Principal Launches New Financial Wellness Program

Nearly one half of Americans say their financial situation stresses them out, and they don’t know where to get help or where to start. In response to this research and feedback from participants, Principal Financial Group® is expanding its financial wellness resources with iGrad’s Enrich™ financial wellness platform.

 The new Principal® Milestones helps participants access comprehensive financial education resources all in one place. The platform addresses student loans, will and legal document preparation powered by ARAG®, Health Savings Accounts, budgeting, and more. There’s something for everyone, no matter their life stage or financial priorities, and everything is designed to help people live their best lives and work toward a better financial future.

 Seven in 10 Americans postpone making financial decisions, with less than one third saying they feel comfortable with the amount of knowledge they have about managing finances, according to findings released in April from a research project by Principal and behavioral economist Dan Goldstein. In fact, the behavioral research revealed that confidence is a bigger driver of financial decision-making than income, and people who spend even a little bit of time learning about financial planning are 75% more likely to be confident in their financial future.

 Enrich goes beyond investment and benefits planning to provide the foundational information and insights needed to help consumers improve financial literacy and sustain it over time. An in-depth online assessment helps evaluate an individual's strengths and challenges and then delivers information more personalized to help employees minimize financial stress and reach their goals, such as spending less than they earn, saving for emergencies, and planning for the future.

 “The decision to further expand our financial wellness offering with Enrich was easy when the research so clearly ties confidence to postponing financial decisions,” said Joleen Workman, vice president of customer care at Principal. “We selected the Enrich financial wellness platform in large part because of its expansive set of content and tools, and the customization available, which makes each person’s experience more personalized and relevant.”

 Enrich supports employees at all life stages, from providing strategies to help pay off student loans, planning for a child's college education, budgeting and health savings accounts. The platform will integrate seamlessly with Principal’s existing resources.

 “The continued commitment by Principal to financial wellness education is a great benefit to its participants, advisors, and plan sponsors,” said iGrad president and CEO Rob LaBreche. “As their research reveals, improving financial knowledge increases confidence and leads to more proactive and informed financial decisions.”

 Ms. Workman added, “We want to help our client’s participants with their broader financial health, but understand there’s a sensitivity around sharing data. That’s why we have decided not to share participant-level or plan data with Enrich. We will allow the participant to choose what, if any, information to share as they access the resources.”

 Principal has been a leader in making available holistic financial services and support for many years, including Principal Retire Secure (1-on-1 workplace education meetings from a retirement professional), a broad range of webinars with live chat, resources for advisors and plan sponsors, and the Retirement Wellness Planner, which allows users to link any external account information and adjust for their household situation, Ms. Workman said. Principal® Milestones is the latest evolution of this commitment — and it comes at no additional cost to participants or plans.

 “When we asked what participants wanted to know more about, they told us. And that’s why we started with will and legal document preparation services through ARAG,” continued Ms. Workman. “It’s quite a shock when you hear that nearly 75% of Americans don’t have a will, but how could they with competing financial priorities?”

 “We’re committed, we listen, and we believe these resources will help not only retirement plan participants, but also support the advisors and plan sponsors who are looking for tools and resources to help support these kinds of conversations,” she said.