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New Survey Shows Americans Need to Resume Saving and Planning for Retirement

March 9, 2010 (Des Moines, IA) - A new survey shows that Americans' confidence in their ability to retire appears to be stabilizing - but it also shows the importance of resuming saving and planning if they want a comfortable retirement, according to the Principal Financial Group®.

The 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey, released today by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in Washington, also finds that many American workers are planning to postpone retirement, and that their self-described preparations for retirement continue to erode.

"Americans are starting to feel more optimistic about their financial futures and now is the time to back that up with action," said Daniel J. Houston, president of retirement, insurance and financial services at The Principal®. "Get started by figuring out how much may be needed for retirement and create a plan to get there. Keep spending in check and make savings a priority."

The Principal is a long-time underwriter of the annual survey. Among the key findings in the 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey, available on the EBRI Web site at www.ebri.org:

  • Americans' confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement is leveling off, as economic volatility has settled down. The Retirement Confidence Survey measured record-low drops in public confidence in 2008 and 2009.
  • However, preparations for retirement seem to be getting worse, as a growing percentage of workers report they have virtually no savings and investments. More than half of workers say they have less than $25,000 in total savings and investments, excluding their homes.
  • Less than half of all workers say they have tried to calculate how much they need to save for retirement.
  • A growing number of American workers say they are planning to delay retirement, due to the need to replace investment losses and obtain or pay for health insurance.

"Working longer is one way to help fund retirement but the research shows that a significant number of workers end up having to quit sooner than planned because of health issues or layoffs," said Houston. "All the more reason for workers to give themselves more options by saving effectively in the first place."

The RCS, now in its 20th year, is the longest-running survey of its kind on attitudes toward retirement in America. The Principal Financial Group is among the more than 30 organizations that provided funding for the 2010 RCS. Full results are on the EBRI Web site at www.ebri.org.

More information on savings tools and resources are online at www.principal.com and www.choosetosave.org .

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 $284.7 billion in assets under management[2] and serves some 18.9 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 plan administrative services are provided by Principal Life Insurance Company, a member of the Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®), Des Moines, IA 50392.

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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 December 31, 2009.
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Call 515.246.4907 or see the full Media Relations contact list.

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