The Principal Financial Group® engages with federal, state and local governments to help shape policies and regulations that impact how the company does business — and, importantly, our customers, shareholders, employees and the communities we live in.
Our Board and management believe it is in the best interests of the company to be active in the legislative and election processes, consistent with the highest ethical standards of corporate governance practices and all applicable laws.
Under the direction of our Government Relations area, the company is actively involved in lobbying activities at both the federal and state levels.
Contributions to candidates' campaigns for political office are made only by our political action committee, PrinPac. Eligible employees, agents and retirees donate money on a voluntary basis to PrinPac, which in turn makes direct candidate campaign contributions.
PrinPac researches and then supports candidates from both major political parties with positions and initiatives important to business objectives of The Principal. PrinPac is governed by a board of directors that includes some senior leaders and representatives from different business units.
Corporate contributions to expressly advocate the election or defeat of candidates are prohibited. Corporate contributions for other political purposes are also prohibited except in very extraordinary and limited circumstances and only as permitted by law.
By policy, corporate contributions for politically related purposes are not allowed unless they have first been reviewed and approved by our Chairman, General Counsel and the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors. Under this policy, our 2012 corporate contributions were:
The Principal is active in many trade associations in the financial services, insurance, investment management and international business areas. We participate in trade associations to further our understanding of current developments and issues, and they often advocate on behalf of their members for common business interests.
The Principal and PrinPac properly report political contributions and lobbying expenditures to the public through the means prescribed by state and federal governmental authorities. Any corporate political contributions as outlined above will be disclosed annually on our website.
Our employees and agents are required to comply with the company's policies on political activities, lobbying and gifts and entertainment as they interact with public officials and employees on behalf of the company.
To promote compliance with applicable pay-to-play laws, the company has implemented pay-to-play policies addressing personal contributions to state or local political candidates by employees and others as well as PrinPac contributions.