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Good Governance: Making Retirement Plan Decisions the Right Way

The Principal creates in-depth guide for financial professionals and their clients

September 27, 2011 (Des Moines, Iowa) – Establishing and operating a retirement plan for employees is a big job that is not without risks. Developing solid processes for making plan decisions not only helps alleviate risk but also lays the groundwork for a more successful plan.

A new guide from the Principal Financial Group® provides an in-depth look at how to develop such processes through retirement plan governance. Good Governance, A Guide for Retirement Plan Sponsors offers 10 steps to good retirement plan governance, along with tips and sample documents. Financial professionals can use the guide to help clients evaluate their processes.

“Retirement plan governance is not a new concept but it rarely gets as much attention as fiduciary responsibility,” said Paul Brown, vice president, retirement and investor services, The Principal. “Governance goes beyond fiduciary duties and encompasses all actions undertaken in the administration and management of the plan. Financial professionals who are the first to bring this in-depth guide to clients or prospects will demonstrate tremendous value.”

The guide maps out 10 steps to good retirement plan governance and can be adapted to the unique needs of each company. To help financial professionals begin a conversation with clients about retirement plan governance, The Principal offers

  • A financial professional’s guide for facilitating a governance discussion with clients
  • A booklet with fact finding questions for all 10 steps to good governance

“This is a conversation that will continue throughout the life of a plan,” said Brown. “Good retirement plan governance establishes the rules of the road for retirement plan decisions. It involves decision making processes used for all aspects of a retirement plan throughout its life cycle. It’s about making decisions the right way.”

Even financial professionals who have existing retirement plan governance programs are finding value in the new guide.

“At Lockton Retirement Services, governance has long been at the foundation of our services, said Sam Henson, senior ERISA counsel. “We have a very thorough and objective process in place to assist clients with the governance of employer-sponsored plans, including qualified, non-qualified, and other executive benefit programs. Governance of these plans is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. As such, we work with our clients’ individual needs to ensure they are in compliance with all regulations related to ERISA, the Department of Labor, and the IRS.”

Henson added, “The importance of a strong governance program cannot by understated. The guide developed by The Principal is a great start and one of the most comprehensive yet easy-to-use resources we’ve seen.”

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 $335.8 billion in assets under management[2] and serves some 16.5 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.

While this communication may be used to promote or market a transaction or an idea that is discussed in the publication, it is intended to provide general information about the subject matter covered and is provided with the understanding that none of the member companies of The Principal is rendering legal, accounting, or tax advice. It is not a marketed opinion and may not be used to avoid penalties under the Internal Revenue Code. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all matters pertaining to legal, tax, or accounting obligations and requirements.

[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, 2011.

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