Participants in employer-based retirement plans are showing no signs of panic in the face of a market downturn, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company finds.

MassMutual’s retirement services division looked at data for the second quarter for participants in retirement plans it administers and found 96% of them either maintained or increased their savings rates.

Despite a decline in the prices on the S&P 500 Index of 11.4% in the quarter, average balances fell by only 3.26% in accounts it managed, reports MassMutual, Springfield, Mass.

The company attributes its participants’ calmness partly to an increased percentage of assets allocated to stable value and bond investments.

The percentage of participant assets in equity investments declined from 41.1% to 38.4% during the quarter, with stable value increasing from 26.3% to 28.4% and investment in bonds increasing from 7.6% to 8.6%, MassMutual says. The percentage in target-date and target-risk asset allocation investments was relatively unchanged.

tt