Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CIF?
  • A Pooled Investment Vehicle - Tax-exempt fund with a defined investment strategy
  • For Qualified Retirement Plans - 401(k), 401(a), 457, and Defined Benefit
  • Bank or Trust Company Acts as Fiduciary - Each Fund is established under a Trust that specifies the investment policies and objectives.
  • Regulatory Oversight - Office of Comptroller of the Currency and subject to oversight by the IRS and the Department of Labor

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Which Retirement Plans May Use Collective Investment Funds?

Retirement Plans and CIF eligibility

Eligible Not Eligible
Qualified 401(k) Plans 403(b) Plans
Qualified Profit-Sharing and Stock Bonus Plans 457(f) Government Plans
457(b) Government Plans IRA’s and Keoghs
Certain Separate Accounts and Contracts of Insurance Companies Endowment Plans Foundation Plans
What's the difference between a CIF and a Mutual Fund?

CIFs versus Mutual Funds

Element Mutual Fund Collective Investment Fund
Regulating Bodies SEC OCC, IRS, DOL
Controlling Document Prospectus Written plan (declaration of trust)
Availability Available to general public Not available to general public
Type of Investor Not exclusive to retirement plans Exclusive to retirement plans
Fund Board of Directors Yes No
Compliance Issues Responsibility of fund’s board of directors Responsibility of bank as trustee
Portfolio Composition Pooled Pooled
Valuation Daily Daily (increasingly prevalent, although only quarterly is required by regulation)
Clearing NSCC NSCC
Advertise Yes No
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