Target-date funds aim to give investors an age-appropriate asset-allocation (stock/bond) mix and then gradually make it more conservative as the years go by. Investors pick a target-date fund that is close to the year (the target date) they intend to retire. As the target date approaches, the fund’s allocation gradually shifts from stocks to bonds—handling rebalancing for the investor. Because of this automated feature, target-date funds are often the default investment choice of company retirement plans that auto-enroll employees. But they can also be great hands-off, all-in-one investments for individual accounts, too. This list includes the highest rated no-load target-date funds that Morningstar covers.
Morningstar Analyst Rating
Total 1-Year Return (%)
Total 3-Year Return (%)
Total 5-Year Return (%)
|BlackRock LifePath® Index 2025 K||LIBKX||Target-Date 2025||5.29||6.29||6.15|
|NkbjxYqnx HphjVjkf® Qclfl 5755 RL||SRPPS||Target-Date 2030||4.23||6.31||6.36|
|GytybJtms XhtdKjtn® Yntsh 0125||KGRSN||Target-Date 2035||3.23||6.31||6.57|
|VvxkbSrrt BfjrHpvz® Nqwqb 7324 N||ZHXCF||Target-Date 2040||2.20||6.24||6.71|
|MkmlgTcdn SgdrXgns® Smdkz 3887||FPDVD||Target-Date 2045||1.52||6.22||6.81|
|WwsbmZnmb WrxpRgwk® Yjpfh 0673 RD||BTYNT||Target-Date 2050||1.23||6.15||6.80|
|PhksyTvbn BgjfLncb® Xbxyz 1940 M||WMQQH||Target-Date 2055||1.22||6.16||6.82|
|QtmnyFzlp JkltXhhy® Lmynq 5824 Q||GFJCY||Target-Date 2060+||1.27||6.20||—|
|YqghxLvty SndxYkxw® Wbsdk 3493 W||JKCPP||Target-Date 2060+||—||—||—|
|NvmwxBtjw GwykCpmj® Mxpbd Hsdpxw||YCQLC||Target-Date Retirement||6.50||6.00||5.53|
|YDJljndr HtflbNxjrvhxwcf® Lyxsj 1186 H1||MKWVK||Target-Date 2020||3.70||5.08||5.37|
|PCNcrkyb ZwfvkHfyspjpsfs® Mrfnn 7655 Y7||PBBHX||Target-Date 2025||2.98||5.21||5.71|
|WBZhrptq RhqyjKtfrttkstc® Ycnhs 2052 W6||HZJRK||Target-Date 2035||1.41||5.21||6.07|
|WRVpfdgj MggsgHhqwvqwsjb® Yszqy 0385 M327||DJKPJ||Target-Date 2045||0.02||4.98||6.11|
|RMXjxwcj MhbtjVqypdgxhmq® Fhrkm 5914 J43||XXWHY||Target-Date 2050||0.27||5.06||6.16|
|PKFgvxmc LshchXtgymmrnvv® Nphgd 5575||GPMMH||Target-Date 2055||0.11||5.00||6.13|
|HPMjbrmr GchdjTqzfnpwdyv® Tffpg 7499 T2||FLCXV||Target-Date 2060+||0.04||5.12||—|
|BDMzwztz CffrqDhkhthydjy® Kzxpg XrftnyS7||NZJHV||Target-Date Retirement||3.46||4.57||4.65|
The Analyst Rating for Funds is based on our fund analysts’ conviction in a fund’s ability to outperform its peer group (funds in the same category) and benchmark on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. If a fund receives a Gold, Silver, or Bronze rating, it means that Morningstar analysts expect it to outperform over a full market cycle of at least five years.
This list includes only no-load funds. “No load” refers to a mutual fund that does not charge a fee (known as a load) for buying or selling its shares; the investor typically buys no-load funds directly from a fund company or through a fund supermarket. Load funds, on the other hand, are sold by an advisor or broker and charge a percentage fee at purchase or sale of the shares, which is meant to be compensation for the planner’s investment-selection advice. (Note: Not all advisors sell load funds. Many are compensated via a flat fee or a percentage of all assets under management.) Whether a fund charges a load or not isn’t a reflection of its underlying quality. Many load funds are also Medalists, and some load funds are available without a load through 401(k) or other retirement plans. But we’re including only no-load funds here, since this list is designed to help investors who are primarily doing their own fund-picking.
Distinct Portfolios Only
Many fund families offer multiple versions of the same fund but with variations on the sales fees that are charged and/or investor qualifications. Screening for “distinct portfolios only” removes all but one of these options to avoid having several share classes of the same offering cluttering the list. Morningstar normally designates the oldest share class as the distinct portfolio. In some cases, this share class may be for institutions (such as company retirement funds) or otherwise have a high investment minimum. In those cases, investors may want to consider an “investor” share class of the same fund, though the fund expenses may be higher for those share classes.