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The Principal Financial Group to Receive 2011 Freedom Award

Financial services leader receives honor for support of Guard and Reserve employees

June 2, 2011 (Des Moines, IA) - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) agency, has announced that the Principal Financial Group® is one of 15 recipients of the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the DoD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.

The Principal® stood out among a field of 4,049 nominations submitted by Guard and Reserve service members or their families. Freedom award recipients distinguish themselves by going to extraordinary lengths to support their military employees.

The Principal was nominated by Kerry Studer, assistant managing director, Principal Real Estate Investors and Army Reservist. In his nomination, Studer said his coworkers became additional parent figures in his absence, accompanying his wife and children to school and sporting events. The Principal also adopted the unit of their deployed service member, purchasing 300 sets of PT uniforms and 600 t-shirts, and mailing countless care packages.

“We are truly honored by this recognition from the ESGR but we are most humbled by our military employees who sacrifice to serve our country,” said Larry Zimpleman, chairman, president and CEO, The Principal. “To see our employees rally around each other in times of need speaks to the culture of The Principal—a culture of which I’m proud to be a part. On behalf of the employees of The Principal, we thank our service members for their commitment to our country.”

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Dennis McCarthy, noted, “To stand out among the many thousands of employers who firmly support our Citizen Warriors is a testament to the remarkable efforts of these 15 recipients. On behalf of the Department of Defense, I congratulate the 2011 honorees and thank them for serving as outstanding partners in our nation’s defense.”

On behalf of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a selection board comprised of senior DoD officials, business leaders and prior awardees selected the 15 recipients. The 2011 honorees will be recognized in Washington, D.C., at the 16th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony on Sept. 22, 2011. Since 1996, only 145 employers have been presented with the Freedom Award. Last year’s recipients met privately with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates prior to the ceremony.

For a full list of 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipients, visit: http://www.esgr.org.

For more news and insights from The Principal, connect with us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ThePrincipal.

About the Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®)[1] is a retirement and global asset management leader. The Principal offers businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement, investment services and insurance through its diverse family of financial services companies.  A member of the FORTUNE 500®, the Principal Financial Group has $327.4 billion in assets under management[2] and serves some 16.4 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.

[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 March 31, 2011.

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