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The 100 Most Popular Mutual Funds for 401(k) Retirement Savings

·10 mins read

There's no denying the importance and popularity of 401(k)s for retirement savers. Americans have $6.3 trillion invested in these tax-deferred workplace savings accounts, according to the Investment Company Institute, and there are more than 58 million active 401(k) participants.

BrightScope, a financial-information company that rates retirement-savings plans, compiled for Kiplinger this list of the 100 most popular mutual funds in 401(k) plans based on funds' 401(k) assets under management.

Here is the list of the top 100 mutual funds for your 401(k) retirement savings. All figures are as of Oct. 7, 2020.

Rank

Fund Name

Symbol

Annualized Total Return

1-yr

Annualized Total Return

3-yr

Annualized Total Return

5-yr

Annualized Total Return

10-yr

Expense
Ratio

Fund Type

1

Vanguard Institutional Index

VINIX

Large Blend

16.02

11.78

13.41

13.52

0.04

2

Fidelity 500 Index

FXAIX

Large Blend

16.03

11.79

13.43

0.02

3

American Funds Europacific Growth

AEPGX

EAFE

16.81

5.45

8.14

6.27

0.84

4

Vanguard Total Bond Market Index

VBTLX

Short/Intermediate Government Bonds

5.99

5.24

4.10

3.51

0.05

5

Fidelity Contrafund

FCNTX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

34.22

17.59

17.16

15.37

0.85

6

Vanguard 500 Index

VFIAX

Large Blend

16.00

11.76

13.40

13.51

0.04

7

Vanguard PRIMECAP

VPMCX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

16.61

10.72

14.32

14.57

0.38

8

Vanguard Wellington

VWELX

Moderate Allocation

8.44

7.98

9.44

9.46

0.25

9

Vanguard Mid Cap Index

VIMAX

Mid Cap U.S. Equities

10.39

8.29

10.15

12.08

0.05

10

Dodge & Cox Stock

DODGX

Large-Value U.S. Equities

1.20

2.73

8.40

10.94

0.52

11

Vanguard Target Retirement 2025

VTTVX

Conservative Allocation

9.80

6.82

8.16

8.25

0.13

12

Vanguard Target Retirement 2030

VTHRX

Moderate Allocation

10.35

6.97

8.59

8.71

0.14

13

Vanguard Total Intl Stock Index

VTIAX

EAFE

5.80

1.45

5.62

0.11

14

Vanguard Small Cap Index

VSMAX

Small Cap U.S. Equities

6.70

5.33

9.09

11.26

0.05

15

American Funds Growth Fund of America

AGTHX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

32.67

16.00

16.25

14.52

0.65

16

PGIM Total Return Bond

PDBAX

Short/Intermediate Government Bonds

4.71

5.27

4.83

4.62

0.76

17

Vanguard Target Retirement 2035

VTTHX

Moderate Allocation

10.85

7.09

9.00

9.16

0.14

18

Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Index

VTSAX

Large Blend

16.62

11.38

13.11

13.37

0.04

19

Vanguard Target Retirement 2020

VTWNX

Conservative Allocation

9.00

6.48

7.55

7.69

0.13

20

Metropolitan West Total Return Bond

MWTRX

Short/Intermediate Government Bonds

6.90

5.57

4.16

4.30

0.68

21

Vanguard Extended Market Index

VEXAX

Mid Cap U.S. Equities

18.18

8.82

11.36

12.38

0.06

22

Vanguard Target Retirement 2040

VFORX

Moderate Allocation

11.28

7.19

9.40

9.45

0.14

23

Fidelity Freedom 2030

FFFEX

Moderate Allocation

11.90

6.81

9.05

8.35

0.68

24

T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth

TRBCX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

36.27

19.92

19.47

17.92

0.69

25

Fidelity Growth Company

FDGRX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

67.90

26.79

24.54

20.34

0.83

26

T. Rowe Price Retirement 2030

TRRCX

Moderate Allocation

11.07

7.11

9.23

9.38

0.64

27

Vanguard Target Retirement 2045

VTIVX

Aggressive Allocation

11.74

7.24

9.56

9.54

0.15

28

Fidelity Freedom 2025

FFTWX

Conservative Allocation

10.99

6.46

8.20

7.79

0.65

29

Fidelity Freedom 2020

FFFDX

Conservative Allocation

10.27

6.23

7.80

7.20

0.60

30

American Funds American Balanced

ABALX

Moderate Allocation

9.38

7.47

9.01

9.69

0.59

31

T. Rowe Price Retirement 2025

TRRHX

Conservative Allocation

10.46

6.85

8.72

8.83

0.61

32

T. Rowe Price Retirement 2020

TRRBX

Conservative Allocation

9.51

6.48

8.10

8.20

0.57

33

Vanguard Windsor II

VWNFX

Large-Value U.S. Equities

8.52

6.58

9.07

10.76

0.34

34

Fidelity Freedom 2040

FFFFX

Moderate Allocation

13.58

6.95

9.59

8.90

0.75

35

Harbor Capital Appreciation

HCAIX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

53.40

23.53

20.48

17.70

1.04

36

Fidelity Freedom 2035

FFTHX

Moderate Allocation

13.06

6.98

9.60

8.84

0.72

37

T. Rowe Price Retirement 2040

TRRDX

Moderate Allocation

12.21

7.49

9.94

10.02

0.69

38

Dodge & Cox International Stock

DODFX

EAFE

-5.53

-5.36

1.57

2.99

0.63

39

Vanguard Target Retirement 2050

VFIFX

Aggressive Allocation

11.77

7.26

9.56

9.54

0.15

40

Vanguard International Growth

VWIGX

EAFE

50.80

15.78

17.38

10.60

0.43

41

Dodge & Cox Income

DODIX

Short/Intermediate Government Bonds

7.46

5.56

5.18

4.39

0.42

42

T. Rowe Price Retirement 2035

TRRJX

Moderate Allocation

11.68

7.29

9.62

9.75

0.67

43

Vanguard Growth Index

VIGAX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

37.87

20.31

18.44

16.55

0.05

44

T. Rowe Price Growth Stock

PRGFX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

35.09

18.04

17.80

16.68

0.65

45

Fidelity Extended Market Index

FSMAX

Mid Cap U.S. Equities

18.15

8.82

11.37

0.05

46

MFS Value

MEIAX

Large-Value U.S. Equities

0.60

3.89

8.23

10.29

0.82

47

T. Rowe Price Mid-Cap Growth

RPMGX

Mid-Growth U.S. Equities

16.79

12.85

13.79

14.56

0.74

48

Fidelity US Bond Index

FXNAX

Short/Intermediate Government Bonds

6.08

5.23

4.05

0.03

49

American Funds 2030 Trgt Date Retire

AAETX

Moderate Allocation

12.05

7.45

9.04

9.33

0.71

50

Fidelity Balanced

FBALX

Moderate Allocation

18.70

10.55

10.88

10.28

0.53

51

American Funds Washington Mutual

AWSHX

Large Blend

5.25

7.57

10.81

11.73

0.59

52

Vanguard Developed Markets Index

VTMGX

EAFE

4.46

1.24

5.10

4.74

0.07

53

Vanguard Balanced Index

VBIAX

Moderate Allocation

13.06

9.36

9.75

9.63

0.07

54

Fidelity Freedom 2045

FFFGX

Aggressive Allocation

13.64

6.97

9.60

8.96

0.75

55

Vanguard Equity-Income

VEIPX

Large-Value U.S. Equities

-0.78

4.52

8.87

11.19

0.27

56

Fidelity Diversified International

FDIVX

EAFE

18.42

6.70

7.58

6.85

0.75

57

American Funds New Perspective

ANWPX

World Equity

26.34

13.09

13.66

11.66

0.76

58

Vanguard Instl Ttl Stk Mkt Index

VITNX

Large Blend

16.60

11.40

13.13

13.41

0.03

59

T. Rowe Price Instl Large Cap Core Gr

TPLGX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

36.26

20.04

19.58

17.98

0.56

60

Fidelity Low-Priced Stock

FLPSX

Mid-Value U.S. Equities

7.61

3.85

6.56

10.00

0.78

61

Fidelity Freedom 2050

FFFHX

Aggressive Allocation

13.59

6.94

9.60

8.98

0.75

62

Vanguard Value Index

VVIAX

Large-Value U.S. Equities

-1.32

4.18

8.71

10.65

0.05

63

American Funds 2025 Trgt Date Retire

AADTX

Conservative Allocation

10.97

6.86

8.06

8.60

0.69

64

T. Rowe Price Retirement 2045

TRRKX

Aggressive Allocation

12.57

7.58

10.08

10.09

0.71

65

Fidelity Blue Chip Growth

FBGRX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

58.44

25.57

22.16

19.05

0.79

66

Vanguard Target Retirement 2015

VTXVX

Conservative Allocation

7.89

6.02

6.69

6.92

0.13

67

PIMCO Total Return

PTTAX

Short/Intermediate Government Bonds

5.94

4.89

4.19

3.51

1.04

68

American Funds 2035 Trgt Date Retire

AAFTX

Moderate Allocation

14.12

8.29

10.08

9.83

0.72

69

T. Rowe Price Retirement 2050

TRRMX

Aggressive Allocation

12.56

7.59

10.07

10.09

0.71

70

Vanguard Inflation-Protected Secs

VIPSX

TIPS

8.43

5.46

4.10

3.13

0.20

71

T. Rowe Price New Horizons

PRNHX

Mid-Growth U.S. Equities

50.07

27.21

23.77

21.06

0.76

72

American Funds 2040 Trgt Date Retire

AAGTX

Moderate Allocation

14.86

8.58

10.44

10.06

0.73

73

Fidelity International Index

FSPSX

EAFE

3.18

1.10

4.65

0.04

74

Fidelity Puritan

FPURX

Moderate Allocation

19.35

10.48

10.79

10.35

0.53

75

MainStay Winslow Large Cap Growth

MLINX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

35.94

21.25

18.44

15.91

1.10

76

JPMorgan SmartRetirement 2030

JSMAX

Moderate Allocation

7.46

5.41

7.44

7.90

0.86

77

American Funds 2020 Trgt Date Retire

AACTX

Conservative Allocation

8.49

5.89

6.97

7.48

0.66

78

Invesco Oppenheimer International Growth

OIGAX

Emerging Markets

21.50

4.69

6.71

6.86

1.10

79

Vanguard Target Retirement Income

VTINX

Conservative Allocation

7.42

5.76

5.81

5.49

0.12

80

Vanguard Explorer

VEXPX

Small-Growth U.S. Equities

18.39

12.77

13.71

13.32

0.45

81

Vanguard Target Retirement 2055

VFFVX

Aggressive Allocation

11.75

7.25

9.56

9.56

0.15

82

JPMorgan SmartRetirement 2025

JNSAX

Conservative Allocation

7.02

5.19

6.90

7.41

0.85

83

JPMorgan Mid Cap Value

JAMCX

Mid-Value U.S. Equities

-7.11

-0.31

4.44

9.29

1.24

84

American Funds Fundamental Investors

ANCFX

Large Blend

13.14

8.48

11.90

11.94

0.62

85

iShares S&P 500 Index

BSPAX

Large Blend

15.69

11.45

13.05

0.35

86

American Funds AMCAP

AMCPX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

21.33

12.02

12.94

13.45

0.69

87

Janus Henderson Enterprise

JAENX

Mid-Growth U.S. Equities

9.92

12.42

14.69

14.29

0.91

88

Schwab S&P 500 Index

SWPPX

Large Blend

16.02

11.77

13.38

13.46

0.02

89

JPMorgan Large Cap Growth

OLGAX

Large-Growth U.S. Equities

52.75

27.08

22.41

18.11

0.94

90

American Funds Capital World Growth&Income

CWGIX

World Equity

11.14

5.94

8.63

8.06

0.78

91

Invesco Diversified Dividend

LCEIX

Large-Value U.S. Equities

-4.43

2.03

5.20

8.99

0.75

92

JPMorgan SmartRetirement 2040

SMTAX

Moderate Allocation

9.36

5.63

8.18

8.56

0.88

93

JPMorgan SmartRetirement 2035

SRJAX

Moderate Allocation

8.84

5.51

7.81

8.32

0.87

94

JPMorgan SmartRetirement 2020

JTTAX

Conservative Allocation

6.21

4.85

6.24

6.71

0.81

95

Vanguard Wellesley Income

VWINX

Moderate Allocation

5.26

6.26

7.10

7.25

0.23

96

Vanguard Windsor

VWNDX

Large-Value U.S. Equities

0.21

1.79

6.62

9.86

0.30

97

Dodge & Cox Balanced

DODBX

Moderate Allocation

3.30

3.66

7.36

9.15

0.53

98

Vanguard Real Estate Index

VGSLX

Real Estate

-9.19

3.49

5.40

8.61

0.12

99

American Funds 2045 Trgt Date Retire

AAHTX

Aggressive Allocation

15.09

8.71

10.61

10.15

0.72

100

Neuberger Berman Genesis

NBGNX

Small-Growth U.S. Equities

13.69

10.30

11.99

12.06

1.02

* The dollar amounts represent funds' total assets under management held both within 401(k) plans and outside of 401(k)s, according to Morningstar. BrightScope ranked the funds by assets under management held in 401(k)s only, but it did not disclose the precise amounts for proprietary reasons.

Sources: BrightScope, Morningstar