inflation Protection Bond

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.

Anyone can now access deep insights on key characteristics of nearly 10,000 mutual funds through BrightScope's recently launched Fund Pages. It offers a free, in-depth look at open-ended funds complete with a high-level overview in the form of a "Fund Scorecard" containing information on flows, turnover, fees, and more.

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.

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About BrightScope
BrightScope is a financial information company that brings transparency to the financial services marketplace through independent research and analysis. Delivered through intuitive online tools, BrightScope data drives better decision-making for individual investors, corporate plan sponsors, asset managers, broker-dealers, and financial advisors. Information on more than 700,000 financial advisors and nearly 33,000 active advisory firms, as well as ratings for nearly 50,000 retirement plans and analysis on nearly 30,000 fund share classes, are available for free at