Press release

Principal® Introduces Patent-Pending System to Help Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors with Escalating Risks

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To help combat increasing costs, complexity and market volatility, Principal Financial Group® developed the patent-pending Principal® Complete Pension Solution and the Principal® Pension Risk Management Dashboard to help defined benefit plan sponsors manage the financial, demographic and fiduciary risks in their plans.

The Principal® Complete Pension Solution system provides a technology-driven approach to pension risk management that can be tailored for individual plan needs alongside a first-of-its-kind annuity quote commitment to ensure plan sponsors can consider transferring risk to Principal® when the time may be right for their plan.

“Principal has been in the pension business since the 1940s, and as the top provider servicing defined benefit plans, with leading pension risk transfer offerings and significant, depth, breadth and experience in managing pension assets, Principal is uniquely positioned to help plan sponsors manage their plans from beginning to end to help avoid financial surprises,” said Joe McCarty, Vice President, Retirement Income Solutions at Principal Financial Group. “We are already seeing positive results from those implementing the Principal® Complete Pension Solution, who have experienced increased efficiencies and reduced costs and risks – even during a period of continued volatility.”

To complement the Principal® Complete Pension Solution, Principal built the Principal® Pension Risk Management Dashboard, a unified platform for monitoring key interest rates and equity market volatility that may impact a plan’s funded status, contribution requirements and financial accounting expenses. The dashboard enables plan sponsors to see potential impacts on their plan driven by the economic environment in order to help them make informed asset allocation and risk transfer decisions.

“Defined benefit plans are often thought of as costly, complex and volatile – but they don’t need to be,” said McCarty. “The Principal® Complete Pension Solution and Principal® Pension Risk Management Dashboard address the need for a comprehensive approach to assist plan sponsors from getting stuck in a cycle of making reactive decisions without a strategic perspective.”

How the Principal®Complete Pension Solution works

The patent-pending system uses proprietary technology and unmatched experience to combine expertises spanning actuarial science, liability driven investing, pension risk transfer, as well as plan administration and data management to offer a complete suite of risk management services for both ongoing and frozen defined benefit plans. Our patent pending process includes:

  • Innovative technology integrating key defined benefit services – including administration, actuarial, investment management, liability-driven asset management, trust and custody of plan assets. pension risk transfer services
  • An up-front audit and review of participant data to help ensure it’s in good order for ongoing administration or plan termination.
  • Opportunity for plan sponsors to secure a commitment to quote an annuity, transferring risk to Principal.

The Principal® Complete Pension Solution can help reduce risk, and when sponsors are ready to permanently transfer risk, Principal offers a written commitment to quote an annuity, and the seamless ability to transfer existing investments directly via an “asset-in-kind” transfer.

“Every day, Principal is driven by our mission to improve and protect retirement outcomes for all people, and we are continually investing in the technology, products and people to make this possible,” said McCarty.

Every pension plan is unique, and it’s important to tailor programs based on need. Please visit the Principal® Defined Benefit Advisor Portal to learn more about the Principal® Complete Pension Solution and the Principal® Pension Risk Management Dashboard.

About Principal

Principal 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 Financial Advisors, Inc. is a registered investment adviser and member of Principal Global Investors. Principal Global Investors leads global asset management and is a member of the Principal Financial Group®. Asset allocation strategies are developed using Separate Accounts available through a group annuity contract of Principal Life Insurance Company.

Insurance products and plan administrative services provided through Principal Life Insurance Co., a member of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392.

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.

© 2019 Principal Financial Services, Inc.


  1. Adventures in Risk Management, Mercer, 2017