Target-date fund managers don’t outright admit it, but they have reined in their risk-taking since the market crash of 2008, when they were barraged by furious customers, regulators, and Congress members who claimed that the labeling of 2010 funds, and maybe others, was misleading.

They may not be admitting it, but they are paying much more attention to volatility, inflation, diversification, and ensuring income after retirement.

Managers claim they haven’t actually caved in to pressure to change fund “glide paths,” – the slow shift in the ratio of equities to fixed income from the date the first dollar is invested, through the decades after the planned retirement date. Fidelity Investments’ path, for instance, still calls for about 50 percent equities at retirement, 40 percent five years later, and 20 percent fifteen years later.

But that’s only part of the story. What has changed is the makeup of the securities that comprise the equity and bond allocations. And that change is affecting the glide paths.

The most widespread innovation is more use of inflation hedges, including TIPS (Treasury inflation-protected securities), REITs (real estate investment trusts), securities tied to natural resources and other commodities, and perhaps high-yield bonds. Fund managers and consultants say this now typically constitutes around 5 percent to as much as 20 percent of the total portfolio, although that can depend on the target age.

In a similar move aimed at getting some post-retirement stability, Principal Financial Group in November 2009 created a special income-oriented fund with a heavy component of emerging markets debt, global REITs, global equities “with a dividend focus,” preferred securities, and master limited partnerships in oil and gas pipelines, according to Randy Welch, the firm’s director of investment services. The firm starts moving assets into this pool around seven to ten years before the targeted retirement year, gradually increasing the share to 6 to 8 percent of the portfolio a few years after retirement.

The other major change is a bigger allocation to international equities. Vanguard Group, for instance, in September upped its allocation to 30 percent of total equity holdings from 20 percent, at the same time that it merged the three international portfolios it had been using. Experts say that many other managers are similarly increasing their percentage, or even going up to 40 percent.

The impact on the glide path is twofold.