American Century Investments has launched a collective investment trust program.

Also known as commingled or collective funds, collective investment trusts are tax-exempt, pooled investment vehicles designed exclusively for qualified plans, including 401(k) plans, as well as for certain types of government plans. The trusts are subject to banking regulations, rather than the Investment Company Act of 1940, which regulates mutual funds.

The program consists of a suite of 12 active investment strategies.

Plan sponsors and consultants seek greater flexibility in the types of vehicles offered in defined contribution plans, according to Drew Billingsley, vice president for institutional product strategy at American Century.

"CITs offer many of the same benefits as mutual funds, but at a lower cost due to fewer regulatory requirements," Billingsley said in a news release.

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