By Cyril Tuohy
Retirement plan advisors give MassMutual Financial Group above average marks for helping workers with retirement readiness, and appreciate the company’s wholesaler expertise, a study by the Boston Research Group has found.
MassMutual scored above average for its “value added” services, for helping defined contribution plan participants “reach retirement readiness,” for providing “useful benchmarks to measure plan health,” and for forging a partnership with retirement plan advisors, the nationwide survey of retirement advisors found.
Advisors also singled out the expertise and availability of MassMutual’s wholesalers, with “wholesaler expertise in the retirement industry” 13 points above the industry average, and wholesaler accessibility, availability and responsiveness 12 points above average, the study revealed.
“Retirement advisors have consistently given MassMutual high scores in areas critical to the success of their own practices and to the success of their clients,” Warren Cormier, president of Boston Research Group, said in a statement.
Hugh O’Toole, senior vice president and head of sales and client management for MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division, said the company’s support of retirement plan advisors was a “differentiator.”
“Regardless of the plan size or market segment, MassMutual has a way to help advisors to help their plan sponsors and participants work towards achieving a better outcome,” O’Toole said in a news release.
Advisors also praised the insurance and retirement services company’s efforts at distributing content around the state of the retirement industry through webinars, white papers and marketing materials.
“MassMutual has been striving to change the conversation from one of merely saving to one of reaching sufficient income replacement,” O’Toole said.
Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president of MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division and chairwoman of MassMutual International, said the company has been “striving to change the conversation” from simply saving money to replacing income in retirement.
The Lifetime Income Replacement Act introduced in Congress is designed to tell workers how much their 401(k) can produce in future income if they continue saving at their current rate.
For years, 401(k) accounts have concentrated on informing investors about asset values, contribution rates and fund choices, but critics say too many plans focus on defining the contribution at the expense of defining the distribution.
Faster, simpler Internet-based tools have made it easier for workers to visualize what kind of income their assets will provide them in the future based on time horizons, contribution amounts, rates of return and tax assumptions.
In all, MassMutual was above average in 20 of 22 categories measured by the study, the company also said.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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