MassMutual Launches Fiduciary Warranty and Third-Party Certification

MassMutual's Retirement Services Division has officially introduced its new Fiduciary Warranty to qualifying plans that include investment options available through MassMutual's Smart Architecture Investment Program.

MassMutual’s Fiduciary Warranty is designed to help protect plan fiduciaries from a legal judgment that results in damages attributable to a breach in the warranty, the company said in a press release. The warranty will provide specified assurances to plan fiduciaries in several critical areas including:

  • independent certification that Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) standards of fiduciary prudence have been applied to investment identification, screening and monitoring,
  • independent certification that investment options under MassMutual’s Smart Architecture Investment Program provide a suitable basis for plan participants to construct well-diversified investment portfolios for retirement,
  • the requirement under Section 404(c) of ERISA to offer a broad range of investment alternatives will be satisfied if the designated asset categories are selected, and
  • default investment options made available include balanced and target date investments that meet the Department of Labor’s proposed requirements for Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIA).

A Separate Certification Program

Alongside the Fiduciary Warranty will be a separate, third-party certification program to be provided by Mesirow Financial. The Investment Strategies group at Mesirow Financial will perform an annual evaluation to certify that MassMutual’s investment identification, screening, and monitoring processes are consistent with ERISA standards of fiduciary prudence, and that the investments on MassMutual’s platform are suitable for individuals investing for retirement, the news release said.

Mesirow Financial’s annual evaluation will focus on MassMutual’s process, which uses quantitative and qualitative factors including investment performance, style consistency, manager tenure, investment philosophy, and expenses.

“Our independent evaluation of MassMutual’s investment selection process offers advisers, plan sponsors and plan participants added assurance that MassMutual’s investment selection process is sound,” said Mark Kowalczyk, managing director of Mesirow Financial’s Investment Strategies group, in the news release.

For additional information about the third-party certification program and terms and conditions of the Fiduciary Warranty, call 866-444-2601 or e-mail