Principal Offers DB Appreciation Tools

June 28, 2004 ( - If you offer a defined benefit plan - and feel that your participants just don't appreciate the benefit - the Principal has a new solution for you.

With its new “Hire Through Retire” program, the Principal Financial Group now offers a variety of educational materials to help participants understand and appreciate their employer-sponsored defined benefit plan, according to the firm.   The tools help participants comprehend the specifics of a defined benefit plan including:

  • plan design,
  • vesting schedules, and
  • payout methods.  

They also walk through a series of calculations to help employees understand how a defined benefit plan contributes to their overall retirement savings goal, with materials addressing retirement planning at each life stage, from the employee’s hire date through their retirement years.   Additionally, the tools provide participants with ongoing education during their working years; prepare them for retirement with an Approaching Retirement program, and help with the transition to and in retirement.

Natural Evolution

Principal notes that the communication spectrum is a natural evolution from the participant education tools previously developed for defined contribution plans and as an integrated part of the overall Total Retirement Suite participant campaign.   The Principal plans to unveil the Principal Hire Through Retire participant communication spectrum for combined defined benefit and defined contribution plans later this year.

The Principal Financial well Being Index has previously noted that, among employees who have a defined benefit plan, it is ranked as the most valuable employer provided benefit. Furthermore, a defined benefit plan is the most wished for benefit among employees that do not have one (see  Workers Still Uneasy About Financial Well Being ).