NEW YORK -- Online retirement calculators are usually so confusing or overwhelming that the average plan participant logs in, checks their account balance and then logs off without making any changes. Putnam Investments has developed a new retirement income twist it hopes will resonate with investors, plan sponsors and financial advisers.

"Complexity leads to inactivity," said Edmund Murphy, managing director and head of defined contribution at Putnam, at a presentation at the Four Seasons Hotel last week. "Participants find it hard to see how their balance turns into retirement income. They are told they need to save millions, and they just give up and turn off instead."

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