Principal Financial Group has announced a turnkey savings tool to help employees boost retirement savings, and separately Fitch Ratings affirmed its debt ratings.

The Principal Step Ahead Retirement Option lets plan participants automatically increase their contributions by a set percentage each year, countering research showing that inertia often hampers saving for retirement, the company said.

An Employee Benefits Research Institute survey this year on retirement confidence found that fewer than one-third of retirement plan savers increased contributions to their plans last year.

Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings said Monday that it had affirmed the senior debt and long-term and short-term issuer ratings for Principal Financial Group; an intermediate holding company, Principal Financial Services Inc.; and the parent's insurance subsidiaries.

In addition, the ratings agency affirmed its AA insurer financial strength ratings and A-plus surplus note rating for Principal Life Insurance Co. The rating outlook is stable, it said.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.