MassMutual Says Participants are More Engaged

October 26, 2009 ( - MassMutual Retirement Services' quarterly analysis of plans it administers indicates plan participants are more engaged in their retirement planning and saving, and are also more confident in the stock market.

A MassMutual press release said all three key participant contact measures have increased in Q3 vs. Q2, including call center activity (+12%), visits to MassMutual’s participant Web site (+7%), as well as activity on the company’s RetireSmart Academy educational Web site (+51%). Visitors to the RetireSmart Academy were most interested in topics related to asset allocation, Social Security, and Medicare, the announcement said.

The Q3 analysis shows participant assets continue to migrate back into equities. In Q3, 42% of MassMutual’s participant assets were in equities, compared to 38% in Q2. Asset allocation options account for approximately 21% of total assets, while assets in stable value investments declined to 28% from 32% in Q2.

The average participant’s balance increased by approximately 11% in Q3 and 20% YTD.

Among plans that provide participant deferral data to MassMutual, more than 93% of participants made no changes to their savings rate in the third quarter 2009. The percentage of participants who increased their savings rate (2.44%) was twice as high as those who decreased their deferral rate (1.25%), and among those who increased their deferral, the average savings rate increased from 6.15% to 10.46%.

While loan initiations increased in the third quarter, the percentage of participants who actually took a loan was only 2.2% overall.

MassMutual’s data covers approximately one million participants across more than 6,000 plans.