The Principal Rolls out Revised Disclosures to Plan Sponsors, Five Months Ahead of DOL Deadline
New fee summary gets high marks from financial professionals
November 7, 2011 (Des Moines, Iowa) – To help ensure plan sponsors are prepared for new Department of Labor requirements on provider disclosures to fiduciaries, the Principal Financial Group® is rolling out revised materials five months ahead of the deadline.
Beginning this week, plan sponsor clients and their financial professionals have access to all the revamped disclosures required by the new DOL regulation— including a redesigned fee summary—well in advance of the April 1, 2012 effective date.
“We’re going above and beyond the requirements by delivering revised disclosures to plan sponsors ahead of time in easy to use formats, which gives them peace of mind,” said Greg Burrows, senior vice president of retirement and investor services at The Principal®. “Most of our revised materials were ready last spring. We’re rolling them out to plan sponsors now after spending the past several months educating them about what to expect. Our goal is to make sure sponsors understand the fees they are paying for the services they are receiving so they can fulfill their fiduciary duties.”
The Principal began delivering the redesigned and streamlined summary of fees to new clients in July and started unveiling it to existing clients beginning November 1, 2011. The new summary displays the most important information on the first two pages, as requested by financial professionals and plan sponsors.
“While we were already providing most of this information, we held focus groups and conducted interviews with plan sponsors and financial professionals to improve how we delivered it—making sure disclosures are clear, meaningful and easy to find,” said Burrows. “When we tested the revised fee summary with financial professionals, over 90 percent said it was exceptional; giving it high marks for clarity and ease in locating the key information.”
The Principal also launched a new online disclosure landing page where sponsors can find required information on investments, fees, fiduciary status and services in one place. This site is not required by the current interim final regulation but The Principal developed it to make it even easier for plan sponsors and financial professionals to access information.
Plan sponsor disclosure to participants
The DOL has also issued a regulation changing how plan sponsors communicate fees and investments to participants. While the first compliance date for most sponsors is in May of 2012, The Principal has already made a number of changes to make it easier for plan sponsors to comply and will unveil a new online participant disclosure resource center in mid-November.
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
- A website specifically for financial professionals principal.com/disclosureguide
- Two white papers authored by noted ERISA experts at Davis & Harman, LLP
- Webinars for financial professionals and plan sponsors
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®) is a global investment management leader including retirement services, insurance solutions and asset management. The Principal offers businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement, asset management and insurance through its diverse family of financial services companies. Founded in 1879 and a member of the FORTUNE 500®, the Principal Financial Group has $320.8 billion in assets under management and serves some 17.8 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 plan administrative services are provided by Principal Life Insurance Company a member of the Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®), Des Moines, IA 50392.
- “The Principal Financial Group” and “The Principal” are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
- As of September 30, 2011.