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Satisfaction and Loyalty Remain High Among Retirement Plan

Customer service drives "Best in Class" marks in Chatham Partners survey

April 1, 2013 (Des Moines, Iowa) — Retirement plan clients give the Principal Financial Group® high marks for satisfaction and loyalty once again. Strong scores in client service drove the rankings in the 2012 Chatham Partners Client Satisfaction Survey of medium-to-large defined benefit and defined contribution plans [1]. In a similar survey, clients with smaller retirement plans also gave The Principal® high scores.

"The extremely positive results prove clients of The Principal hold it in high regard and the client service culture at The Principal is far above that of Chatham benchmark competitors," said Joshua Dietch, Managing Director of Chatham Partners.

Overall satisfaction with The Principal continues to be strong, with 98 percent of clients with medium-to-large retirement plans saying they plan to maintain or increase their relationship with The Principal®. Satisfaction specifically with personnel earned The Principal several "Best in Class" scores[2] for attributes including knowledge of my plan, proactive approach and problem resolution.

According to the survey, The Principal also exceeded Chatham Partners benchmark by at least 10 percentage points in in the following key areas:

  • Informing me of regulatory changes
  • Informing me of my fiduciary responsibility
  • Reducing my administrative burden
  • Understanding fees

Small plans rate high

Clients with smaller[3] retirement plans also gave The Principal high scores. In a similar survey conducted by the retirement market research team at The Principal, the company received a 93 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

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 92 percent[4].

"We constantly strive to improve on how we're delivering our products and services, but it's really our people that keep us at the top when it comes to loyalty and satisfaction among our clients," said Greg Burrows, senior vice president of retirement and investor services at The Principal. "We have a long history of keeping our clients informed about regulatory changes and the past couple of years we put a significant effort behind helping them understand the new disclosure regulations. It's encouraging to see these efforts are reaching our clients in a positive way."

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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 ®)[5] 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[6] 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. Survey conducted October 2012.
Best in Class score as defined by Chatham Partners is a very satisfied score of 85 percent or higher
Defined contribution plans with less than $5 million in assets
Result from Chatham Partners Client Satisfaction survey and a similar survey conducted by the retirement market research team at The Principal.
"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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