The rise of the stay-in-plan model

As older participants opt to stay in retirement plans, plan sponsors have options to support their diverse needs.

A feature article from our U.S. partners.
Originally published in April 2024.


  • A growing number of pre-retirees and retirees are opting to stay in plan, and a majority of plan sponsors prefer allowing older participants to stay in their plans beyond separation from service.
  • When evaluating which plan options may appeal to retired participants who choose to stay in plan, plan sponsors may want to consider the diversity of their employees’ needs.
  • Offering diverse options for retirees who choose to stay in plan can help address five interrelated categories of risk: longevity risk, investment risk, utilization risk, complexity risk, and liquidity risk. Every participant—and every stay-in-plan option—will weigh these risks differently.
  • For retirees who choose to stay in plan, plan sponsors may want to consider a suite of options—including education, tools, and investment and income offerings—that can serve the varied needs of participants as they enter retirement and begin to spend down their assets
EXHIBIT 3: For many older DIY participants, their relative allocation to equities falls outside of the levels of the Fidelity Equity Glide Path
Mountain graph showing DIY Non-Active Participants - Age vs. Equity Suitability By Age Cohort with allocations to equity, lower equity allocation, in band, higher equity allocation and 100% equity from age 20 to over 70. In retirement, compared to ages 20-29,  allocation to 100% equity reduced, higher equity allocation increased significantly, in band reduces, lower equity allocation stayed the same and 0% equity increased significantly.
Source: Fidelity Investments; investment allocations as of December 31, 2022.