Retirement Plan Clients Give The Principal Thumbs-Up

Satisfaction and loyalty remain high in annual Chatham Partners survey

Once again retirement plan clients give the Principal Financial Group® high marks for satisfaction. Strong scores in client service drove the rankings in the 2013 Chatham Partners Client Satisfaction Survey of medium-to-large defined benefit and defined contribution plans1. In a similar survey, clients with smaller retirement plans also gave The Principal® high scores2.

"Year after year The Principal continues to come out among the top competitors when it comes to satisfaction and loyalty. This demonstrates not only their leadership position within the industry, but also their commitment to putting customers first," said Joshua Dietch, managing director of Chatham Partners.

Overall satisfaction with The Principal continues to be strong, with 97 percent of clients reporting satisfaction with their client service team and 97 percent saying they plan to maintain or increase their relationship with The Principal. Satisfaction with reducing administrative burden ranked particularly high with 96 percent of clients saying it's easy to do business with The Principal.

Clients with medium-to-large retirement plans pointed specifically to investment services, plan3 design expertise and participant services, which all earned The Principal several "Best in Class" scores . Those clients with smaller retirement plans from The Principal report high satisfaction in the following key areas:

  • Timeliness of answering calls
  • Providing complete resolution to questions
  • Offering good value for the money spent

"We know our clients are focused on growing their business, which is why we focus on helping them build a successful retirement plan to help ease some of their burden," said Greg Burrows, senior vice president of retirement and investor services at The Principal. "Our retirement plan design strategies, strong investment management expertise and innovative education and enrollment services help participants get on track to save for more adequate income in retirement. Our work doesn't stop here — we continue to look at new ways to make it easy for plan sponsors and ultimately improve savings and participation rates."

Transition satisfaction

New clients, who recently transitioned their retirement plans to The Principal, also give high marks. Across all plan sizes, satisfaction with the coordination/management of client conversion was 93 percent4. Clients with defined benefit plans had overall satisfaction of 100 percent.

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Awards & Recognition

Hillary Gebert

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 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 $483.2 billion in assets under management6 and serves some 19.4 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 Defined contribution and combined defined benefit and defined contribution plans with more than $5 million dollars in assets. Survey conducted October 2013.

2 Defined contribution plans with less than $5 million dollars in assets. A satisfaction study conducted by The Principal in August 2013.

3 Best in Class score as defined by Chatham Partners is a very satisfied score of 85 percent or higher.

4 Result from Chatham Partners Client Satisfaction survey and a similar survey conducted by the retirement market research team at The Principal.

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

6 As of December 31, 2013.