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Something's Gotta Give. And For Best Companies, It's Not Employee Benefits

Announcing: The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security – 2009

August 18, 2009 (Des Moines, IA) — For some growing companies, weathering the current financial environment means making changes but not cuts. Ten companies have earned national acclaim for using business smarts to offer their employees extraordinary benefits in the face of an economic storm.

The Principal® 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security – 2009 were selected by an independent panel of experts for maintaining extraordinary benefits programs and showing a remarkable commitment to employees and their financial well-being.

Winning companies didn't just maintain employee benefits, in many cases, they increased them. Judges also cited winners for helping employees make sense of a complicated, dynamic and stressful new economy.

"What sets The Principal 10 Best apart is the willingness and involvement of management to put significant effort into developing benefit programs that are meaningful to their employees, today," said 10 Best Judge David Wray, president, the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America (PSCA). "Unique benefits like stress management classes, credit education and review, and additional one-on-one meetings with financial experts all contribute to financial security."

This is the eighth consecutive year the Principal Financial Group® has sponsored the program, which honors growing companies (five – 1,000 employees) for their commitment to employees' financial security through outstanding employee benefit offerings.

The 2009 Winners are

  • ASCD, Alexandria, Va.
  • Credit Union West, Glendale, Ariz.
  • Kennebec Savings Bank, Augusta, Maine
  • Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, Knoxville, Tenn.
  • PriMed Management Consulting Services, Inc., San Ramon, Calif.
  • Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc. (PAR, Inc.), Lutz, Fla.
  • Shenandoah Shared Hospital Services, Inc., Harrisonburg, Va.
  • Synaptics Inc., Santa Clara, Calif.
  • The Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio
  • The Summit Federal Credit Union, Rochester, N.Y.

Profiles of the winners are available at www.principal.com/10best.

In the Best and Worst of Times

"These 10 companies face the same challenges as other businesses – securing new business, managing budgets and rising benefit costs. What makes The Principal 10 Best extraordinary is the priority they place on employee financial security," said Luke Vandermillen, vice president at The Principal®. "The winning companies see the direct connection between strong benefits, a strong workforce and a strong bottom line – in the best and worst of times."

The winning companies have turnover rates that are well below others in their industry, and significantly lower than the national average. The Principal 10 Best Companies’ average annual voluntary turnover rate is 8.9 percent, compared to the national average of 22.6 percent.

"Small- to mid-sized companies, in particular, need to generate significant productivity from their employees, along with strong employee loyalty, enthusiasm and customer service," said 10 Best Judge and director of management and consulting firm McKinsey & Company, Tim Welsh. "The benefit programs that are offered by all of the 10 Best companies really re-enforce their commitment to employees, while supporting vital business needs."

The Principal 10 Best Companies can be models for other growing businesses in their markets and industries, demonstrating fundamental best practices that can help a savvy organization withstand tough times.

Uncommon Companies – Common Threads

While The Principal 10 Best represent a diverse array of organizations – in size and industry – judges noted several clear trends:

  • Handling healthcare costs – winners worked hard to manage the cost of health care benefits; sharing significantly in the cost or premiums, passing decreases on to employees where possible and focusing on helping employees become better healthcare consumers
  • Pumped up wellness programs – there was a significant increase in the depth and breadth of wellness programs offered by The Principal 10 Best and a stronger focus on incorporating wellness into corporate culture; one company making participation mandatory for management
  • Buckling down on benefits winning companies did not cut benefits in the face of recession, citing the importance of providing employees stability and consistency during volatile times; many even increased benefit offerings; budget adjustments were made other ways, such as forgoing bonuses for management
  • Employees and the economy – companies provided additional support to help employees weather the economic storm financially, physically and emotionally; lowering anxiety and helping them make wise financial decisions

To learn more about the winners, visit www.principal.com/10 best. A full report on the benefits strategies of the winners will be published in January 2009.

About The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security

The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security is a national program that recognizes small – and medium – size companies that excel at giving their employees a financial edge. Entrants must:

  • Have between five and 1,000 employees
  • Be based in the United States
  • Have provided a broad range of employee benefits for at least five years
  • Offer traditional employee benefits such as retirement and health, life and/or disability insurance

No entry fee is required. Companies owned by employees of The Principal are not eligible to enter. For more information, visit www.principal.com/10best.

About the Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal ®)[1] is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance, and banking through its diverse family of financial services companies. A member of the Fortune 500, the Principal Financial Group has $257.7 billion in assets under management[2] and serves some 18.8 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit www.principal.com.

[1]
"The Principal Financial Group" and "The Principal" are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
[2]
As of June 30, 2009
Questions?

Call 515.246.4907 or see the full Media Relations contact list.

Call 515.246.4907 or see the full Media Relations contact list.

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