You are responsible for investing all contributions made to your defined contributionContribution Money that you put into a savings or investment plan.+ read full definition (DC) plan accountAccount An agreement you make with a financial institution to handle your money. You can set up an account for depositing and withdrawing, earning interest, borrowing, investing, etc.+ read full definition. In most DC plans, your employer will offer you a variety of professionally managed investment funds to choose from.
Choosing your investments
Your employer will provide you with investmentInvestment An item of value you buy to get income or to grow in value.+ read full definition information about each fund. Choose the fund or mix of funds to suit your situation. This will depend in part on your tolerance for investment risk and how close you are to retirement. Your employer may also provide online and paper tools to help you make your choices.
Learn more about investing.
The value of your DC plan isn’t guaranteed. It can change depending on the type of investments you hold. Understand the risks before you make your investment decision.
Single fund portfolio options
Your employer may offer “single fund” portfolioPortfolio All the different investments that an individual or organization holds. May include stocks, bonds and mutual funds.+ read full definition optionsOptions An investment that gives you the right to buy or sell it at a set price by a set date. The buy right is termed a “call” option, and the sell right is termed a “put” option. You buy options on a stock exchange.+ read full definition that let you investInvest To use money for the purpose of making more money by making an investment. Often involves risk.+ read full definition in just 1 fund to meet your retirement goals.
The advantages of single fund portfolios are simplicity and convenience. You decide on the fund and leave the ongoing investment decisions and portfolio adjustments to the professional money manager.
Example – target date funds
- A “target date” fund will take care of the active decision making for you over the course of your career.
- These funds automatically adjust the mix of stocks, bonds and cash investments as you get closer to your retirement date, becoming more conservative over time.
- You need only invest in the fund that most closely matches your expected retirement date.
Example – target risk funds
- “Target risk” or “assetAsset Something of value that a company or an individual owns or controls. Examples: buildings, equipment, property, a car, investments, or cash. Can also include patents, trademarks and other forms of intellectual property.+ read full definition allocation” funds are designed to match a particular level of investor risk tolerance – from very conservative to very aggressive.
- Each fund is rebalanced regularly to ensure that its target asset mixAsset mix The percentage distribution of assets in a portfolio among the three major asset classes: cash and cash equivalents, fixed income and equities.+ read full definition is maintained.
- You need only to invest in the fund that most closely matches your investor risk tolerance.
Take advantage of any investment selection tools – or access to professional investment advice – that your plan provides.