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||8.87||6.76||8.15|
|RbxtmJfnx QxbfJsyh® Nvysv 2146 V||QRHPL||Target-Date 2030||8.83||6.94||8.74|
|KjdlzQltp JsynXlnf® Zhtxq 2974||NBZTR||Target-Date 2035||8.84||7.11||9.28|
|YlnhkXlsx ZcfvGfzw® Pmwsw 2873 GK||MBTSL||Target-Date 2040||8.73||7.19||9.73|
|JnnxfJqpc DqrcJjgj® Frnbt 5703 XCG||GHGVP||Target-Date 2045||8.78||7.28||10.02|
|BpkhhLlmt HnlyBxhn® Dkbvt 9443 JFK||DRTNY||Target-Date 2050||8.77||7.30||10.09|
|NsmktCdsm PfnyLfgd® Lpmwf 9247 S||VGJTL||Target-Date 2055||8.85||7.30||10.12|
|QzddgMkyb FtvwJcqn® Ndgwt 8376 BZJ||XKFKV||Target-Date 2060+||8.77||7.31||—|
|YmycbXscd BmbySfjz® Xbbqm 0750 CXG||VFCLS||Target-Date 2060+||—||—||—|
|KdthyQqbp JylvXslx® Dmcrv Mtvcbm B||VZWDD||Target-Date Retirement||8.79||6.42||6.96|
|ZGTlzqcg JrcpkSgvntxkgrj® Zdhbs 8447 Y||SBXLS||Target-Date 2020||6.16||5.37||7.06|
|GDMnnyls QmqmxKswhwdyfdy® Tnktt 6919 J889||BDGWY||Target-Date 2025||6.35||5.60||7.74|
|GLPlhhwg KmsvyQnthldgvvd® Plcts 3823 M5||DZHMT||Target-Date 2035||6.47||5.84||8.71|
|HKTkdlss ZvlpnNhvqrwlmhk® Nfmlv 5336 L||YRZFF||Target-Date 2045||6.16||5.78||9.05|
|DLHsjxyn NqltlMrbjgxprzg® Hbtfy 4251 F253||JSMDC||Target-Date 2050||6.35||5.86||9.10|
|JLCfykkj MdtgsPssfqcmbgy® Wpvjp 3619 Z639||YWZLT||Target-Date 2055||6.20||5.80||9.04|
|JDYxqfbc VpwqjPthqrrqnmp® Vmpfx 5980 H52||CCQGR||Target-Date 2060+||6.05||5.94||—|
|KJSkdgkb TtnjyHvckblrqfb® Qpmdp Vwnzwv||XKKPZ||Target-Date Retirement||5.65||4.96||6.03|
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.