Delivering on our promises so you can deliver on yours…

Ian Cahill

By Ian Cahill, FSA, MAAA, CERA
Head of Pension Risk Transfer Pricing & Underwriting for Institutional Solutions at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual).
Posted on Sep 1, 2020

Building trust with our clients and delivering on our promises is a legacy of which we are proud at MassMutual. Our commitment to service excellence is evidenced by our many long-standing client relationships that span over a half a century. Over sixty years ago, one particular client entrusted us to serve their pension plan. After more than a half-century of successful defined benefit (DB) plan administration, the client decided that it was time to prepare to bring their legacy pension plan to a close.

By delivering on our promise, we helped them navigate the intricacies of plan termination in a way that enabled them to deliver on their promise to their employees. Here’s more:

With a myriad of complex fiduciary, regulatory, and investment requirements, the project required a highly sophisticated level of expertise. Together with the client’s intermediary, MassMutual’s team designed specific strategies to achieve the client’s goals over the years. To unwind the plan, the selected approach leveraged a variety of techniques including lump sum windows, a plan spin-off, and a pension risk transfer.

  • 2013 – The plan sponsor decided to begin unwinding the plan.
  • 2014 - As a first step, the team worked to get the plan to a fully funded status over time. With periodic plan and investment review meetings, investments were managed closely, and contributions were made to the plan. The plan achieved a fully funded status, and a lump sum payout project was executed.
  • 2018 - The plan sponsor significantly reduced the costs and risks associated with the plan through an additional lump sum payout window and a plan spin-off. The newly established DB plan is administered at MassMutual.
  • 2019 - A competitive search was administered for the group annuity provider with the knowledge that a buy-out is an irrevocable transaction with fiduciary implications. Once again, MassMutual was selected as the service provider of choice.

With the exemplary service and expertise provided by MassMutual, the plan sponsor was able to provide its employees a robust defined benefit program for over fifty years. Today, we proudly serve the surviving plan delivering the employer’s promise to 118 participants.

What’s more, the 564 annuitants will continue to receive the exemplary service to which they are accustomed including simple and secure mobile access to their pension annuity account. And, we continue to deliver on the employer’s promise with guaranteed payments to the them through the group annuity solution.

To learn more about how we can help you mange the costs and risks associated with administering your pension plan, or about our pension risk transfer and buy-out solutions, please contact us today at


The information provided is not written or intended as specific tax or legal advice. MassMutual, its subsidiaries, employees and representatives are not authorized to give tax or legal advice. You are encouraged to seek advice from your own tax or legal counsel. Opinions expressed by those interviewed are their own, and do not necessarily represent the views of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.