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MassMutual's Center for Behavioral Research(sm) Releases White Paper Regarding Automatic Features in Retirement Plans

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- MassMutual's Center for Behavioral Research has released a new white paper to share insights and best practices regarding automatic features in retirement plans. Titled "Automation: 3 Steps to a High Performance Plan," the white paper suggests important criteria that retirement plan advisors and sponsors should consider when evaluating the adoption of automatic plan features such as automatic enrollment, automatic deferral increase and automatic asset allocation.

"One of the interesting findings published in the white paper is that a high automatic deferral rate is not always a deterrent to high plan participation," says Alison Salka, Ph.D., director of MassMutual's Center for Behavioral Research(SM). "Many plan sponsors are reluctant to elect a higher default savings rate for fear of 'turning off' employees. Our findings suggest otherwise. Among approximately 400 plans with automatic features evaluated for the research, those with a default rate higher than three percent actually have higher participation rates (84%) than those defaulting at three percent or lower (72%)."

"Considering that defined contribution plans are the primary retirement savings vehicle for millions of American workers, plan advisors and sponsors need the help of providers like MassMutual in ensuring that participants accumulate sufficient retirement savings," says Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president of MassMutual's Retirement Services Division and chairman, president and CEO of MassMutual International LLC. "Automatic features can help drive higher participation and savings rates, and can help participants invest appropriately. They are becoming an extremely effective tool in this effort."

"Automation: 3 Steps to a High Performance Plan" is available on MassMutual's Center for Behavioral Research Web site at along with other white papers that address topics important to the creation of an effective retirement savings plan.

"We encourage retirement plan advisors and sponsors to use MassMutual's research to help them effectively plan, design and implement a retirement benefit that really works hard for participants," says Ian Sheridan, corporate vice president and chief marketing officer of MassMutual's Retirement Services Division. In support of its commitment to educate consumers regarding financial matters, MassMutual is the exclusive sponsor of the upcoming PBS documentary, Retirement Revolution(R), being produced by WTTW National Productions in Chicago and scheduled to premiere March 31 on PBS stations across the nation.

To view the complete white paper, please visit

About MassMutual

MassMutual's Retirement Services Division has been serving retirement plans for more than 60 years. It offers a full range of products and services for corporate, union, nonprofit and governmental employers' defined benefit, defined contribution and nonqualified deferred compensation plans. It serves approximately one million participants.

MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) [of which Retirement Services is a division] and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual and its subsidiaries have more than $500 billion in assets under management at year-end 2007. Assets under management include assets and certain external investment funds managed by MassMutual's subsidiaries. Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a mutually owned financial protection, accumulation and income management company headquartered in Springfield, Mass. MassMutual's major affiliates include: OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; MML Investors Services, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC ( and; MassMutual International LLC; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB. MassMutual is on the Internet at

Securities offered through registered representatives of MML Investors Services, Inc., a MassMutual subsidiary. MML Investors Services, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC ( and

Contact: Lisa Reilly


SOURCE MassMutual's Retirement Services
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