Questions and answers

What do these platform announcements mean for Wells Fargo IRT and Principal® clients?

Nothing changes in the service Wells Fargo IRT (IRT) or Principal provides to clients as a result of these announcements. Until IRT clients migrate to Principal, you’ll continue to use the same client portal and the same plan recordkeeping platform you use today. Once you migrate, your plan information and historical data will be available at Principal.

We’re focused on making this migration as smooth as possible. Beginning in October, we started reaching out to IRT clients to confirm continuity of service. That allows Principal to kick-start migration. Once IRT clients sign the service continuity agreement, we’ll manage the migration process from there, keeping you updated along the way. We intend to provide all the services you receive today, delivered by your service team, using the same interface to create a frictionless experience.

Where can I find more specifics about the combined capabilities?

Your relationship manager will be in touch with more details. If you’d like to learn more, principal.com/betterretirement has additional information about the 401(k), DB, NQ and ESOP platform announcements, including a quick guide to the “best of the best” digital features to come. You can also learn more about the trust and custody platform announcement.

401(k) and defined benefit (DB) plan FAQs

What core retirement recordkeeping system was chosen as the platform for 401(k) and DB clients going forward?

After months of extensive research, including a third-party platform review by Accenture, the Principal® recordkeeping platform has been selected as the base system for 401(k) and defined benefit (DB) clients moving forward1. We’ll leverage key features from Wells Fargo IRT’s WySTAR platform to further strengthen the Principal experience and bring clients the ultimate “best-of-the-best” digital capabilities to help improve plan outcomes and increase participants’ retirement readiness.

Why was the Principal recordkeeping platform chosen for 401(k) and DB plans?

While both Principal and Wells Fargo IRT have industry-leading platforms and experiences, the Principal retirement recordkeeping platform was selected (and validated by third-party Accenture after an extensive analysis) because it:

  • Handles scale and supports diversity/complexity across lines of business and types of plans, allowing for the flexibility to serve all size plans and the customization you expect.
  • Has invested significantly in advancing the user interface for both plan sponsors and participants, so the experience is modern and helps drive action.
  • Uses a best‐in‐class agile methodology for digital development and implementing code so we can go to market faster with new products and services.
  • Houses key capabilities to help drive client and participant success, and the platform is built with an architecture that makes it easy to integrate new capabilities/features from Wells Fargo IRT.

In addition, the Principal platform was selected as the best choice going forward because it’s built for retirement recordkeeping. And that platform supports an amazing digital experience that helps drive participant outcomes: Participants who logged into the Principal website have a 50% higher average deferral rate2. Plus, Principal has been accelerating its digital investments, so we’re well positioned for tech innovations including cloud-computing and 5G connectivity. And we use agile methodology for digital development and implementing code so we can go to market faster with new products and services. The Principal platform is also built with recordkeeping first architecture that allows us to simply integrate proprietary and external accounts, plan services and digital applications.

What advantages does the Principal retirement recordkeeping platform bring?

Along with the benefits noted above, the Principal platform has many advantages for clients and their participants, including:

  • Client benefits:
    • Principal platform is flexible for client needs.
    • It offers tools and resources that helps make it easier for clients to administer their plan.
    • It’s simple to navigate so clients can easily check in—and get back to running their business.
  • Participant benefits:
    • We meet employees where they are with a personalized experience
    • We give tools and resources to help build their confidence
    • House information in an experience where it’s simple to take action.

Nonqualified (NQ) deferred compensation plan FAQs

What nonqualified deferred compensation plan platform was selected?

After a comprehensive analysis, we've selected the Principal recordkeeping platform to serve all nonqualified deferred compensation plan clients migrating from Wells Fargo IRT. This decision impacts clients using both the WySTAR and McCamish platforms for their nonqualified deferred compensation plans. The reliable, high-quality platform supports the needs of our current business and provides a solid foundation to build enhancements in the future. This platform decision is another part of our commitment to making this a seamless migration experience for you.

Why was the Principal NQ recordkeeping platform chosen?

Providing a high-quality, accurate, reliable experience is critical to serving nonqualified deferred compensation plan clients. The Principal platform currently meets and even exceeds those needs and also gives us the flexibility for further capabilities. In addition, we’re committed—as part of this integration—to seamlessly migrate IRT clients with no disruption of service.

Employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) FAQs

What ESOP platform was selected? 

After a comprehensive analysis, we've selected the Principal platform to serve ESOP clients migrating from Wells Fargo IRT. As the #1 recordkeeper of ESOPs3, we’re dedicated to continually investing in the people, systems, and technology to meet your unique goals.

Why was the Principal ESOP platform chosen?

Providing a high-quality, accurate, reliable experience is critical to serving ESOP clients. The Principal platform was built to meet the unique needs of ESOP organizations. The systems are integrated with all our retirement products in order to meet the needs of organizations with multiple retirement plan types and also gives us the flexibility for further enhancements.

1 August 2019, Accenture was compensated by Principal to conduct a platform review.

2 Principal reporting from 1/1/2017 through 12/31/2017 for participants who use our digital resources.

3 Based on number of employee stock ownership plans, PLANSPONSOR Recordkeeping Survey, July 2018.