Principal Guide Offers Benefits Excellence Roadmap

January 30, 2005 ( - A new guide published by the Principal Financial Group offers benefits managers a quick way to compare their own lineup with those offered by the 10 firms named to Principal's top 10 list for benefit programs.

The “How Does Your Company Stack Up?” feature is one part of Principal’s publication, which chronicles how those named to its The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security list last year (See Ten Firms Walk Away with Principal Employee Security Award ) handle everything from health coverage to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).

“The new guide shows how The Principal 10 Best Companies are helping employees change the way they think about benefits – from a mindset of entitlement to engagement – while maintaining a top-tier benefits program.” said Renee Schaaf, vice president, The Principal. “Employees are demonstrating their appreciation by working harder and sticking with their employers for the long-term.”

Principal said that the experiences of the 2005 winners prove the notion that a generous benefit lineup encourages employees to work harder and perform better – with an average voluntary turnover rate of 9%, which is half of their industry norms.

According to the new guide, the percentage of the 2005 winners and the national average percentage (by workforce size) offering each benefit include:

Health Benefits– 100%, 59% (3-199 employees), 98% (200+ employees)

401(k) Retirement Plan– 90%, 18% (fewer than 100 employees), 36% (100-499 employees), 56% (500-999 employees)

Profit Sharing Plan –30%, 16% (2-99 employees)

Defined Benefit Plan –80%, 10% (1-99 employees), 37% (100+employees)

Group Life Insurance –100%, 37% (1-99 employees), 70% (100+ employees)

Short-Term Disability Insurance –80%, 28% (1-99 employees), 55% (100+ employees)

Long-Term Disability Insurance –100%, 19% (1-99 employees), 44% (100+ employees)

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance –100%, 58% (20-99 employees), 86% (100 – 499 employees), 91% (500-999 employees)

Long-term Care Insurance –50% (voluntary), 4% (1-99 employees), 21% (100+ employees)

Flexible Spending Arrangements –100%, 24% (10-499 employees), 81% (500+ employees).

The guide also includes specifics about the programs the companies have used successfully in

  • Health Care Benefits
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Employee Education and Communication

The publication also profiles each 2005 award winner. More information about the booklet, Innovations at Work: A Guide to Best Practices in Employee Benefits, is at .

The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Securityis a nationwide program that recognizes small and medium-size companies that excel in providing for employee financial security . Entry forms for the 2006 recognition program will be available on February 1, 2006. For more information, visit .