New Guide for Defined Benefit Plan Provider Searches

Best practices from The Principal help financial professionals showcase value in DB

Drastic improvements in the funded status of many defined benefit (DB) plans make this a critical time for plan sponsors to evaluate their plan strategy and objectives. For many, that may trigger a search for a new service provider. Financial professionals who can lead that search process have a significant opportunity to showcase their value.

A new guide from the Principal Financial Group®, one of the leaders in pension risk management, offers best practices and resources to help financial professionals conduct DB provider searches—no matter what their comfort-level or experience with DB plans.

"Searching for a new DB provider is very different from a defined contribution (DC) provider search," said Janet Kubik, assistant vice president of retirement and investor services at The Principal®, the number one provider of defined benefit plans1. "We developed this guide, based on more than 70 years in the DB market, expressly to help support financial professionals in leading plan provider searches. This allows them to further demonstrate their value and help DB clients accomplish their goals."

The step-by-step guide identifies tips and considerations that are unique to DB plan provider searches and includes sample, non-branded resources that can be customized such as:

  • A fact finder to ensure accurate information about the DB plan.
  • Plan assessment to understand the plans strengths, weaknesses and priorities.
  • Fee assessment to help evaluate total soft and hard dollar costs.
  • Search evaluation criteria and sample request for proposal questions.
  • Finalist scorecard to more easily identify which provider is the best fit.

DB prospecting resources

The guide is part of a new set of DB prospecting resources available online from The Principal to help financial professionals expand their DB businesses. The resources include talking points to help guide DB conversations with plan sponsors and a series of DB prospecting campaign communications to help engage sponsors easily.

For more research, analysis and insights, visit The Principal Knowledge Center and connect with us on Twitter.

News Release Contact

Retirement Plans

Jaime Naig

About the Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal ®)2 is a global investment management leader offering 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 $495.5 billion in assets under management3 and serves some 19.2 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

1 Based on number of total DB clients, PLANSPONSOR DB Administration survey, April 2013

2 "The Principal Financial Group" and "The Principal" are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.

3 As of March 31, 2014.