MassMutual, BlackRock Team Up to Offer Customized Asset Allocation Program for Retirement Plans - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

MassMutual, BlackRock Team Up to Offer Customized Asset Allocation Program for Retirement Plans

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SOURCE MassMutual Retirement Services

MassMutual Managed Allocations(SM) powered by BlackRock® provides choices of asset allocation strategies, professional management and fiduciary oversight for retirement plans

ENFIELD, Conn., July 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- MassMutual Retirement, responding to a growing demand by financial advisors and employers, is teaming up with BlackRock to introduce a customized, lower-cost alternative to managed accounts for defined contribution retirement plans.

Eric Wietsma, Senior Vice President, Sales and Worksite Education, MassMutual Retirement

MassMutual Managed AllocationsSM powered by BlackRock® enables financial advisors to offer professionally managed asset allocation strategies to help achieve the diversification and customization that individual plan sponsors and their advisors are increasingly seeking. MassMutual provides the recordkeeping for the Managed Allocations strategies while BlackRock assumes fiduciary responsibility for designing and updating the glidepath models and asset allocations.

Managed Allocations provides many of the benefits of managed accounts for approximately a third of the cost with investment due diligence and fund selection performed by the plan's advisor.  Managed Allocations is available to sponsors of defined contribution retirement plans with at least $15 million in assets.

"Advisors and plan sponsors want more control over the quality of the funds selected as part of the asset allocation models as well as the glidepaths available within these investment strategies" said Eric Wietsma, Senior Vice President, Sales and Worksite Education for MassMutual Retirement. "MassMutual's experience in providing custom asset allocation strategies convinced us to team up with BlackRock to offer this next generation solution."

"BlackRock is pleased to work closely with MassMutual to offer Managed Allocations to meet the growing demands of advisors and plan sponsors for high-quality, customized asset allocation solutions," said Greg Porteous, Managing Director, BlackRock US Retirement Group. "Managed Allocations offers plan sponsors an innovative and scalable custom target date experience for plans that may not have the ability to go custom because of their size or the cost."

The Managed Allocations program provides several benefits not previously available together within a single asset management solution:

  • Three glidepath options, including conservative, moderate and aggressive, designed to help participants grow their assets and manage their savings to-and through-retirement. The choice of glidepath may hinge on a variety of considerations, including whether or not the plan sponsor offers a defined benefit pension, offers company stock as an investment option, employee demographics, employee savings rates and other factors that advisors can help clients navigate.
  • Flexibility in asset class inclusion, as plan sponsors can choose from as few as six asset classes to as many as nine asset classes.
  • Fiduciary oversight of the glidepath model and asset allocations.  On an annual basis, BlackRock will rebalance the glidepath model and asset classes.
  • The ability to choose from the full menu of investment managers and investment options offered through MassMutual.
  • The expertise of BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager and the creator of the first target date fund.

Managed Allocations is designed to be an alternative to MassMutual's CustomChoice StrategiesSM, an asset allocation program that enables advisors who act in a fiduciary capacity to take a more active role in creating the allocations and glidepath.

"MassMutual's data on plan participants indicates that asset allocation strategies and target date funds are growing in popularity, especially with younger retirement savers," Wietsma said. "Assets within these investment strategies have grown 39 percent in the past five years, indicating that investors are voting with their feet as returns rise."

For more information about MassMutual Retirement, please contact your financial professional or call MassMutual at 1-800-874-2502, option 4.

About BlackRock
BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At March 31, 2014, BlackRock's AUM was $4.401 trillion. BlackRock helps clients meet their goals and overcome challenges with a range of products that include separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, as of March 31, 2014, the firm had approximately 11,500 employees in more than 30 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa. For additional information, please visit the Company's website at www.blackrock.com.

About MassMutual
Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. 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 policyowners 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 Retirement 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 2.8 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 ©2014 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and affiliates, Springfield, MA 01111-0001. All rights reserved.

Contact: David Potter
MassMutual Retirement Services
860-562-1525
dpotter@massmutual.com

Lauren Post
BlackRock Jessica Barry
212-810-3665
lauren.post@blackrock.com

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140707/124737

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