Better Together With the Right 401(k)

Success for plan sponsors, participants and you





Financial advisor John Hennessey,
right, and plan sponsor client Paul Centenari
of Atlas Container Corporation.

You and Your Clients: Better Together With American Funds

The retirement plan industry is rapidly evolving. Explore how American Funds Retirement Plan Services can help enhance the value you deliver to your clients and enable participants to pursue their retirement goals.

For more information, call us at (800) 421-9900.

Industry-Leading Support

Rely on an industry-leading service provider to help your plans run smoothly and effectively.*

Work smarter, not harder, with the right service and support. Help improve participant outcomes with support and service from American Funds.

Get Personalized Sales Support to Build Your Retirement Plan Business

  • Win plans and grow your business with the help of an experienced retirement plan sales force
  • Access tools and information easily to find the right solutions and convert prospects into sold plans
  • Show plan sponsors how you can save them money with an illustration from the Plan Cost Comparison Tool

Help Improve Participant Outcomes With Enrollment and Education Support

  • Webinars, on-site enrollment and education services
  • Ongoing support, tools and resources through the life of the plan
  • Comprehensive educational program and materials — with bilingual support
  • Online enrollment (PlanPremier® only)

Rely on Superior Ongoing Service to Help Retain Satisfied Clients

  • Provide you and your plan sponsor clients with the worry-free, no-surprises service experience you have come to expect from American Funds
  • Support when your clients need it; peace of mind that issues will be resolved if/when they do arise
  • Rely on us for support when conducting ongoing plan and investment reviews
  • Support fiduciary needs: ERISA 3(21) and 3(38) investment services from an independent fiduciary

*Cogent Retirement Plan Advisor Trends™, 2014. In a survey of 437 plan advisors, American Funds ranked among the top providers for being easy to do business with, being committed to fee transparency and disclosure, and offering best value for the money, including best-in-class advisor service and support.

Check with your home office for availability.

“In a survey of advisors, American Funds was among the top of 32 major retirement plan providers for being ‘easiest to do business with’ and offering ‘best-in-class advisor service and support.’”

— Cogent Research,
Retirement Plan Advisor Trends™, 2014

What Others Say About Our Retirement Plan Capabilities (PDF)

Quotes from respected publications about our Target Date Funds, Recordkeeper program, investment results and the company as a whole. 

Open Investment Architecture

Access to the American Funds and over 1,000 investment choices from more than 40 other well-known managers.

With American Funds as the primary investment manager, plan sponsors also gain access to a wide variety of funds from other respected investment managers.

  • Create diversified menus to meet the needs of a wide variety of participants
  • Gain access to a target date series that can reduce plan sponsor liability and improve participant results
  • Benefit from open investment architecture with no proprietary fund requirement when converting to American Funds Target Date Retirement Series®

We manage our funds the same way most people invest for retirement — with a long-term perspective and careful attention to risk. Our investment process, The Capital System℠, combines individual portfolio manager accountability with teamwork in order to maintain our track record of investor success.
A plan’s lineup can include investments from American Funds and from these fund families*:

*Number of options depends on share/unit class and platform selected.

As of 12/31/14. Available investment choices will vary by solution and share/unit class.

Share class restrictions may apply.

Log in to learn more about our investment approach and flexibility.

Competitive Pricing

Tailor pricing to your clients’ needs with a range of recordkeeping and share/unit class options.

At American Funds, we believe our success in the retirement plan industry is based on a history of superior long-term results, while striving to keep management fees low so that operating expenses remain competitive. Our pricing structure was developed with plan participants’, plan sponsors’ and advisors’ interests in mind.

Straightforward Pricing Structure

Your clients will know exactly how much they’re paying and what they’re paying for through flat fees that are easy to understand. Multiple pricing options are available to fit specific plan needs. Recordkeeping fees are based on the number of participants, not the number of eligible employees or plan assets, so recordkeeping costs will not increase as plan assets grow.*

Plan Credits Offset Plan Expenses

At American Funds, plan assets generate credits, which can be used to offset plan expenses. Over time, net plan costs, as a percent of assets, will decrease as plan assets grow.

For more information about our competitive pricing, visit our 401(k)/403(b) page and click on a plan solution for details.

*Recordkeeping fees for RecordkeeperDirect®-American Funds plans are based on average participant balance. R-4 and R-5 share classes also include a per participant fee.

Plan credits are not available with RecordkeeperDirect-American Funds plans.

Take a Closer Look at Plan Costs and Credits

Below is a hypothetical illustration that provides a high-level view of plan expenses and credits, and explains how each fits into the total plan cost. Remember that plan cost is just one factor to consider when making decisions about plan providers, investment managers, and investment and financial professionals.

To help the plan remain competitively priced, the plan credit is automatically re-calculated every quarter, which may result in a larger plan credit as the number of participants and plan assets grow.**

The plan costs are based on information entered or provided by the financial professional. If actual fees, expenses and other figures vary, plan costs may be affected. First-year plan cost does not include one-time fees.

Cost Comparison Tool Example

Cost Comparison Tool Example

Learn more about our flexible retirement plan solutions and use our Cost Comparison and Price-It tools to see how you and your clients may benefit.

** Does not apply to the RecordkeeperDirect-American Funds retirement plan solution.
The plan credit amount is based on an approximate credit rate. Actual credit rates for some share or unit classes may be lower if American Funds U.S. Government Money Market Fund
 or certain stable value funds are included in the plan’s funds. For some share classes, American Funds U.S. Government Money Market Fund has a lower credit rate because 12b-1 service fees are currently being suspended in this low-interest-rate environment. Certain stable value funds may not generate plan credits.

Versatile Compensation

Select the Compensation Option That’s Right for You and Your Clients’ Plan.

  • American Funds has a variety of compensation schedules for diverse advisor service models
  • Share/unit class options are available for fee-based practices, offering flexible advisor compensation payment options
  • First-year commission is paid immediately on conversion and new contributions*

PlanPremier and RecordkeeperDirect®–American Funds

Fixed Compensation Rates

Determine the compensation option that’s appropriate for each plan’s service needs.






American Funds



















RecordkeeperDirect-Multifund Options

Fixed Compensation Rates

  • Determine the fixed compensation option that’s appropriate for each plan’s service needs
Variable Compensation Rates*

For additional compensation flexibility, RecordkeeperDirect-Multifund offers a set of options with a higher upfront payout in the first year.

  • Earn more in year 1 to compensate you for the service needs of your plan
  • Receive an increase in year 4: something most providers don’t offer

Compensation Rates

Compensation Rates

Unit Class


Year 1

Year 2-3

Year 4+








Not applicable


















Not applicable



Paid separately; set by fee-based advisor and plan sponsor

Not applicable

*Available only with RecordkeeperDirect-Multifund.

To see how our flexible retirement plan options can help you succeed, visit our 401(k)/403(b) page.

Have a question about retirement plans? Need help with a proposal? Call us at (800) 421-9900.

Retirement Planning Tools

See how you and your clients can benefit from our solutions’ compensation and pricing.

Show plan sponsors how you can save them money with an illustration from the Plan Cost Comparison Tool.

Build and monitor investment lineups that help meet client goals.

Determine which retirement plan may be a good option for your clients’ needs.

Create custom presentations to present to plan sponsors.

Create a customized value proposition statement for the audience you are working with.

Also available from American Funds are SIMPLE, SEP and payroll-deduction IRA solutions for other small-business clients as well as employer-sponsored 529 college savings plans.

Advisor Marketing and Account Services representatives are available 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. Call us at (800) 421-9900.

Target Date Funds

American Funds Target Date Retirement Series®

While many asset managers in the industry offer target date funds, not all funds are created equal. American Funds Target Date Retirement Series features a “glide path within a glide path” that helps mitigate market and longevity risk to deliver tangible lifetime value for participants. The Series has a proven record of delivering risk-adjusted, superior lifetime results through intelligent allocation.* Highlighted below are five key factors that distinguish our Series from its peers.

In response to the growing popularity of target date funds, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidelines in 2013 stating that plan sponsors should engage in an objective process of evaluating and selecting a target date fund family. Learn about essential considerations like participant needs at each stage, cost versus value and other factors in our white paper (PDF).

*Based on three-year Sharpe ratio as of December 31, 2014.

An Objective-Based Approach Designed for Investor Success

American Funds Target Date Retirement Series’ objective-based fund construction is crafted to address participants' lifetime investment goals of appreciation, income and preservation.

Our unique glide path within a glide path gradually shifts the type of equities held in the funds, moving from growth-oriented equities to income-oriented equities. This approach seeks to mitigate market risk while simultaneously addressing longevity risk.


Underlying Funds That Have Consistently Outpaced Their Peers

Our underlying funds have beaten their respective Lipper indexes in 92% of rolling 10-year periods.*

Highly ranked equity funds have helped power the Series. Here you can see how the individual underlying equity funds have fared in their Morningstar peer categories over various rolling time periods from 1980 to 2014. You'll note that the majority of funds are in the top two quartiles for every time period.

11 Underlying Funds Earn a Spot on Morningstar's List

More than half of the underlying equity funds – 11, to be exact – have been named to Morningstar's “Fantastic 50,” more than any other target date series.

Learn more about our exceptional underlying funds (PDF) in the Fantastic 50 (PDF).

*Based on Class R-6 share results for rolling periods through December 31, 2014. Periods covered are the shorter of the fund’s lifetime or since the comparable Lipper inception date.


Among the Lowest Cost Advisor-Sold Target Date Funds

Low costs are crucial to positive investor outcomes and can help plan sponsors demonstrate that they have participants' best interests in mind. We offer a range of share classes designed to meet the needs of plan sponsors and participants. The different share classes incorporate varying levels of advisor compensation and service provider payments. The funds in our Series have lower expenses than the Morningstar Retirement, Medium fee level group.


Portfolio Oversight Committee

Our target date funds are managed by a team of veteran investment professionals with diverse experience and knowledge. According to Morningstar, our managers have "formidable experience."

  • Meets regularly to evaluate fund results and allocations
  • Adjusts fund allocations as appropriate
  • Averages 27 years of investment experience*

Alan N. Berro Portfolio Manager Los Angeles office 30 years of experience (as of 12/31/15)
James B. Lovelace Portfolio Manager Los Angeles office 34 years of experience (as of 12/31/15)
Jody Jonsson
Jody Jonsson Portfolio Manager Los Angeles office 27 years of experience (as of 12/31/15)


Wesley K.-S. Phoa Portfolio Manager Los Angeles office 22 years of experience (as of 12/31/15)
John H. Smet Portfolio Manager Los Angeles office 34 years of experience (as of 12/31/15)
Andrew B. Suzman Portfolio Manager New York office 22 years of experience (as of 12/31/15)


Bradley J. Vogt Portfolio Manager Washington, D.C. office 28 years of experience (as of 12/31/15)

*As of the prospectus dated January 1, 2015. Investment professional responsibilities may have changed since that date.


A History of Superior Lifetime Results and Low Relative Volatility

100% of the American Funds Target Date Funds had higher lifetime returns and lower lifetime volatility than their Morningstar peer group averages (February 1, 2007, to December 31, 2014).


“Few other target-date series have as many highly regarded underlying holdings.”

 – Morningstar Target-Date Fund Series Report, December 31, 2014

Figures shown are past results and are not predictive of results in future periods. Current and future results may be lower or higher than those shown. Share prices and returns will vary, so investors may lose money. Investing for short periods makes losses more likely.

View fund expense ratios and returns.

Investments are not FDIC-insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.

This material is intended for use by financial professionals or in conjunction with the advice of a financial professional.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing. 

Investing outside the United States involves risks, such as currency fluctuations, periods of illiquidity and price volatility, as more fully described in the prospectus. These risks may be heightened in connection with investments in developing countries. Small-company stocks entail additional risks, and they can fluctuate in price more than larger company stocks. 

The return of principal for bond funds and for funds with significant underlying bond holdings is not guaranteed. Fund shares are subject to the same interest rate, inflation and credit risks associated with the underlying bond holdings. Lower rated bonds are subject to greater fluctuations in value and risk of loss of income and principal than higher rated bonds. Investments in mortgage-related securities involve additional risks, such as prepayment risk, as more fully described in the prospectus. While not directly correlated to changes in interest rates, the values of inflation linked bonds generally fluctuate in response to changes in real interest rates and may experience greater losses than other debt securities with similar durations. 

Each target date fund is composed of a mix of American Funds and is subject to the risks and returns of the underlying funds. Underlying funds may be added or removed during the year. Although the target date funds are managed for investors on a projected retirement date time frame, the fund's allocation strategy does not guarantee that investors' retirement goals will be met. The target date is the year in which an investor is assumed to retire and begin taking withdrawals. American Funds investment professionals actively manage the target date fund's portfolio, moving it from a more growth-oriented strategy to a more income-oriented focus as the fund gets closer to its target date. Investment professionals continue to manage each fund for 30 years after it reaches its target date. 

RecordkeeperDirect-Multifund investments are offered through a group fixed and variable deferred annuity (“group annuity”) issued by Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, Corporate Headquarters: Greenwood Village, CO; or, in New York, by Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company of New York, Home Office: White Plains, NY.