Online Tool Helps Benchmark Benefits

September 13, 2013 ( – The Principal Financial Group unveiled a tool that lets small-business owners see how they stack up against their competitors in benefits offerings.

Nearly eight out of 10 business owners (79%) agree that a good employee benefits plan is part of their responsibility as an employer. But despite often competing with bigger organizations for employees, few small-business owners have the resources to assess how their benefits compare with those at larger firms.

The Principal Benefit Design Tool can help small businesses benchmark group benefit features on their own, or with a financial adviser. The online resource provides a comparison point for group dental, short-term disability, long-term disability and life insurance, previously unavailable in the small-case market, according to The Principal.

The tool gives small-business owner clients hard data to help them make more informed decisions about their benefit offering, according to Amy Friedrich, vice president at The Principal.

With a minimal amount of information—the current benefits offering, number of employees, details about each program—the tool provides a customized report focused on how the particular organization’s benefit designs compare to those of peer businesses. The tool is easy to use via desktop computer, or a tablet or mobile device, generating a report within a few minutes.

The tool also lets a business owner set goals, such as “offer benefits to attract and retain employees,” “provide benefits similar to my competitors,” “control costs” or “help employees maintain financial or physical well-being.”

Small-business owners do not have the same access to resources as their counterparts at larger organizations, putting them at a competitive disadvantage, according to Friedrich. “This new self-service tool puts benefit design intelligence at advisers’ fingertips, helping fill a knowledge gap for owners of small businesses,” Friedrich said.

More information about the Principal Benefit Design Tool is at The Principal’s website.

The Principal Financial Group is a global investment manager that provides retirement services, insurance solutions and asset management.