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Video Transcripts for The Principal® 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security

The 2012 Winners

The Principal Financial Group would like to congratulate American National Bank of Texas, Arizona State Credit Union, Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services, Dunmore Corporation, Flow Science, M3 Insurance, nLogic LLC, United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Vantage West Credit Union and WHR Architects. Congratulations to the 2012 winners of The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security.

In order to determine this year's 10 Best companies, an independent panel of industry experts meticulously sifted through extensive data on the financial security and benefit programs these companies are offering their employees.

Some of the trends we saw in the 2012 nominations and in the winners include a greater emphasis placed on wellness, a greater emphasis being placed on helping employees become more informed through education programs and through very proactive outreach so that people can take full advantage of the opportunities and benefits that are being made available to employees of all organizations.

Most companies are doing this for a couple of reasons. One of course they just care about their employees and they want to make sure their employees are healthy, but also those healthy employees make for a much more productive work environment. So it really is kind of a win-win.

Every company we saw had a well thought out communication platform. They utilized outside financial advisors, had independent people and many of them clearly stated they had an open-door policy with their H.R., other senior staff members. So I thought they did an excellent job with that.

What has surprised me as I have done the judging over the last few years, when the economy has been so difficult is the commitment of these small companies to their benefit programs. It is easy for these small employers to basically reduce their commitment to the benefit of their employees as one of the strategies to deal with this situation. Fortunately, these small companies and I think the companies like them who continue to support their benefit program are gonna find that they are in far better shape to hold their high quality workers after we come out of this.

Attraction and retention are much stronger in companies with strong benefit programs and we also know that turnover is very, very expensive. Different calculations suggest that every time you lose an employee it costs you one year of their pay to actually replace them in terms of future training costs and lost business. So being able to attract and retain good people is really critical. Benefits play a very important role in that. People making decisions in these kinds of economic times are more and more looking for financial security. Companies that can help them get there are going to have a much easier time getting the very best people.

The 10 Best judging gives inspiring examples to small businesses so that, if they look up from the day to day grind, they can see, yeah, there are people who really are doing these extraordinary things and maybe I can do those as well.

Companies are ultimately most successful when people feel protected and they want to work there. I think that this program makes people remember that and it’s a very important message to keep out there that we need to cut costs and we need to cut back on things, but you need to not take them from the people that need them most, and benefits is the easiest area to cut but the hardest hit on employees and families.

This program is extremely valuable because it allows you to benchmark your organization among other organizations across all industries. It allows you to see the kinds of things that you’re doing and how you can really see what other organizations are doing and get the recognition for those kinds of programs that allows your organization to be a preferred destination or a true employer of choice.

Congratulations to all of our 2012 10 Best winners.

- Judging panel for The Principal 10 Best Program

American National Bank of Texas

American National Bank we selected them they have a terrific, really strong health program. There’s commitment there, the financial commitment that they make to the health program is fantastic, but in addition to that they’ve added a really well-rounded wellness program, and then access to a health advocate. So putting that all together we thought made for a really wonderful health program and then on top of that, they really even do a fantastic 401k program. Their retirement plan in addition to the 401k, which they offer and they have a great match, they’ve also, have a profit sharing plan and ESOP. So there’s definitely a real commitment on their part to make sure that their employees are well-rounded in both on the health and the retirement side, but they’ve even take a step back and been even more holistic than in offering, you know, tuition reimbursement, and scholarships for dependents and a number of other things that really make it a very complete package.

Congratulations to American National Bank of Texas for being named one of the Principal 10 Best Companies.

- Lisa G. Kottler, Principal 10 Best Judge and Senior Vice President, Retirement Services, NFP

Arizona State Credit Union

We selected Arizona State Credit Union for several reasons. One is because of the defined benefit plan that is offered to staff. The other reason is that the Arizona State Credit Union also makes use of internal resources so that employees can become educated and informed about financial decisions that affect their long term livelihood.

What made Arizona State Credit Union stand out were several things. One is the enthusiasm for the wellness activities and wellness programs, the strong passion that the human resource department has for promoting wellness throughout the organization. And again, the firm’s commitment to long term financial security through the defined benefits program as well as through making use of internal resources within the organization make it a preferred place to work.

Congratulations to Arizona State Credit Union for being named one of the Principal 10 Best Companies.

- John C. Robak, Principal 10 Best Judge and Chief Operating Officer, Greeley and Hansen

Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services

Cypress does something that’s very unusual. They pay 100% of their employee medical premiums, which you just do not see anymore. The deductible that they have in place they maintain at 100% reimburse to the employees by utilizing an HRA account. These things are invaluable to people that have families because it’s a zero out of pocket expense to somebody and anyone who has kids or has to go to the doctor knows that every time you have to spend that money, if you don’t have to spend it, it matters.

Another big feature for them was a seven percent auto enrollment into their 401k. If you just put somebody in you don’t often realize that you’re in the plan, but once you’re in, you’re in and then a 100% match on that seven percent is extremely generous.

I think that what’s interesting about them is that they have a, they have a clear commitment to wellness programs. As an emergency medical services provider, one of the things that I thought was very nifty was their commitment to having people remain physically fit. I think part of what they do is physical, but they have a very well rounded medial program that’s clearly designed to keep people well, and I think that will help them keep their premiums down and maintain their benefits in the future.

Congratulations to Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services for being named one of the Principal 10 Best Companies.

- Julia A. Pilleri, Principal 10 Best Judge and Assistant Controller, Associates for International Research, Inc.

Dunmore Corporation

The judges selected Dunmore Corporation for three reasons, really. The very generous healthcare offering and not just for the employees but for their dependents. That was very surprising to me and really made me want to and advocated for Dunmore to be amongst the top 10. The other one was a long-term care. Long-term care is something that we didn’t see amongst very many of the finalists.

And finally on their retirement plan side, they have auto enrollment just at two percent. And then addition though, they also have a three percent company contribution. So they have this little safety net. So even if an employee chooses not to save, they’ve got a little something from the company. That’s really a broad offering for their benefits.

Congratulations to Dunmore Corporation for being named one of the Principal 10 Best Companies.

- Sheri Fitts, Principal 10 Best Judge and Vice President, Retirement Marketing, LPL Financial

Flow Science, Inc.

The judges chose Flow Science this year because of their extraordinary generous benefit program. Their commitment to the retirement program is outstanding. The fact that the company matches 100 percent on the first 10 percent that an employee contributes to the plan,Ā  plus has a generous profit sharing plan puts them puts the organization in the top 1/10 of 1 percent of companies who have retirement programs.

Also the organization has an excellent wellness program. Nothing can be a greater benefit to a person than to be healthier. And we find too that when people are healthier they are actually able to contribute more to retirement because they aren’t spending so much money on medical care. And of course, this all working because we see that the average tenure of employees at Flow Science is much higher than a typical IT firm.

Congratulations to Flow Science, Inc. for being named one of the Principal 10 Best Companies.

- David Wray, Principal 10 Best Judge and President, The Profit Sharing/ 401k Council of America

M3 Insurance

This was a tough year, like it is every year and they did a number of really impressive things. One of the things that really stood out for the judges was the high percentage of pay they put into their profit sharing plan, eight percent of pay, plus they match 401k contributions. So employees have the opportunity there to really accumulate substantial retirement savings over time and that’s unusual in companies now. More and more you see companies retirement benefits just being maybe a match up to three or four percent of what you put in the 401k. And that’s it. So this was great.

We were also impressed with their insurance programs. They partly fund an HAS contribution. That’s something else that’s quite unusual, and if employees stay healthy, then that gives them opportunity for another source of retirement security. And finally we, we liked the wellness program. That really stood out, particularly the way if you are actively involved in a wellness program, you can get a substantial deduction on your health premiums.

Congratulations to M3 Insurance for being named one of the Principal 10 Best Companies.

- Corey Rosen, Principal 10 Best Judge and Senior Staff Member, National Center for Employee Ownership

nLogic

As a financial professional, one of the things I look at is how people save for their retirement. nLogic seems to offer this variety of retirement options that you just don’t see in many places. Employees have an auto enrollment feature in the plan that you don’t see very often. In addition they have features with an ESOP and other maximization process. So if an employee is utilizing everything available to them, they can receive up to 15 percent into their pay, into their retirement account. That’s pretty impressive and quite unique. It seems nLogic puts a lot of emphasis on, in educating their people so they’re prepared for the future, and that’s a very different thing.

As a company that’s fairly new, one of the things that I like to see is an investment in people’s medical plans. nLogic has a very generous employee portion paid for the premiums from both the employee independents. It’s an amount of money that people often don’t realize comes out of their paycheck. In addition to that they utilize other features that help keep costs down. And so as somebody that has small children, I think it’s important that people realize when they go into different stages of lives, those protections are there for them are quite generous.

Congratulations to nLogic, LLC for being named one of the Principal 10 Best Companies.

- Julia A. Pilleri, Principal 10 Best Judge and Assistant Controller, Associates for International Research, Inc.

United States Pharmacopeial Convention

We selected U.S. Pharmacopeial because, I have to tell you, in all the years that I’ve been in the business, close to 20 years, I don’t know that I’ve seen such a financial commitment by a company on their benefits. So the employer paid amounts for the health program as well as the commitment on the retirement program, I think it’s ten percent, and then providing one on one counseling in the retirement program, you just don’t really see that out there.

Additionally what we thought was really important about US Pharmacopeia was the fact that they actually solicit feedback from their employees about their benefits program and then actually take that feedback and make changes. So the fact that they are really willing to work with the employees and listen to what their needs are. We thought that was really important.

Congratulations to U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention for being named one of the Principal 10 Best Companies.

- Lisa G. Kottler, Principal 10 Best Judge and Senior Vice President, Retirement Services, NFP

Vantage West Credit Union

The judges selected Vantage West Credit Union for a couple of reasons. First just the whole culture of accountability and responsibility wove its way through every single benefit that was offered. So as an example, the high deductible healthcare plan, which can be scary for a lot of employees, the firm actually funds the health savings account that goes along with it. so it makes it easier for somebody to adopt that. And then the great thing about health savings accounts is that grows, those balances grow. And kind of moving back to retirement plan, you have auto enrollment and auto increase which, even those are trends in the retirement plan space that we see, we didn’t see very much in the top ten firms.

Congratulations to Vantage West Credit Union for being named one of the Principal 10 Best Companies.

- Sheri Fitts, Principal 10 Best Judge and Vice President, Retirement Marketing, LPL Financial

WHR Architects

WHR Architects has been selected as a 10 Best winner for a couple of reasons. First they are incredibly generous when it comes to providing employer paid premiums toward the health insurance. In addition to that, the firm offers a generous package related to the 401k match and they also have personalized financial planning services that I think speaks volumes to the kind of organization WHR Architects is.

Congratulations to WHR Architects for being named one of the Principal 10 Best Companies.

- John C. Robak, Principal 10 Best Judge and Chief Operating Officer, Greeley and Hansen

 

Visit The Principal® 10 Best Companies website.

 

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