The firm completed its review of the fund this week on the heels of the announcement last Friday that Bill Gross, Pimco co-founder and manager of the fund, was leaving to join Janus Capital Group.
The retail target date funds have $2.9 billion in assets - $141 million of which had been in the Pimco Total Return Fund. Schwab is looking for a replacement for the Pimco fund and has temporarily reallocated the Pimco assets into the Schwab Total Bond Market Fund and the Loomis Sayles Investment Grade Bond Fund, the spokeswoman said.
In its collective trusts, which are institutional versions of the retail funds and are designed for large 401(k) plans, Schwab began reducing its allocation to the Pimco fund in September and hired Wells Fargo's asset management arm as an additional subadviser.
Schwab will reallocate the Pimco assets among its different strategies in the portfolios until it finds a permanent replacement for Pimco, the spokeswoman said. It could not immediately be determined how much in assets is in the collective trust, but it totals billions of dollars.
A Pimco spokesman was not immediately available to comment.
Target date funds - portfolios that adjust their allocations based on a target retirement date and become more conservative by shifting more assets from equities into fixed income over time - are in over 72 percent of 401(k) plans, according to San Francisco-based retirement plan consultant Callan Associates.
Schwab's decision to replace Pimco shows how significant the headline risk is for 401(k) plan managers to keep Pimco in their funds, said Janet Yang, a fund analyst at Morningstar.
"It's not surprising given how much has flowed out of the fund at this point," Yang said.
Earlier this week Morningstar downgraded its analyst rating on the Pimco Total Return Fund to "bronze" from "gold," citing uncertainty about outflows and the reshuffling of management responsibilities after Gross' sudden exit.
Pacific Investment Management Co had a record $23.5 billion of withdrawals from its flagship Pimco Total Return Fund in September, with its largest daily outflow occurring on the day of Gross' surprise resignation..
(Reporting By Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Dan Grebler)
By Jessica Toonkel