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The Principal is Ready for New Retirement Plan Disclosure Rules

More information on fees, investments and services, even easier to find and understand

May 16, 2011 (Des Moines, IA) - The Principal Financial Group® is ready—months ahead of the deadlines—to meet new retirement plan disclosure regulations and to help financial professionals and plan sponsors comply. 

The new rules from the Department of Labor require changes in how service providers and plan sponsors communicate fees, investments and other retirement plan information.

The Principal® will begin to make the first of the new disclosures available to plan sponsors in August, months ahead of the April 1, 2012, provider disclosure deadline.

“We have everything in place to meet the requirements. We’ve modified our disclosures as a provider and updated statements and notices to help plan sponsors meet their fiduciary obligations,”said Greg Burrows, senior vice president of retirement and investor services at The Principal.  “While we’ve provided much of the required information, we seized this opportunity to enhance how it is presented to make sure disclosures are clear, meaningful and even easier to understand. We tested our concepts with plan sponsors, financial professionals and participants and revised them until they passed with flying colors.”

The intent of the regulations is to make it easier for participants to compare fees and investments and for plan sponsors to ensure that fees are reasonable for services provided. Burrows said The Principal got ready ahead of time to help financial professionals and their clients feel more comfortable in their ability to comply.

“Our firm has spent a considerable amount of time preparing our clients for the disclosure changes but the logistical and administrative challenges are still overwhelming to many plan sponsors,” said Chad J. Larsen, president of Moreton Retirement Partners in Denver, Colorado. “Some retirement plan vendors will not be prepared. I’m not worried about our clients who work with The Principal because I’ve seen what they will be rolling out well in advance of the deadlines. It is easy to follow and understand. They really hit the mark.”

Ready to go

Some of the changes made by The Principal for disclosures to plan sponsors include:

  • A redesigned and streamlined summary of fees based on feedback from plan sponsors and financial professionals
  • An interactive services webpage that helps plan sponsors review at-a-glance services available and used by the plan        
  • An online disclosure landing page where plan sponsors can find the required information in one place

The Principal has also developed resources to make it easier for plan sponsors to make required disclosures to participants including:

  • Additional fee, plan and investment information in enrollment kits beginning in the fall
  • New annual notices about plan fees and investments available for plan sponsors to deliver to participants beginning in November
  • A new easy to understand investment comparison chart
  • Modifications to the participant web site and quarterly participant statements to display fees in dollars

Ongoing education and resources

The Principal has been offering in-depth education and information since the regulations were unveiled, including:

  • A dedicated online resource center www.principal.com/feedisclosure  
  • Two white papers authored by noted ERISA expert Jamey Delaplane of Davis & Harman, LLP
  • Webinars for financial professionals and plan sponsors  

The Principal will add additional resources to help financial professionals and plan sponsors as they implement the new disclosures.

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.

Chad J. Larsen and Moreton Retirement Partners are not affiliated with the Principal Financial Group or any of its member companies.

[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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Call 515.246.4907 or see the full Media Relations contact list.

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