SOURCE: Putnam Investments

Putnam Investments

December 13, 2010 14:53 ET

Putnam Investments Honored for Innovative 401(k) Plan That Offers Targeted Incentives and Advanced Planning Tools

Plan Redesign Sparks Increase in Both Employee Participation and Savings Rates

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - December 13, 2010) - In recognition of the redesigned 401(k) defined-contribution plan it offers to its own employees, Putnam Investments has been named a recipient of the New England Employee Benefits Council's "Best Benefits Practices of 2010" award. The redesign of the retirement plan has significantly increased employee participation and savings rates.

Putnam's 401(k) plan, which already incorporated many of the best practices in retirement plans, such as automatic enrollment and automatic escalation of savings rates, was redesigned to become more creative, motivational and results-oriented. The plan also seeks to motivate workers by shifting how they view their retirement savings through Putnam's Lifetime Income(SM) Analysis Tool, which enables plan participants to model how much income their savings might generate in retirement, and determine if they are on track to have sufficient income to maintain their current lifestyle once they stop working.

"Our plan redesign incorporates the same popular features we offer to our plan sponsor clients," said Edmund F. Murphy III, Director, Defined Contribution Services at Putnam Investments. "We wanted to encourage employees to maximize their retirement savings through both a targeted match of their contributions and a new, outcome-oriented educational approach to retirement planning. The response thus far from our employees is very encouraging."

The participation rate in Putnam's 401(k) plan increased from 78 percent in 2009 to 92 percent this year, and the percentage of employee pay deferred to the 401(k) plan increased from 6.9 percent in 2009 to 8.8 percent this year. Nearly all (94%) of the participating employees contribute more than the 5 percent of pay matched by Putnam, with 32 percent contributing 10 percent or more of pay.

"This is a case of eating your own cooking and growing healthier because of it," continued Murphy. "For both the Putnam plan and for the plans we tailor for each of our clients, we are using both common-sense best practices and advanced analytical and planning tools to help employees prepare for retirement, and the changes we have made have resulted in dramatic improvements."

Putnam Investments and Retirement
Since Robert L. Reynolds, a 30-year veteran of the retirement savings industry, became Putnam's president and chief executive officer in 2008, the company has deepened its commitment to the retirement market and launched a series of innovations and initiatives to meet emerging customer needs. This year, Putnam has launched a series of retirement initiatives, including a Lifetime Income(SM) Analysis Tool for plan participants, and new levels of fee transparency disclosures in its effort to provide the clearest, most complete overview of fees and expenses in the workplace savings industry.

Putnam also has expanded the services it offers to 401(k) retirement plans and developed products to meet the needs of those planning for or already in retirement. The firm has created a platform that provides flexible and scalable services and solutions for advisors, consultants and their plan sponsor clients in every segment of the retirement market.

Putnam RetirementReady® Funds, the firm's suite of 10 target-date/lifecycle retirement funds, added Absolute Return Funds* to its mix of underlying investments. RetirementReady Funds became the only suite of lifecycle funds to integrate absolute return strategies, which seek positive returns over a period of three years with less volatility than more traditional mutual funds. Employed in retirement portfolios, Putnam Absolute Return Funds are intended to pursue positive returns in up and down markets, to help protect against the harmful effects of adverse investment returns, and to seek to reduce volatility.

About Putnam Investments
Founded in 1937, Putnam Investments is a leading global money management firm with over 70 years of investment experience. The firm was recently named "Mutual Fund Manager of the Year" by Institutional Investor. At the end of November 2010, Putnam had $118 billion in assets under management. Putnam has offices in Boston, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Singapore, and Sydney. For more information, visit putnam.com.

Putnam mutual funds are distributed by Putnam Retail Management.

* Putnam's Absolute Return Funds are not intended to outperform stocks and bonds during strong market rallies.

Contact Information