MassMutual Retirement Figures Indicate Women Closing In On Men, Improved Savings Overall

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Women are getting closer to men in the amount of money they have saved for retirement and the rates at which they save, according to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company’s analysis of its retirement accounts.

The average deferral rate for women was 5.38 percent for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with 5.81 percent for men. Women increased their deferral rate by 1.6 percent while men increased theirs by 1.2 percent for the quarter.

The average amount of money in retirement accounts for women has been gradually closing for 10 financial quarters. The average amount in a retirement account for women was below that of men by 40.49 percent in the third quarter of 2010 and 38.25 percent by the end of 2012.

“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,” Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president of MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division, said in a prepared statement.

Other points of interest in the data:

  • 72 percent of women are in age-based investment strategies compared with 52 percent of men. The remainder of men are in risk-based strategies.
  • The percentage of people taking a loan from their retirement accounts was lower during the fourth quarter of 2012 than any fourth-quarter in the past five years.

About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by Politico.com, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (businessjournalism.org, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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