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The forgotten participant

Examining defined contribution participant’s investing behaviors and decision-making.

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What drives your participants to construct their retirement portfolios?

Learn how you can help evolve the DC investment menu.

In 2019, Invesco partnered with Greenwald and Associates, to better understand why DC plan participants invest the way they do.


We uncovered three key insights about participant investing behavior and preferences. 


We uncovered three key insights about participant investing behavior and preferences. 


First, there is a significant subset of participants who prefer more control in building their own portfolios, and don’t view investing in a single target date fund as right for them. 


Second, there is an appetite among these forgotten participants for a professionally managed solution tied to their investment risk profile. 


And finally, we found there is a substantial interest among participants and plan sponsors for a dynamic risk profile tool to help with decision making. 


To learn more about the research visit our website or contact your Invesco DC investment professional.








All data as of September 30, 2019, unless otherwise noted.


The opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. These opinions may differ from those of other Invesco investment professionals. This does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy or product for a particular investor. Investors should consult a financial professional before making any investment decisions. 


Cited Invesco research is based on Invesco’s work with Greenwald & Associates. Invesco is not affiliated with Greenwald & Associates.


A target-risk fund is a type of asset allocation fund that holds a diversified mix of stocks, bonds and other investments to create a desired risk profile. The fund manager of a target-risk fund is responsible for overseeing all the securities owned within the fund to ensure that the level of risk is not greater or less than the fund’s target-risk exposure. A target date fund identifies a specific time at which investors are expected to begin making withdrawals, e.g., Now, 2020, 2030. The principal value of the fund is not guaranteed at any time, including at the target date. 


Invesco Distributors, Inc. is the US distributor for Invesco’s retail products and private placements. Invesco Advisers, Inc. provides investment adviser; it provides investment advisory services to individual and institutional clients and does not sell securities. Both are indirect, wholly owned subsidiaries of Invesco Ltd.     II-DCFP-VID-1     02/20     NA1607

Research overview

We set out to learn what beliefs and needs drive participants’ construction of their retirement portfolios, and what role DC investment menu design plays. What we found has been distilled into three important takeaways and next steps.

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Today’s DC Investment Menu

Seventy-four percent of all participants allocated between two and more than 10 investments, with just 26% of participants choosing one investment option.

Insight 1: Participants prefer more control in building their portfolios

Participants overwhelmingly, preferred to select their own investment mix.

Insight 2: Forgotten participants are interested in risk-based solutions

Overwhelmingly, 80% of higher income participants thought risk-based strategies were a good fit for them.

Insight 3: A dynamic risk profile tool can help with decision-making

Two-thirds of participants are interested in an online tool to specifically help measure risk tolerance and suggest investment options.