The Intersection of Hollywood & Planning

A Pop Diva Answers Retirement Savings Questions

Mass Mutual enlists Sarah Bernard, star of daytime talk TV, to help connect with retirement plan savers

ENFIELD, Conn. – Sarah Bernard, pop culture diva, is omnipresent on talk show TV. There is nothing she is afraid to tackle, from Hugh Grant’s tabloid troubles to busting beauty myths with Hoda and Kourtney on the Today Show.

Now, Ms. Bernard is taking on perhaps her greatest challenge: moderating a panel of financial experts who answer questions about retirement savings from participants in MassMutual’s 401(k) and other retirement savings plans.

It’s part of a new program, MassMutual RetireSMARTFAQSM, where retirement plan savers can submit questions about retirement planning topics during educational webinars or online at The questions are then answered by personal finance and other financial experts.

Real People, Real Problems

“Hosting MassMutual’s RetireSMARTFAQ program is a terrific opportunity to help real people solve real problems about preparing for retirement,” Ms. Bernard said. “I’m not a retirement planning expert, so I can really empathize with folks who are trying to learn what the best approach is.”

MassMutual annually hosts a series of educational webinars on retirement planning that typically attract thousands of retirement plan participants. One in five webinar attendees on average increase their contributions to their retirement savings plan and scores ask questions about retirement savings and planning, according to MassMutual’s 2014 retirement plan participant surveys.1

“Whenever we sponsor a webinar, we always get more questions than we can handle in the 60-minute format,” explained Heather Smiley, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, MassMutual Retirement Services. “MassMutual RetireSMARTFAQ is an extension of our educational programming and is designed to help retirement plan participants get information by connecting them with acknowledged experts. We think Sarah will be a real asset in helping make our program engaging, fun and informative.”

Got Questions?

MassMutual RetireSMARTFAQ is a simple online tool that allows participants to submit questions both during webinars or at any other time. The questions are answered by a panel of financial experts:

  • Farnoosh Torabi: Best-selling author, personal finance journalist and Millennial money coach;
  • Dr. Jerry Webman, Ph.D., CFA: Chief Economist for Oppenheimer Funds;
  • Elisabeth Leamy: TV journalist, author, and consumer advocate; and
  • Gary Schatsky: Personal finance journalist, attorney and financial advisor.
RetireSMARTFAQ is an extension of our educational programming and is designed to help retirement plan participants get information by connecting them with acknowledged experts

As part of the launch of this new tool, participants had the opportunity to get answers during the June 24 video broadcast and webinar, “Got Questions?” Answers were provided during the webinar as time permitted and then after the webinar by email. Anyone can watch a recording of the webinar at

The first webinar was the first of several. Ms. Bernard says she is up to the task. “I relish the opportunity to dig into retirement planning issues,” Ms. Bernard said. “I have so much respect for Farnoosh, Jerry, Elisabeth and Gary, and their ability to help people navigate the world of personal finance. I’m hoping to learn some new things myself and have fun along the way.”

For more information about MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division, please contact your financial professional or call MassMutual at 1-800-874-2502, option 4.




About MassMutual
Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyowners consistently since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company’s strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.
For more information, visit or find MassMutual on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest. For information regarding MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division, you may also or find us on and
Copyright ©2015 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and affiliates, Springfield, MA 01111-0001. All rights reserved. 1MassMutual 2014 Engagement and Feedback to Participant Surveys Sarah Bernard is an independent writer/consultant and is not an employee of MassMutual.