MassMutual’s retirement services arm announced record sales and net cash flows in the first quarter.

The company, which reported record sales last year, said retirement plan sales from Jan. 1 through March 31 were $1.8 billion, 40% higher than a year earlier and net cash flows reached $1.2 billion, marking the quarterly results in the Springfield, Mass., based company's 65 years in the retirement plan business, according to a press release issued Monday.

The company said the strong momentum is result of multiple factors, including strong advisor and sponsor satisfaction levels and market-leading retirement income planning tools at the plan and participant level, according to Elaine Sarsynski, the executive vice president of MassMutual's retirement services division and chairman and CEO of MassMutual International LLC.

"Last year set records on virtually every metric and we are thrilled that 2012 is shaping up to be another great year for MassMutual Retirement Services," she said. "Repeat business from retirement plan advisors in every market ... is also very robust as is our stable value pipeline. Advisors and sponsors are making the flight to quality and recognize that MassMutual has the expertise and support they seek regardless of the unique challenges they face."

Assets under management in retirement plans administered by MassMutual increased 10% to $64.2 billion from a year earlier.