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MassMutual to Launch CustomChoice StrategiesSM Powered by Morningstar® Associates


Easy-to-Use Solution Allows Retirement Plans to Offer Allocation Strategies Customized to Needs of Plan Participants

(Springfield, MA) - MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division will introduce CustomChoice StrategiesSM on August 6. This innovative tool allows employers and authorized advisors to make plan-specific investment options available to the participants in their retirement plans based on a target retirement date, investment objective, or a combination of the two, using a plan’s existing investment lineup.

Plans can offer these custom strategies using asset allocation models developed by Morningstar Associates, LLC and delivered through a user-friendly, Web-based interface. Morningstar Associates is a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. Plan sponsors can select options from the plan’s investment lineup to meet Morningstar Associates’ target asset allocations, or they can adjust those asset allocation targets within preset ranges to further align them with the demographics of the plan’s participant base.

“MassMutual’s CustomChoice Strategies also creates an opportunity for retirement plan advisors to provide additional value to plan sponsors and participants. If an advisor is assuming an investment fiduciary role, CustomChoice Strategies offers an easy-to-use solution that makes it easy to develop and implement unique investment strategies. Whether the plan uses target retirement date, risk-based models or a combination of the two, CustomChoice Strategies offers a custom solution that has many advantages over off-the-shelf alternatives,” says Paul Steven Henry, vice president of product development for MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division. “In all cases, CustomChoice Strategies builds upon the screening that has already been completed to create a plan’s investment lineup, which can help simplify fiduciary oversight. Participants also benefit from easy-to-use investment options that can align well with their individual investment objectives.”

Key features of MassMutual’s CustomChoice Strategies include:

* Strategies reflect plan objectives and participant demographics
* CustomChoice Strategies can be based on:
o Target retirement dates in five- or 10-year increments, or
o Three, four or five lifestyle categories, or
o A blend of target retirement dates in 10-year increments, each with three lifestyle categories
* Using options in the investment lineup to create the customized strategies can simplify fiduciary oversight
* Customized model strategies are listed among the investment options available to participants in enrollment materials and on the Web site
* Morningstar will review the asset allocation targets annually, and the sponsor or advisor will be advised to review and re-authorize the custom strategies

“CustomChoice Strategies provides a customized alternative to typical, fund-of-fund target retirement date and lifestyle solutions,” says Hugh O’Toole, senior vice president and head of MassMutual Retirement Services Division’s national sales and distribution organization. “MassMutual is the first provider to deliver a product that combines a simple, Web-based asset allocation modeling tool powered by Morningstar Associates with this level of investment flexibility. We are excited to offer this innovative way for advisors acting as plan investment fiduciaries to leverage the investment due diligence they are already providing. CustomChoice Strategies is a meaningful way for them to add value to their sponsor and participant relationships,” he adds.

“One of the great features of MassMutual’s CustomChoice Strategies solution is that, in a few easy steps, sponsors, or their advisors, can essentially design a series of model strategies that are specific to the retirement plan. It’s a natural evolution of the all-in-one investment offerings that have been popular,” adds Brock Johnson, vice president of Morningstar Associates.

Plan sponsors who are interested in more information about MassMutual’s CustomChoice Strategies should contact their retirement plan advisor. Retirement plan advisors interested in additional information or a demonstration of CustomChoice Strategies should contact their MassMutual sales representative or call MassMutual at 1-888-626-4911,


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