Principal Financial Group® announced changes to support individuals and businesses experiencing the financial impacts of the widespread COVID-19 outbreak.
"The global spread of COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of our lives," said Dan Houston, chairman, president, and CEO of Principal®. "As we all focus on keeping ourselves and our families safe and healthy, we want to help many of our customers reduce short-term financial burdens enabling them to stay committed to their long-term financial plans and security. We’re adjusting our businesses to help customers manage through some of the near-term challenges created by the virus."
Principal serves and supports millions of individuals and their families and nearly 150,000 businesses, of all sizes, across the U.S. with retirement, insurance, and asset management solutions. As COVID-19 has spread around the world, the company has temporarily adjusted some of their processes and policies with the goal of finding new ways to help customers manage through the current business, economic, and market impacts.
Relief for retirement plan sponsors and participants
Building on the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Principal and Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust (IRT) are waiving participant-paid distribution and loan origination fees for participants taking tax-favored withdrawals, hardship withdrawals, or loans from their employer-sponsored retirement accounts. Additionally, retirement plan sponsors will have fees waived for plan amendment changes to allow participants to access these programs, or who need to reduce or remove their employer contributions1.
"The CARES Act is an important bridge to help those most affected today by the spread of COVID-19. We’re making the changes needed on our side to ensure plan sponsors and participants aren’t hit with additional costs to access these lifelines," said Renee Schaaf, president of Retirement and Income Solutions. "We continue to work closely with policymakers in Washington on thoughtful solutions to help people and businesses manage not only the near-term pain of this crisis, but also potential long-term consequences. We remain focused on supporting our customers with the information, service, and flexibility they need."
Support for insurance and benefits customers
To help Principal insurance policyholders—individuals and employers—prevent a lapse in coverage, grace periods for premium payments have been extended. And, for employers who hold group benefits coverage the company is temporarily halting any rate increases. This is for employers with fewer than 500 employees with policy renewal dates coming due between May 1 and August 15 of this year. Policyholders and others can visit the dedicated Principal COVID-19 resource page for more information related to insurance coverage.
Principal is also leveraging recent investments in digital services to continue meeting customer needs during this time of disruption. When underwriting life and disability policies, the company is using digital health data and records where possible, instead of requiring physicians’ statements and labs. For dental insurance customers, Principal will cover expenses related to teledentistry (exam fees were already covered) and ensure they will not count towards annual frequency limits.
"The impact of this pandemic has been swift and fierce, but we’re doing all we can to help," said Amy Friedrich, president of U.S. Insurance Solutions. "We're adding payment flexibility, offering pricing relief, and easing administrative requirements. The needs of our small business customers are especially top of mind, while we focus on being fast, practical, and creative in how we serve them during these unprecedented and difficult times."
For more information about what Principal is doing to meet the needs of our customers related to COVID-19, visit principal.com/heretohelp.
Principal (Nasdaq: PFG) helps people and companies around the world build, protect and advance their financial well-being through retirement, insurance and asset management solutions that fit their lives. Our employees are passionate about helping clients of all income and portfolio sizes achieve their goals – offering innovative ideas, investment expertise and real-life solutions to make financial progress possible. To find out more, visit us at principal.com.
Principal, Principal and symbol design and Principal Financial Group are trademarks and service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group®.
Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Co (except in NY) and Principal Life Insurance Co. Plan administrative services offered by Principal Life. Principal Funds, Inc. is distributed by Principal Funds Distributor, Inc. Securities offered through Principal Securities, Inc., 800-247-1737, member SIPC and/or independent broker-dealers. Referenced companies are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392.
Principal Financial Group closed the acquisition of certain assets of the Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust business (IRT) on July 1, 2019. The transition, transfer, and conversion of IRT business operations, employees, and clients will occur over the following 12-24 months. During the transition period, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., a bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company, will continue to operate and service the IRT business for the benefit of Principal®, including providing recordkeeping, trustee, and/or custody services.
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1 For plans drafted and maintained by Principal and Wells Fargo IRT.