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As Benefit Budgets Tighten, Voluntary Benefits Offer Breathing Room

The Principal Financial Group introduces enhanced voluntary benefits.

September 24, 2009 (Des Moines, IA) - Rising medical costs and a slowing economy leave many employers wondering how to do more with less. Voluntary Benefits Edge from the Principal Financial Group® enables employers to offer a robust benefits package at a lower cost.

"Employers taking a closer look at their benefit budgets are feeling the financial squeeze, but also realize retaining valued employees in the current environment is critical. Voluntary benefits allow employers to offer attractive benefits at a lower cost for both the employer and their employees," said Amy Friedrich, vice president of the Specialty Benefits Division of The Principal®. "We're seeing an increase in our customers offering voluntary benefits because they realize it's a win-win situation for their business budget and their biggest asset, employees."

Through voluntary benefits, employers offer a wide range of benefits to employees at no cost to the employer. Employees have access to these benefits at the workplace and receive a lower group rate and the convenience of paying for their benefits through payroll deduction. To make the process even easier, The Principal now has online enrollment for voluntary benefits. Both English and Spanish-speaking employees enter their own benefit elections online, significantly reducing paperwork and administrative expense for the employer.

"Employees often find the process of selecting benefits complicated and confusing. Plus, our experience shows employees want help in planning for their long-term financial future," said Friedrich. "Combined with the fact that many employers have limited time to educate and direct employees in making benefit decisions, our simplified enrollment and worksite education provide a much needed service."

Education at Work

Since employers have a wide range of priorities when it comes to education and enrollment, The Principal works with employers to create a customized enrollment strategy and benefit education program for voluntary benefits. Ranging from group meetings to one-on-one meetings, education programs feature working directly with a salaried financial professional at the worksite. Using an interactive needs analysis tool, these financial professionals help employees identify gaps in insurance and financial protection and then prioritize and select the most appropriate type of voluntary benefits both inside and outside of the group program.

For more information about employee benefit programs from The Principal, please contact your Principal Financial Group representative or visit www.principal.com

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.

Insurance products and services issues by Principal Life Insurance Company.

[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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