MassMutual Reintroduces Small Employer 401(k) Solution

MassMutual Retirement Services is targeting employers with less than $15 million in retirement plan assets with the MassMutual Aviator 401(k) solution.

MassMutual Aviator is designed to offer small plans ease of administration; reduction of fees as assets increase; educational tools and support to help employees save and prepare for retirement; and an expanded selection of highly rated investment options.

Bill Silvanic, senior vice president for retirement products, says the firm is focused on making it easier for small businesses to offer effective retirement plans—including employers with fewer than 100 full-time employees.

MassMutual says the small business market offers tremendous opportunity for retirement plan service providers. The U.S. General Accountability Office estimated in 2013 that only 14% of employers with fewer than 100 employees sponsored a retirement savings plan. At the same time, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that up to 35% of the U.S. workforce is employed by small businesses.

Initially available through The Hartford’s Retirement Service Group before it was purchased by MassMutual in 2013, Aviator is being reintroduced with several enhancements, including a new line up of investment options and money managers. Aviator’s nonproprietary platform of investment options includes some strategies not available from any other recordkeepers, according to Silvanic. 

The investment choices include the MassMutual’s RetireSMART Funds, Premier Funds, and Select Funds, as well as a variety of stable value options and an expanded lineup of alternative investments. In addition, Aviator includes several features designed to help small businesses provide their employees with a comprehensive retirement savings and preparation program. These include a co-fiduciary and investment selection service offered through Mesirow Financial; the MassMutual Lifetime Income investment option, which allows plan participants to turn their retirement savings into retirement income by purchasing units of monthly income to cover their basic living expenses; and risk-based asset allocation.

Aviator also includes access to the RetireSMART retirement planning tools, including a website with a wide array of savings accumulation and income modeling tools for participants.

More information is available at