Women, especially millennials, are responding more favorably to retirement education campaigns than men are, according to MassMutual Retirement Services. The company found savings rates are increasing among women and in some cases surpassing those of men.
“The longer-term trends show women are taking retirement savings more seriously and in some instances are now eclipsing men,” Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president for MassMutual Retirement Services, said in a statement. “MassMutual is seeing increases in the rates that women respond to campaigns to boost their retirement savings. We’re now finding that women’s retirement savings account balances in defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s are climbing faster than men’s.”
The average 401(k) balance among women increased 17% over the past year and is up 71% since 2009. Furthermore, the gap in average balance between men and women fell almost three points since 2010 to 37.8%.
Women in the 18- to 34-year-old age band outperformed other women “by far and, interestingly enough, [have] done so year over year,” Shannon Caminiti, head of MassMutual’s retirement plan participant experience, told ThinkAdvisor on Thursday. Millennial women “outperformed the 2013 campaign by 38%, and our 2012 campaign by 55%. What we’re doing is working, and we try to continue to make sure that our messaging, our imagery is relevant and targeted.”
Caminiti suggested email has a lot to do with younger women’s higher response rate. “That generation has grown up with [email]. There never hasn’t been email” for them, she said. “Everything has been instant and immediate, and email feels very comfortable” for them.
She said they receive very high rates of email responses “because it’s in front of you, you can act on it and move on. That’s just a very natural approach for that demographic.”