Principal Financial Group has bundled three types of employee benefits services into a single automated billing service dubbed Principal Payroll Program. The new service incorporates payroll, retirement plan administration and professional financial advice into a turnkey package. Principal hopes the new program will increase its share of the retirement plan market by simplifying the process of collecting fees from participants and retirement plan sponsors.

"Employers want to outsource, but they want to do it efficiently," said Tim Minard, vice president and national sales director of retirement and investor services. "The Principal Payroll Program helps companies save time and money by streamlining three essential functions in one package."
What looks like a miniscule twist on retirement plan billing service could amount to significant innovation for Principal because plan sponsors recognize the need for financial advice but have stumbled on methods for billing participants for the service. Principal's program potentially eliminates that wrinkle and helps plan sponsors alleviate their liabilities by providing meaningful investor education.

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