State Street Target Retirement Series
This target-date series enjoys durable advantages.
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The State Street Target Retirement series' strengths lie in its affordability and diversification, as well State Street Global Advisors' experience as a provider of retirement solutions. The cheapest K share class continues to earn a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver, while the more expensive I share class gets a Bronze rating.
Since its 2014 inception, the glide path has not changed. It starts with an industry-average allocation to equities--90% of the overall portfolio--until 30 years before an investor's retirement. From there, the equity allocation tapers gradually, so that the series holds more in stocks than the typical peer until the target retirement date. Then, the stock allocation decelerates faster than average until five years after retirement, when it plateaus at 35%.
While maintaining a stable glide path, SSGA has continuously diversified its sub-asset-class exposure. In the series' older institutional counterpart--which launched in 2004--SSGA increased the allocation to non-U.S. stocks each year from 2012 to 2014, and again in 2020. The firm also includes dedicated exposure to sub-asset classes not usually found in series that invest solely in passive underlying holdings, such as high-yield bonds. In 2020, SSGA made its first change to this series, swapping out broad-based Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities for more targeted, shorter-duration exposure for better inflation protection. This choice is sensible and demonstrates SSGA's commitment to enhancing this series where possible.
The series holds a suite of 10 index funds. Four vehicles, spanning the full market-cap and style spectrum of the U.S. and non-U.S. markets, comprise the equity side. Six strategies cover core, high-yield, government, short-term corporate, and inflation-protected fixed-income securities at varying amounts across the glide path. The series' cheapest K share class clocks in at 0.09%, making it one of the lowest-cost offerings available.