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Retirement Plan Clients of The Principal are Highly Satisfied and Very Loyal

Strong scores exceed benchmarks in Chatham Partners survey

April 30, 2012 (Des Moines, Iowa) – From the smallest to the largest, retirement plan clients give the Principal Financial Group® high marks for satisfaction and loyalty in two surveys—with client service driving the strong scores.

In the 2011 Chatham Partners Client Satisfaction Survey of medium-to-large defined benefit and defined contribution plans[1], The Principal® outperformed the benchmark in client loyalty. Ninety-eight percent of clients said they plan to maintain or increase their relationship with The Principal.

“The top ratings provided by clients of The Principal are demonstrative of its industry leadership and the consistently excellent service delivered by its client service professionals,” said Joshua Dietch, Managing Director of Chatham Partners.

Overall satisfaction with The Principal continues to be strong, receiving a “Best in Class” ranking[2] and 97 percent overall satisfaction score. The Principal exceeded the benchmark in nearly all measures of satisfaction including:

  • Excellent reputation as a retirement plan service provider (PDF: 276 KB)
  • Reduces my administrative burden
  • Overall satisfaction with client service personnel
  • Flexibility in meeting my unique needs
  • Keeping clients informed of their fiduciary responsibilities
  • Defined benefit actuarial consulting skills

Small plans give big scores

The smallest[3] retirement plan clients also gave The Principal high scores. In a similar survey conducted by the retirement market research team at The Principal, the company received a 95 percent or higher score in multiple areas, including:

  • Overall satisfaction with plan sponsor services
  • Overall satisfaction with the client service team
  • Timeliness of answering calls and responding to email communication
  • Ability of The Principal to help them meet their fiduciary obligations

Transition satisfaction

New clients, who recently transitioned their retirement plans to The Principal, also provide high marks. Across all plan sizes, satisfaction with the coordination/management of client conversion was 95 percent.

“We focus on providing the highest level of service for clients of all sizes from day one. We are gratified they continue to rank us so highly,” said Greg Burrows, senior vice president of retirement and investor services at The Principal. “We use this valuable client feedback to enhance our products and services with the ultimate goal of helping plan sponsors, their financial professionals and participants achieve successful long-term retirement outcomes.”

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About Chatham Partners

Chatham Partners provides customized market research and strategy consulting services that help businesses understand the explicit, implicit and latent needs of clients and prospects. Their fact-based analysis and recommendations enable organizations to improve sales processes, client service/retention, product/service offerings and market perceptions. For more information, visit

About the Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal ®)[4] 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[5] 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

Chatham Partners is not affiliated with the Principal Financial Group or any if its member companies. The survey results are based on responses from clients of The Principal and have been specifically prepared by Chatham Partners and commissioned by The Principal. Survey results are limited to those expressing an opinion.


Defined contribution and combined defined benefit and defined contribution plans with more than $5 million dollars in assets.
Best in Class ranking is defined by Chatham Partners as 85% of clients providing top satisfaction scores.
Defined contribution plans with less than $5 million in assets.
“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 March 31, 2012.

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