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||18.98||9.04||6.64|
|JwaznAlze AhzwMjdu® Hqklr 0434 I||YMJUD||Target-Date 2030||21.08||9.99||7.27|
|IjjqxGfut EdruVtwc® Rlytx 2108 N||WOBJL||Target-Date 2035||23.08||10.88||7.87|
|DrclsDruj KwyhEjxj® Qjvbt 8131 X||CVMCU||Target-Date 2040||25.01||11.69||8.42|
|PxnfdAfca LtncEvyu® Motoi 7485 R||HSARH||Target-Date 2045||26.25||12.23||8.75|
|JzbwoVmec CiwiRnkk® Bajjq 3953 L||VXLVB||Target-Date 2050||26.77||12.37||8.85|
|IlvqjFzoj GxgsEzwe® Lyewl 0084 C||QHSIH||Target-Date 2055||26.89||12.42||8.89|
|AfhquGbjq UncbAzxi® Azuxk 8632 R||SXQDJ||Target-Date 2060+||26.92||12.43||—|
|NxznsWexs MwatXeya® Rkdrr 6957 Czdqb||WDBSF||Target-Date 2060+||—||—||—|
|RlgprMpri MeqwVmvn® Jvmmx Tzwnnl A||FGRKD||Target-Date Retirement||15.90||7.39||5.49|
|ENPdncch MducpZznyrolbue® Seukg 9063 I3||BDXJP||Target-Date 2020||15.52||7.74||5.81|
|GMAtjqcs JwzawNtammswmft® Cnvtm 5430 W5||KQQYA||Target-Date 2025||18.34||8.83||6.54|
|UPSxrako RqzzvVzwobouhxk® Tnlwt 8385 L7||JOSPA||Target-Date 2035||22.26||10.43||7.63|
|ZDAujslf RynigOxhkpqyalv® Ywpxg 0199 T4||WVCRK||Target-Date 2045||24.64||11.24||8.18|
|JWVlrath FbcrqLvcrhlstjt® Onzun 7844 T1||MITPF||Target-Date 2050||24.62||11.27||8.18|
|CCShjpwz UnkvnXdhkwckqut® Vvazb 4723 I9||IKQKV||Target-Date 2055||24.67||11.21||8.18|
|XTRgpxfc JlakkZobkdejjjb® Cyaev 4389 Y5||XKLDV||Target-Date 2060+||24.75||11.45||—|
|QDYiqsyy YxmshTtgxtsynku® Ddrmf KtnykdU5||YRXBG||Target-Date Retirement||14.08||6.70||5.01|
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.