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J.P. Morgan Reinvents Target Date Fund Communications

NEW YORK, July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- J.P. Morgan Asset Management today announced that it has launched a new communications program designed to deliver a simplified explanation of its SmartRetirement series of target date funds, using  easy-to-understand terminology supported by animation and infographics.    

Industry studies continue to show that many participants lack basic knowledge on how target funds work – key ideas like what the date in the fund name actually means, the fact that the funds are already fully diversified and that target date funds do not provide guaranteed income in retirement.

To solve this gap in understanding, many firms want to provide more information to participants. However, based on the firm's recent participant research, 75% of participants say they don't take the time to read all of the investment information that is currently provided to them. Also, 44% say they are already getting more information than they can absorb. This is likely part of the reason many participants don't understand what they are invested in – including target date funds.

J.P Morgan sought to address the knowledge gap as well as the communication approach with its new program and is making it available to all J.P Morgan SmartRetirement clients regardless of the recordkeeper servicing their plan.

"Research has shown that while defined contribution plan participants want access to target date funds for retirement savings, they do not understand some of the most basic components of how target date funds work," said Catherine Peterson, Director of Retirement Insights at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. "Given the growing importance of target date funds in plans, we developed this program to specifically address identified participant knowledge gaps."

The program features a full suite of educational resources to support their SmartRetirement clients - helps clarify what target date funds are, how they work and how to choose a SmartRetirement Fund. The program takes a fresh approach in trying to address these points. At the same time, it is structured to be accessible to different types of investors – the "do-it-for-me" investors, who want only the very basics,  and the "do- it- yourselfers" who  are looking for that extra level of detail.   This innovative approach aims to present the material in simple, easy-to-understand language, arming participants with clear information around investing in target date funds.

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