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New Tools Ease Burden of Major New Retirement Plan Reporting Rules

Guides from The Principal Help Plan Sponsors with Form 5500 and Plan Financial Statement Changes

(Des Moines, Iowa) — Employers who sponsor retirement plans face rigorous new reporting requirements at the end of this calendar year. To comply, they need to start collecting and saving extensive additional data now.

The Principal Financial Group® has unveiled new tools to help ease the additional administrative burden on plan sponsors that comes with new Form 5500 and retirement plan financial statement (FAS No. 157) requirements.

"These are sweeping changes in retirement plan reporting. For the first time, plan sponsors will have to formally document information they haven't had to set in writing before," said Aaron Friedman, national non-profit practice leader for The Principal®. "That will be no small task. Our new tools will help them collect and file the information they need and understand how to report it when the time comes."

Sponsors are getting hit with new requirements from two separate agencies:

  • The Department of Labor (DOL) now requires additional information on fees and expenses for the Form 5500 Annual Report and mandates that it be filed electronically for the 2009 plan year.
  • The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) now requires more disclosures on retirement plan financial statements about the fair value measurements being used in valuing the plans assets or investments.

"Plan sponsors have the ultimate responsibility for the accuracy and thoroughness of their Form 5500 and plan's financial statements. The new rules will require an even greater level of fiduciary involvement," said Friedman. "Our educational materials will help sponsors manage those increased fiduciary responsibilities."

The comprehensive set of tools from The Principal helps plan sponsors get a jump-start on meeting the new requirements. They include:

  • A white paper: The Road to Transparency: Form 5500 Annual Reporting, 403(b) Plans and Fair Value Measurements (FAS 157)
  • An easy-to-use Form 5500 Quick Reference Guide
  • An in-depth review of Value and Reporting of Retirement Plan Assets—FAS No. 157
  • A plain language fiduciary handbook: Understanding and Managing Fiduciary Responsibility

Friedman adds, "Our materials include special information for ERISA 403(b) sponsors—which they will need. This will be the first time those plans will have to file a full Form 5500."

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 $287.4 billion in assets under management[2] and serves some 19.0 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.

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[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 September 30, 2008
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Call 515.246.4907 or see the full Media Relations contact list.

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