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Easier ESOP Distribution Processing with New Online Services from the Principal Financial Group
[June 07, 2007]

Easier ESOP Distribution Processing with New Online Services from the Principal Financial Group

DES MOINES, Iowa --(Business Wire)-- Sponsors and participants of privately-held employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) with services provided by the Principal Financial Group(R) can save time and hassles with a convenient new online distribution service. Principal e-Distribution Services(SM) reduces the labor-intensive process of manually collecting and processing paper forms - and improves accuracy - when it's time for participants to request distributions from the ESOP. The service allows participants to easily and efficiently make their selections or choices online.

"This new service is another clear demonstration of our commitment to the ESOP industry," says Dennis Long, vice president, The Principal(R). "With more than 25 years in the ESOP business, The Principal is attuned to the needs of ESOP sponsors. Managing the manual distribution method was tedious and time-consuming for plan sponsors and participants alike, and we're very pleased that Principal e-Distribution Services(SM) can turn that process into something simple and painless."

The Principal is among the first to offer fully automated, complete distribution services for private ESOP and KSOP--a combination ESOP and 401(k) plan--clients. Because the service is electronic, there are no printing and mailing costs and no time spent preparing mailings, or collecting and processing forms. The electronic efficiency also removes the chances for manual error or lost forms.

Some of the additional benefits of Principal e-Distribution Services(SM) include:

-- Distribution Eligibility Determination: Identifies participants eligible for a distribution according to plan provisions.

-- Distribution Notices: Sends notices to participants informing them of their eligibility and provides instructions for making an online election.

-- Call Center Support: Provides access to a toll-free call center where retirement specialists can answer questions about the distribution process.

-- Online Viewing: Allows plan sponsors to view cumulative elections via online reports to help with cash management and budgeting.

-- Immediate Access: Provides eligible participants with immediate and ongoing access during the distribution election window and the opportunity to change their elections at any time during the distribution election window

-- Check Writing: Cuts distribution checks according to participant elections.

-- Tax Reporting: Provides full reporting and withholding for federal and state taxes.

For a demonstration of the new tool, visit ESOP services from The Principal are part of the Principal Total Retirement Suite(SM) which offers a true integration of ESOPs and other qualified retirement plans--coordinating one or more plans into a streamlined, cohesive program.

About The Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group(R) (The Principal (R))(1) is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance, and banking through its diverse family of financial services companies and national network of financial professionals. A member of the Fortune 500, the Principal Financial Group has $270.1 billion in assets under management(2) and serves some 17.6 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit

(1) "The Principal Financial Group" and "The Principal" are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.

(2) As of March 31, 2007

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