The Principal Financial Group Urges Passage of Bipartisan Retirement Savings Legislation

Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from The Principal Financial Group

    DES MOINES, Iowa, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Principal Financial
 Group(R), the nation's 401(k) leader, urged members of the House and Senate to
 work for early consideration of retirement savings legislation expected to be
 introduced in the Senate before the April 6 recess by Senators Charles
 Grassley (R-IA) and Max Baucus (D-MT).  The Principal emphasized the
 legislation's importance in redirecting the nation's retirement policy to
 avoid demographic crisis and increasing retirement security for working
 Americans.
     Despite one of the longest-running economic booms in the history of the
 United States, 74 percent of American workers at growing businesses say they
 are "very" concerned about their financial futures, according to recent
 findings of The Principal Financial Well-Being Index, a national survey
 released in early 2001 conducted by Harris Interactive.  "Something is wrong
 when more employers provide free parking than retirement savings benefits to
 employees," said Richard L. Prey, executive vice president at The Principal.
 "Why?  Because the red tape and complex administrative burdens of the past
 have made it impractical for businesses, particularly smaller employers, to
 offer such savings tools.  Retirement savings legislation sponsored by Sens.
 Grassley and Baucus can change all that, making it possible for millions of
 Americans to save for retirement, an enormous issue in today's world of
 shrinking personal savings and the dramatic aging of our society."
     The legislation benefits working Americans of all incomes and all age
 groups, Prey said.  In addition to raising annual contribution limits for IRAs
 and employer-sponsored retirement plans, the legislation provides incentives
 for low- and moderate-income savers, including young workers entering the
 workforce.  In fact, low-income Americans will receive new incentives in the
 form of tax credits for IRA or workplace retirement plan contributions.
 Benefits will be as portable as workers are mobile, and company-matching
 contributions will vest more rapidly.  Just as importantly, critical
 protections for workers' benefits remain secure.  The legislation also
 benefits older workers nearing retirement, including women re-entering the
 workforce after child rearing or eldercare, to "catch-up" on their retirement
 savings.
     Prey said a small business tax credit makes it more possible for small
 businesses -- 80 percent of which sponsor no retirement plan -- to offer
 retirement plans to the 40 million Americans they employ.  The legislation
 also corrects an inequity in the Internal Revenue Code that often prevents
 union workers from fairly collecting all pension benefits they've earned.
     The next step for public policy, Prey adds, is to further encourage
 Americans to take personal responsibility for retirement savings.  "Expanded
 public education to underscore the importance of participation in
 employer-sponsored savings plans, and additional incentives for growing
 businesses to offer plans to employees, is increasingly critical as America's
 Boomers near retirement."
     The Principal Financial Group ( http://www.principal.com ) is a leading
 financial institution offering businesses, individuals and institutional
 clients a wide range of financial products and services including retirement
 and investment services, life and health insurance and mortgage banking
 through its diverse family of financial services companies.  Its flagship and
 largest member, Principal Life Insurance Company (The Principal (R))(1),
 founded in 1879, is a member of the Fortune 500 and the ninth largest U.S.
 life insurance company based on 1999 statutory assets.  More employers choose
 The Principal for their 401(k) plans than any other bank, mutual fund, or
 insurance company in the United States(2).  The Principal Financial Group has
 $117.5 billion in assets under management and serves some 13 million customers
 worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the
 United States.
 
     (1) "The Principal" is a registered trademark referring to Principal Life
          Insurance Company, a member of the Principal Financial Group.
     (2) CFO Magazine, April/May 2000, based on total plans served in 1999 by
          insurance companies, banks and investment firms.
 
 

SOURCE The Principal Financial Group
    DES MOINES, Iowa, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Principal Financial
 Group(R), the nation's 401(k) leader, urged members of the House and Senate to
 work for early consideration of retirement savings legislation expected to be
 introduced in the Senate before the April 6 recess by Senators Charles
 Grassley (R-IA) and Max Baucus (D-MT).  The Principal emphasized the
 legislation's importance in redirecting the nation's retirement policy to
 avoid demographic crisis and increasing retirement security for working
 Americans.
     Despite one of the longest-running economic booms in the history of the
 United States, 74 percent of American workers at growing businesses say they
 are "very" concerned about their financial futures, according to recent
 findings of The Principal Financial Well-Being Index, a national survey
 released in early 2001 conducted by Harris Interactive.  "Something is wrong
 when more employers provide free parking than retirement savings benefits to
 employees," said Richard L. Prey, executive vice president at The Principal.
 "Why?  Because the red tape and complex administrative burdens of the past
 have made it impractical for businesses, particularly smaller employers, to
 offer such savings tools.  Retirement savings legislation sponsored by Sens.
 Grassley and Baucus can change all that, making it possible for millions of
 Americans to save for retirement, an enormous issue in today's world of
 shrinking personal savings and the dramatic aging of our society."
     The legislation benefits working Americans of all incomes and all age
 groups, Prey said.  In addition to raising annual contribution limits for IRAs
 and employer-sponsored retirement plans, the legislation provides incentives
 for low- and moderate-income savers, including young workers entering the
 workforce.  In fact, low-income Americans will receive new incentives in the
 form of tax credits for IRA or workplace retirement plan contributions.
 Benefits will be as portable as workers are mobile, and company-matching
 contributions will vest more rapidly.  Just as importantly, critical
 protections for workers' benefits remain secure.  The legislation also
 benefits older workers nearing retirement, including women re-entering the
 workforce after child rearing or eldercare, to "catch-up" on their retirement
 savings.
     Prey said a small business tax credit makes it more possible for small
 businesses -- 80 percent of which sponsor no retirement plan -- to offer
 retirement plans to the 40 million Americans they employ.  The legislation
 also corrects an inequity in the Internal Revenue Code that often prevents
 union workers from fairly collecting all pension benefits they've earned.
     The next step for public policy, Prey adds, is to further encourage
 Americans to take personal responsibility for retirement savings.  "Expanded
 public education to underscore the importance of participation in
 employer-sponsored savings plans, and additional incentives for growing
 businesses to offer plans to employees, is increasingly critical as America's
 Boomers near retirement."
     The Principal Financial Group ( http://www.principal.com ) is a leading
 financial institution offering businesses, individuals and institutional
 clients a wide range of financial products and services including retirement
 and investment services, life and health insurance and mortgage banking
 through its diverse family of financial services companies.  Its flagship and
 largest member, Principal Life Insurance Company (The Principal (R))(1),
 founded in 1879, is a member of the Fortune 500 and the ninth largest U.S.
 life insurance company based on 1999 statutory assets.  More employers choose
 The Principal for their 401(k) plans than any other bank, mutual fund, or
 insurance company in the United States(2).  The Principal Financial Group has
 $117.5 billion in assets under management and serves some 13 million customers
 worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the
 United States.
 
     (1) "The Principal" is a registered trademark referring to Principal Life
          Insurance Company, a member of the Principal Financial Group.
     (2) CFO Magazine, April/May 2000, based on total plans served in 1999 by
          insurance companies, banks and investment firms.
 
 SOURCE  The Principal Financial Group