SOURCE: Putnam Investments

Putnam Investments

December 01, 2010 08:30 ET

Putnam Investments Honored for Outstanding Service to Retirement Plan Sponsors and Participants

Putnam Receives 25 Best-in-Class Awards in 2010 PLANSPONSOR Magazine Survey

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - December 1, 2010) - Putnam Investments, which has strengthened its commitment to the retirement market through new products and services for 401(k)s and other defined contribution plans, has received 25 "Best-in-Class" awards in PLANSPONSOR Magazine's new 2010 survey of defined contribution plan sponsors. The "Best-in-Class" awards are among the highest honors that retirement plan providers can receive, and reflect the opinions and reviews of each provider's own clients. 

Of Putnam's 25 "Best-in-Class" awards, 16 were for services to plan participants and nine for services to sponsors. Twelve were for service to clients in the small plan category (with assets between $5 million and $50 million) and 13 were for service to clients in the mid-sized category (with assets between $50 million and $200 million).

Reflective of the breadth of Putnam's service quality, the company received "Best-in-Class" awards in 11 of the 13 award categories for participants and eight of the 10 categories for plan sponsors.

Among other notable results from the survey:

  • A nearly-unanimous 97.9 percent of the Putnam clients surveyed said they would recommend Putnam to other plan sponsors.
  • Half of the plan sponsors surveyed have been Putnam clients for seven years or more, and the average participation rate among their workers is 76.7 percent, higher than the national average.
  • Putnam ranked in the first quartile in mid-market sponsor services.
  • Putnam ranked in the first quartile in mid-market participant services.

"On behalf of Putnam Investments, I'm proud that PLANSPONSOR Magazine has honored us this year with 25 of its 'Best-in-Class' awards for service to retirement plan sponsors and participants," said Edmund F. Murphy, III, Managing Director, Head of Defined Contribution, Putnam Investments. "These awards reflect the commitment we have made to retirement plans, their sponsors, participants and other stakeholders. I also want to thank our plan sponsor clients for expressing their confidence in us."

The "Best-in-Class" awards are based on the results of a survey of plan sponsors conducted annually by PLANSPONSOR Magazine, a leading retirement industry publication, in which ratings are based on an analysis of the responses that were both qualified and verified as the clients of each retirement plan provider. The Putnam ratings were based on a survey of 51 small- and mid-sized Putnam retirement plan clients.

Putnam's 2010 "Best-in-Class" PLANSPONSOR awards included:

Participant Service Awards

  • Participant Call Center (Midsized Plans)
  • Web Site Functionality (Midsized Plans)
  • Participant Statements (Small and Midsized Plans)
  • Loan/Withdrawal Processing (Small and Midsized Plans)
  • Retiree Services (Small Plans)
  • On-site Meetings (Small Plans)
  • Beneficiary Administration (Small Plans)
  • Fee Disclosure (Small Plans)
  • Education Program (Small and Midsized Plans)
  • Communication Materials (Small and Midsized Plans)
  • Enrollment Assistance (Small and Midsized Plans)

Sponsor Service Awards

  • Sponsor Web Site and Tools (Midsized Plans)
  • Plan Reporting/Benchmarking (Midsized Plans)
  • Legislative/Regulatory Updates (Midsized Plans)
  • Staff Consistency (Small and Midsized Plans)
  • Plan Design Flexibility (Small Plans)
  • "Cost to Value" of Plan Fees (Small Plans)
  • Account Representative Knowledge (Midsized Plans)

"Defined contribution retirement plans are expected to provide a growing share of employees' income after their working days, and sponsors need greater support from plan providers to assist their participants," said Murphy. "We strive to provide the products, services and support our clients need, and are pleased, and proud, to see our efforts recognized."

In October 2010, Putnam Investments began to offer transparent and comprehensive disclosure of fees and expenses to participants in the 401(k) plans it administers. The new disclosures are available online through Putnam's plan participant Web site, and expand upon the progressive efforts that the firm made in this area earlier this year, when it committed to offering clear, complete disclosure of all fees and expenses to retirement plan sponsors.

The expanded fee transparency is the latest in a series of innovations and initiatives to meet emerging needs among retirement plan sponsors and participants. Among these initiatives is a Lifetime Income(SM) Analysis Tool to assist plan participants in decision-making and expanded services for 401(k) plans, including 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.

"We continuously seek to reinforce a partnership between the advisor, the plan sponsor and Putnam. It is an honor to be recognized as one of the top providers, and one that truly understands the value of the retirement plan professional," said Murphy.

In addition to "Best-in-Class" awards in PLANSPONSOR Magazine's 2010 survey of defined contribution plan sponsors, Putnam has received a wide range of honors this year, most recently three major STAR awards, conferred by the Mutual Fund Education Alliance, a national association of mutual fund companies committed to investor education and dedicated to helping investors understand mutual funds and the benefits of long-term investing. Putnam also was honored by the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America in recognition of its profit-sharing and 401(k) plan communications and education with two 2010 Signature Gold Medal Awards. The company also has been feted this year by Institutional Investor, which named the company "Mutual Fund Manager of the Year," and the Lipper/Barron's Best Mutual-Fund Families Survey, which awarded Putnam the #1 ranking in the 2010 based on dramatic gains by individual funds and advancements across the entire fund complex in 2009.

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 October 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.

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