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New Resource Helps Evaluate Retirement Plan Fees

The Principal offers comprehensive online hub to review fees, services and plan value

May 15, 2012 (Des Moines, Iowa) – With the deadline for new retirement plan disclosure regulations just around the corner, 89 percent of financial professionals[1] say their plan sponsor clients would value more education about plan fees.

The Principal Financial Group® has created a comprehensive online resource to help. Assessing Retirement Plan Value offers tips and tools for understanding and evaluating retirement plan fees, services and overall value.

Financial professionals can use the new resource to help clients comply with a key fiduciary obligation: evaluating whether plan fees are reasonable for the services received.

“There is more to assessing retirement plan fees than comparing numbers. The better informed plan sponsors are about the services received for those fees, the better equipped they are to make an effective evaluation,” said Greg Burrows, senior vice president of retirement and investor services at The Principal®. “Financial professionals can use our new online resource to help clients evaluate the overall value of the services the plan is receiving and then assess the reasonableness of the fees paid for those services.”

The online resource offers:

  • An explanation of retirement plan costs
  • Tips on how to review plan services
  • Help navigating cost considerations
  • Tips for evaluating fee reasonableness
  • Tips for addressing participant questions

The Principal also offers a new Fee Reasonableness Review Checklist, a sample template financial professionals can share with plan fiduciaries to help guide them through the evaluation process.

“We’ve been delivering the required enhanced disclosures to plan sponsors since last year,” said Burrows. “We wanted to get ahead of the deadlines so there would be no surprises for financial professionals and plan sponsor clients. This new online hub is one more step in ensuring that plan sponsors understand their plan costs and have what they need to fulfill their fiduciary obligations.”

The Principal began delivering a redesigned and streamlined summary of fees to new clients in July and existing clients November 1, 2011. Other features from The Principal include:

  • 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 also created an ERISA 404(a) Participant Disclosure Regulation Resource Center to assist plan sponsors in complying with the new participant disclosure regulation.

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 ®)[2] 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 $364.1 billion[3] in assets under management and serves some 17.3 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.

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[1]
Principal Financial Group Retirement Plan Fee Benchmarking – Advisors Expectations Survey, December 2011.
[2]
“The Principal Financial Group” and “The Principal” are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
[3]
As of March 31, 2012.

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