Putnam Investments was honored as the Retirement Leader of the Year at the 18th Annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards, presented by Fund Directions and Fund Action. This is the first time the award has been offered. The firm was recognized for its leadership initiatives and solutions in the workplace savings arena.

Robert Reynolds, CEO of Putnam“We are honored to be the first-ever recipient of this award,” Robert Reynolds (left), president and CEO of Putnam Investments, said in a statement. “There is an increasing need across the retirement savings industry – for plan sponsors, 401(k) participants, advisors and consultants, as well as policy makers, and importantly, plan providers – to define ways to help working Americans prepare financially for a dignified and sustainable high-quality retirement.”

Reynolds spoke at the Retirement Income Industry Association’s spring conference in March, calling on Congress to create an optional national insurance charter, and a lifetime income security agency with the ability to approve assured lifetime income products.

“There’s a new, very healthy wave of competition among asset managers and insurers to serve retirees’ income needs,” he said at the conference. “If we could create a new agency to hold these products to rigorous standards and back them with an industry-financed fund like the FDIC, we could see a real surge in consumers’ confidence and broad emergence of innovation from firms seeking to create lifetime income solutions for working and retired Americans. We need a partnership between private industry and public policy to make that happen.”

Putnam has implemented several initiatives to help advisors work with their clients on retirement planning. The company offers a suite of 10 target-date and lifecycle funds; the funds incorporate Putnam's Absolute Return funds, which seek positive returns of 1%, 3%, 5%, or 7% above inflation over a period of three years.

The Lifetime Income Analysis Tool, launched in January 2010 shows workers how much monthly income their savings will provide in retirement, and helps them determine if they're on track to maintain their current standard of living once they retire.