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SOURCE MassMutual Retirement Services
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Fourth quarter 2012 data for defined contribution plans administered by MassMutual shows that women are closing the gap in retirement plan account balances as well as in savings rates compared to those of their male counterparts.
According to the Q4 data, the average deferral rate for female participants was 5.38%, an increase of 1.6% for the quarter. Male participants are saving at 5.81% on average, an increase of 1.2% from the third quarter 2012. MassMutual's data shows the gap is gradually and consistently closing. Since Q3 2010, when the average account balance among female participants trailed that of men by 40.49%, the gap has been gradually closing (past 10 quarters). In Q4 2012, the average account balance among females was 38.25% behind their male counterparts, an improvement of 2.49 percentage points or 5.6%.
"This is a positive trend and we are so pleased to see slow but steady progress for our participants, especially our female participants," says Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president of MassMutual's Retirement Services Division and chairman, president and CEO of MassMutual International LLC. "We have customized our participant education offering on a number of fronts to drive action among specific segments such as women, and the progress we are seeing indicates that participants are responding favorably," she adds.
The vast majority (73%) of asset allocation investments for females are in age-based strategies, while men are almost evenly divided between age-based and risk-based strategies, at 52% vs. 48% respectively.
Loan activity among MassMutual's participants is well below the industry average, indicating the company's call center representatives and educational programs are successfully communicating that taking a loan from a retirement vehicle should be a last resort. The percentage of participants in plans administered by MassMutual taking any kind of loan or withdrawal is the lowest of any 4th quarter in the past five years.
As might be expected, average balances and average deferral rates are highest for the Silent Generation (born 1945 and earlier) and Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964). Combined, Generation Y and Generation X participants (born between 1965 and 1995) represent 56% of total participants and 32% of defined contribution assets. While GenX/Gen Y participant numbers are higher than the Baby Boomer count at 40% of participants, Boomers still have a greater share of the overall assets at 61%, but that gap, too, is closing.
MassMutual serves approximately 3 million participants. For more information regarding MassMutual Retirement Services, please call your retirement plan professional or contact MassMutual at 1-866-444-2601.
Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyholders. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyholders consistently since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company's strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long term.
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.
MassMutual's Retirement Services Division has been serving retirement plans for more than 65 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 3 million participants.
For more information, visit www.massmutual.com or find MassMutual on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. For information regarding MassMutual's Retirement Services Division, you may also visit massmutual.com/retire or find us on Facebook.com/RetireSmart and YouTube.com/RetireSmart.
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