SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Third quarter data for defined contribution plans administered by MassMutual shows that, combined, Gen X and Gen Y participants now account for 55% of the company's participant count, compared to 41% of Baby Boomer participants. Baby Boomers still control the lion's share of assets at 61%, with the combined Gen X/Gen Y group holding 31% of all defined contribution plan assets on MassMutual's platform.
The percentage of MassMutual's total participant assets in age-based and risk-based options reached an all-time high during the third quarter of 2012, accounting for 26.6% of total defined contribution plan assets under management, which is well above the industry average. Gen Y participants (born between 1982 and 1995) led with 49.8% for the quarter vs. Gen X (born between 1965 and 1981) at 29.8% and Baby Boomers at 22.6%. Significantly, Gen X participants had the highest allocations in equities at 45.6% for the quarter ended September 30, compared with Gen Y savers at 32.2% and Baby Boomers at 38.4%.
Women continue to favor age-based investments far more than risk-based options – in fact, more than 2.5 times as much – at 72% vs. 28% respectively. Men remain more evenly divided on their preferences, with approximately 52% in age-based vs. 48% in risk-based investments. Average account balances for women grew 3.92% for the quarter vs. 4.17% for men, reflective of the generally more conservative investing profile of women. In terms of account balances, the gender gap continues to close, albeit at a slow rate. Average account balances for women now trail those of men by 38.4%, a slight improvement over a high of 40.5% in late 2010.
"Not surprisingly, Gen Y savers are taking full advantage of asset allocation investment options," says Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president of MassMutual's Retirement Services Division and chairman and CEO of MassMutual International LLC. "We are so pleased to see that younger generations appear to understand the importance of starting early to save for retirement," says Sarsynski. MassMutual's percentage of participants who initiated loans in the third quarter (1.7%) was at its lowest level in four years and is significantly lower than the industry average. "We strive to educate participants that taking a loan from the 401(k) can have negative consequences and should be a last resort. We are very pleased that their behavior indicates they are grasping this message," adds Sarsynski.
MassMutual serves approximately 1.6 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 1.6 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.
Copyright ©2012 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and affiliates, Springfield, MA 01111-00. All rights reserved.
Contact: Lisa Reilly
SOURCE MassMutual Retirement Services