Defined Contribution: Plan Services
A Defined Contribution (DC) retirement plan - such as a 401(k) plan or 403(b) - lets employees save for retirement by reducing current salary on a before-tax basis.
Balancing all your responsibilities
Managing your retirement program is only one of your many tasks. It is important that the solution you choose lets you focus on the needs of your employees while making the most of your time.
Delivering a broad range of services
We take a holistic approach that helps integrate your retirement program with services that help to reduce the amount of administrative work you have to do, so you can be more strategic. This includes:
We provide outstanding administrative services, and advanced technology, allowing you to be more strategic. Whatever your service arrangement is, we can work with you and your financial professional to meet your needs. Services include:
- Plan design
- Recordkeeping and other administrative services
- Fiduciary support
- Plan compliance support
- Benefit determination and payment
- Retiree payout services
Secure access to plan information online
You should have quick and convenient access to plan information. Our comprehensive, award-winning employer website enables you to easily manage your retirement program and participant information through one secure interface. Once logged in, you can:
- Conduct administrative tasks online
- Track eligibility and key enrollment dates
- Access a wide range of retirement plan information
- Review reports
- Integrate with payroll
- View news and economic updates
We have complete control over our proprietary technology infrastructure, which aids system accuracy, flexibility and quality. Our technology and service can free you to think strategically and take action more confidently.
Employer administrative solutions made easier with the Principal® EASE Program
The Principal® EASE Program allows you to reduce your administrative burden by handing off many tasks to us – potentially saving you time and money. We provide a broad suite of distribution, recordkeeping, plan compliance and payroll integration services all designed with your needs in mind.
Benefits for you include:
- Comprehensive administrative support, tailored to meet your needs.
- Seamless retirement plan administrative services featuring state of the art, proprietary technology and dedicated, experienced employees.
- Retirement program services are backed by a written service warranty.
Promising quality service for your retirement program
Our goal is to provide you with quality service for your retirement program. We're so confident in our ability to provide outstanding service that we warranty it.
We promise to provide quality service in a competent, capable and effective manner. If we don't, we'll either fix the problem or we'll waive the fee for that service. We also indemnify the appropriate fiduciary with respect to their liability, losses, and reasonable expenses directly incurred by them if we fail to perform a particular service in the agreed manner. 
Compliance services – paying attention to the details
We help you keep your retirement plans in compliance, by paying special attention to compliance details. We provide government forms ready for your review and signature and all the information your auditor needs for a limited scope audit to help keep your retirement plan in compliance with government regulations.
Understanding your fiduciary responsibilities
Almost all qualified plans are subject to the rules of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). You need a service provider who can help you understand these rules. We can help you manage a number of your fiduciary responsibilities with testing services and ongoing support. In addition, we provide a number of resources to help, including:
- Fiduciary Handbook (an excerpt) (PDF: 198 KB)
- Fiduciary Log Report (PDF: 79 KB)
- Fiduciary Document Catalog (PDF: 75KB)
- Due Diligence Process (PDF: 312 KB)
Our active participation in Washington, D.C. allows us to monitor, help shape and analyze legislation and help you understand what it all means to your retirement program. We help you understand your fiduciary role, document your actions, and assist though legislative and regulatory changes.
We know that if employees don't act, they are less likely to enjoy retirement. As a group, employees generally don't know how much to save, how to invest or even when to get started.
Unique education program
We can help participants plan and prepare for retirement, regardless of where they're at in their career or life.
- Awareness – A personal approach to boosting the power of your plan
- We collaborate with you and your financial professional to help establish education and goals specific to your plan/employee demographics, then measure results to help determine what is and isn't working, and identify potential changes to improve results.
- Education – A variety of methods to engage participants through all stages
- We deliver retirement plan awareness and education to participants the way they prefer – on-site, on-the-go, or online – for greater engagement.
- Participant education services are designed to motivate your participants to act, which in turn can help them plan and prepare for retirement – regardless of where they're at in their career or life.
- Planning – Paving the way to help participants dream again
- Results show that participants who have a written plan save more than participants who do not, but only a small percentage of participants actually have a written plan.
- We continue to support participants as they approach and enter retirement, including helping them to convert savings into income so that it may last throughout retirement.
Reaching employees their way
We employ traditional communication methods as well as new technologies, such as social media, mobile and web technologies, to help reach a more diverse participant base. We also deliver retirement plan awareness and education to participants the way they prefer – on-site, on-the-go or online.
Making it easier to take action
Your participants will also have access to automated solutions, including:
- Easy enrollment online, by telephone or mail.
- Automatic enrollment for participants who meet your retirement plan's eligibility requirements.
- Automatic salary deferral increases.
- One of the most comprehensive line-ups of retirement-focused lifecycle investment options in the industry.
Developing a plan
Retirement planning is critically important for participants, so we assist participants by providing guidance in developing a written plan.
- An exclusive online tool, My Principal Edge Milestones®, helps participants identify their retirement goals, determine if they are on track, and create a personalized, action-oriented guide to help them reach their goals.
- Principal Retire Secure conducts a holistic financial needs analysis and helps participants develop a personalized, action-oriented guide to help them take steps to achieve their retirement goals.
- Through Principal Retirement Income EdgeSM we continue to:
- Support participants as they approach and enter retirement,
- Help participant convert savings into income at retirement, and
- Help participants plan for savings to last throughout retirement.
Your relationship team has a depth of expertise in the four major plan types accumulated from working with a broad range of retirement plans. They can work with you and your financial professional to provide assistance on the following issues:
- Plan compliance
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Legislative changes
- Challenges unique to not-for-profit organizations
If your third-party administrator already provides these services, we can customize your retirement plan services to help meet the needs you do have.
Innovative expertise – explore new approaches
Every retirement program is different – just as every organization is different. Your comprehensive retirement program has to reflect the unique needs of your organization and employee base, a competitive environment and cost constraints.
Adaptive solutions – map out an efficient path
Your consulting team strives to help you arrive at solutions that suit your needs and fulfill your goals, with a minimum of speed bumps along the way.
Factors they take into consideration include:
- Organizational goals and culture
- Managing time and resources required to run your retirement program
- Regulatory environment
- Total cost of employee compensation, including benefits
- Competitive environment for labor
- Benefit preferences among existing and future workforce
Strategic support – maximize program effectiveness
Your extended service team will review your plans holistically, determining a strategy that suits your organization's changing needs, helps to increase your employees' satisfaction and is cost-efficient.
Contact a local representative today for more information or to find a financial professional in your area.
- Provided by Principal Financial Advisors, Inc., a registered investment adviser and member of the Principal Financial Group.
- The service warranty is provided by Principal Life Insurance Company.
- This page is for informational purposes only and does not affect those terms and provisions defined in The Principal Service Warranty document or attachment. For comprehensive warranty details on the levels of coverage we offer, see The Principal Service Warranty document.
- For purposes of nonqualified plans, Principal Life indemnifies the Plan Representative who signs the Service agreement. Principal Life is not a fiduciary in the broader context of operating any plan.
Separate Accounts are available through a group annuity contract with Principal Life Insurance Company, member of the Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA 50392. May not be available in all states or U.S. Commonwealths.
Before investing in mutual funds, investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the funds. This and other information is contained in the free prospectus, which can be obtained from your local representative or by contacting us at 1.800.547.7754. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.
The value of the investment options will fluctuate so that when redeemed, shares or units may be worth more or less than the original cost.
No investment strategy, such as asset allocation or diversification, can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.