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

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