The Principal Financial Group was founded in 1879 and was first established as a life insurance company. Today, the firm provides a wide range of products, including retirement solutions, health insurance and investments, along with annuities. In Q3 2013, the firm boasted $535 million in variable annuity sales, which ranks among the top 20 in the industry. This Annuity Monitor Report takes a look at The Principal Financial Group’s online annuity presence, focusing on the online offerings on the public site and resources offered to clients and advisors on the private and advisor websites.
Three key criteria taken into consideration for this report include:
- Online Annuity Presence on the Public Site
- Private and Advisor Site Account Services
- Private and Advisor Site Resources
The Principal Financial Group provides an adequate collection of resources across its public, private and advisor sites. Each website logically organizes content into clearly labeled sections and provides easy access to website resources through a variety of navigation features, including a main navigation menu across the top and a series of left-side menus. Additionally, a universal login field is available on every page of the public site, providing direct access to The Principal’s private and advisor websites.
The Principal’s public website provides an assortment of general annuity information and relevant educational content. Public site users can only access information on three annuity product types –Deferred Annuity, Variable Annuity and Income Annuity – instead of specific product offerings, making the exact number of annuity products offered unclear. The firm does provide several retirement-focused calculators, tips and videos intended to help users with their retirement strategies.
The private site provides customers with a strong collection of annuity contract information and transaction capabilities. The private site homepage displays contract information, while the rest of the private site provides additional account details including beneficiary and rider information. Clients can also conduct transfers, asset allocations and rebalances on the private site. Other resourceful services include the ability to update login information, contact information and email subscriptions.
Finally, the advisor site provides agents with highly-detailed product information pages, and product-specific literature, marketing and sales materials. In addition, the site offers an annuity-specific illustration system and an Annuity Create an Application Packet tool.
Additional key features found throughout The Principal’s public, private and advisor sites include:
- The public site provides users with a great deal of contact resources for those who wish to inquire about the firm’s products and services.
- The private site offers clients helpful resources including a Glossary page, Secure Message Center and FAQs page.
- The private site provides details about investment funds, including balance, rate of return, number of units, unit value and premium allocations.
- The advisor site offers agents a customizable left-side menu.