Target Date

Seeking to Take the Right Risk at the Right Time

The T. Rowe Price Target Series

Every retirement journey is unique, and T. Rowe Price offers solutions to help meet various retirement goals. Each solution is driven by our rigorous investment process which centers around your plan’s goals and objectives.

The Target Series is one solution that may be appropriate for clients who are seeking to support retirement income while also managing volatility near the point of retirement.  

This may include investors with other assets from which to draw retirement income and who may not need to focus on growing their assets as much as possible, investors with significant retirement savings, or investors who simply want to more closely manage volatility near an approaching retirement date.

Regardless of the reason, selecting the right glide path is critical to meeting your goals and objectives. A properly designed glide path balances market and longevity/inflation risks and seeks to take the right risk at the right time. 

Seeking to Capture Growth While Managing Risk

Our desire is to help retirement investors accumulate the money they need to retire when they want. At the same time, we seek to actively balance market and longevity risk to help maintain the money they have worked so hard to save. This means we want to capture as much of the market upside as possible while reducing the risk of short-term market declines.

Our Target glide path design incorporates more equity at the outset to drive higher growth potential and higher account balances at retirement. Investors benefit from the compounding of more growth assets early on and have several decades prior to retirement to help manage price volatility. To help mitigate volatility, our level of equity dips below the peer group average of similar strategies as we approach the retirement date, and we maintain that lower equity exposure through the initial years of retirement.  

Real World Example: T. Rowe Price Target 2025 Fund

The following data shows how much market performance—as defined by the S&P Target Date Index—our Target 2025 Fund captured in both up and down markets. The 2025 vintage may be appropriate for participants looking to retire in the next few years and for which market risk is top of mind.

The Target series portfolios have 42.5% equity at retirement, which is less than the median competitor at 46.0% and S&P at 48.4%.

Over trailing three-year, five-year, and since inception periods, the T. Rowe Price Target 2025 Fund captured most of the market upside and provided meaningful protection during drawdowns. This resulted in attractive up-down capture ratios across all three time periods.  

T. Rowe Price Target 2025 Fund vs. S&P Target Date 2025 Index

As of 3/31/2023

  Three Years Five Years Since Inception*
Up Capture 97.28% 94.10% 94.51%
Down Capture 94.78% 93.46% 92.71%
Up-Down Capture Ratio 1.03 1.01 1.02

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. 

* Shown from first full month-end following investor class inception, August 31, 2013.

Source: Morningstar Direct as of 3/31/2023.

Upside and downside capture are measures, by percentage, of how well a fund performed compared with an index during times of market growth or market downturns, respectively. A higher upside capture and lower downside capture can result in better returns for investors.


Our target date strategic design and investment processes have led to strong outcomes over the long term, inclusive of the impact of short-term market disruptions such as the great financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. 

Strong Performance Continued When Looking at Risk-Adjusted Returns

Looking deeper into its risk-adjusted performance, the T. Rowe Price Target 2025 Fund has consistently outperformed peers since its inception in 2013, registering an above-median Sharpe ratio rank in 100% of rolling five-year periods since inception. During those periods, the average Sharpe ratio rank is 26.  

T. Rowe Price Target 2025 Fund vs. Morningstar Fund Target-Date 2025 Category

As of 3/31/2023

  Hit Rate* Average Percentile*
Rolling 5-Year Sharpe Ratio (SI) 100% 26

* Shown from first full month-end following investor class inception, August 31, 2013.

Source: Morningstar Direct as of 3/31/2023.

Hit Rate is used here to refer to the percentage of rolling periods the fund generated a higher Sharpe ratio compared to its index.

The Sharpe Ratio is a common measure used to help understand an investment’s return relative to the risk it takes.  When compared to similar products or portfolios a higher ratio is viewed as positive. A lower ratio may indicate a less desirable risk/return relationship. 

What Makes Us Different?

Ultimately, the Target Series portfolios are designed to help accumulate retirement assets with reduced volatility near and at the point of retirement. We execute on this goal through thoughtful portfolio construction with diversified equity and fixed income building blocks, underlying active management backed by industry-leading research platforms, and active tactical adjustments to take advantage of shorter-term market dislocations.

Our process has generated strong results for the T. Rowe Price Target 2025 Fund. Despite being underweight equity relative to the S&P Target Date 2025 Index for the life of the fund, our real-dollar outcome has been in line with the index. 

Investment Growth

For standardized returns and other information about the fund, click here.

Performance data quoted represents past performance and is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. To obtain the most recent month-end performance, please click here.

Chart shows growth of 100,000 USD invested in the T. Rowe Price Target 2025 Fund and the S&P Target Date 2025 Index on August 31, 2013.

Figures include changes in principal value with dividends reinvested. The 2025 vintage is shown for illustrative purposes to represent a portfolio at target retirement. Investors cannot invest directly in an index.

Source: S&P Indices. See Additional Disclosures for more information on the source.

Importantly, this performance held true during a period of strong equity markets when equities significantly outperformed their fixed income counterparts. We also delivered these strong results with lower volatility relative to the index. This gives us a lot of comfort in our overall design and our ability to generate excess performance through active management.  

At T. Rowe Price, we believe retirement investors should remain focused on their long-term goals. Investing in the T. Rowe Price target date portfolios offers a disciplined strategy designed to help investors reach their destination in the long run, despite short-term market volatility along the way. For more information on how we can help investors remain focused on their long-term goals, please contact your T. Rowe Price representative.

Standardized Performance

As of March 31, 2023

Annualized Returns 1 year 3 years 5 years 10 years Since Inception
Target 2025 Fund (Investor Class) -5.82% 8.85% 4.72% - 6.08%
S&P Target 2025 Index -4.41% 8.75% 4.91% - 6.24%

Performance data quoted represents past performance and is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. To obtain the most recent month-end performance, visit

As of October 1, 2022, the gross expense ratio for the T. Rowe Price Target 2025 Fund is 0.52%.

Important information about for the Morningstar Quantitative Ratings

*I Class shares may not be available to all investors. 

The Target 2005–2065 Funds-I Class received a Morningstar Quantitative Rating™ of Gold, and the Target 2005–2060 Funds Investor Class received a rating of Silver as of February 28, 2023. The 2065 vintage of the Investor Class received a rating of Silver. Quantitative Ratings for other share classes may differ.

Ratings for other share classes may differ. The Morningstar category for all vintages for both the Retirement Series and the Target Series is US Fund Target Date. See Morningstar Rating Disclosure for important information about the ratings.

I Class accounts generally require a $1 million minimum initial investment; the minimum may be waived for certain retirement plans, intermediaries maintaining omnibus accounts, and certain other accounts. 

The Morningstar Quantitative Rating is not a credit or risk rating. It is a quantitative evaluation performed by Morningstar, Inc. The Quantitative Ratings are composed of the Morningstar Quantitative Rating for funds, Quantitative Parent Pillar, Quantitative People Pillar, and Quantitative Process Pillar. The Quantitative Rating consists of a series of seven individual models working in unison that were designed to provide a best approximation for the Analyst Rating on the global universe of open-end funds and ETFs. The Quantitative Rating scale ranges from Gold to Bronze, with Gold being the highest rating and Negative being the lowest rating. The top 15% of eligible share classes in a rating group are given a Gold rating, the next 35% Silver, and the bottom 50% a Bronze rating. For more detailed information about Morningstar’s Quantitative Rating, including its methodology, please go to

The Morningstar Quantitative Rating should not be used as the sole basis in evaluating a mutual fund. In no way does Morningstar represent ratings as a guarantee nor should they be viewed by an investor as such. Morningstar Quantitative Ratings involve unknown risks and uncertainties which may cause Morningstar’s expectations not to occur or to differ significantly from what we expected.

©2023 Morningstar. All Rights Reserved. Morningstar's Credit Ratings & Research is produced and offered by Morningstar, Inc., which is not registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (“RSRO”). The information, data, analyses and opinions presented do not constitute investment advice; are provided solely for informational purposes and therefore are not an offer to buy or sell a security; and are not warranted to be correct, complete or accurate. The opinions expressed are as of the date written and are subject to change without notice. Except as otherwise required by law, Morningstar shall not be responsible for any trading decisions, damages or other losses resulting from, or related to, the information, data, analyses or opinions or their use. The information is the proprietary property of Morningstar and may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, or used in any manner, without the prior written consent of Morningstar.

The trademarks shown are the property of their respective owners. Use does not imply endorsement, sponsorship, or affiliation of T. Rowe Price with any of the trademark owners.

Important Information

This material is provided for general and educational purposes only and not intended to provide legal, tax, or investment advice. This material does not provide recommendations concerning investments, investment strategies, or account types; it is not individualized to the needs of any specific investor and not intended to suggest any particular investment action is appropriate for you, nor is it intended to serve as the primary basis for investment decision-making.

S&P Target Date 2025 Index is designed to represent asset class exposure for glide path products with target dates up to 2025. Investors cannot invest directly in an index.

The fund may have other share classes available that offer different investment minimums and fees. See the prospectus for details. Data shown are for the T. Rowe Price Target 2025 Fund, Investor Class. The 2025 vintage is shown for illustrative purposes to represent a portfolio at target retirement.

The fund’s total return figures reflect the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains, if any.

The principal value of the Target Funds is not guaranteed at any time, including at or after the target date, which is the approximate year an investor plans to retire (assumed to be age 65) and likely stop making new investments in the fund. If an investor plans to retire significantly earlier or later than age 65, the funds may not be an appropriate investment even if the investor is retiring on or near the target date. The funds’ allocations among a broad range of underlying T. Rowe Price stock and bond funds will change over time. The funds emphasize potential capital appreciation during the early phases of retirement asset accumulation, balance the need for appreciation with the need for income as retirement approaches, and focus on supporting an income stream over a long-term postretirement withdrawal horizon. The funds are not designed for a lump-sum redemption at the target date and do not guarantee a particular level of income. The funds maintain a substantial allocation to equities both prior to and after the target date, which can result in greater volatility over shorter time horizons.

S&P Indices are products of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a division of S&P Global, or its affiliates (“SPDJI”), and have been licensed for use by T. Rowe Price. Standard & Poor’s® and S&P® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC, a division of S&P Global (“S&P”); Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”) and these trademarks have been licensed for use by SPDJI and sublicensed for certain purposes by T. Rowe Price. The fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P, their respective affiliates, and none of such parties make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such product(s) nor do they have any liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of the S&P Indices.

Consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses carefully before investing. For a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this and other information, call 1-800-564-6958. Read it carefully.


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