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These 10 Companies Know the ROI of Awesome Employee Benefits

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Ten businesses recognized today by the Principal Financial Group(R) as this year’s 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security are investing serious time and money into their employees’ financial futures, but their employees are not the only ones reaping the benefits. The winning companies are able to better attract and retain top talent; their average annual voluntary turnover rate is less than 7 percent compared to the national average of 13 percent1. Executives at the winning firms assert that their benefit strategies also are critical to maintaining high levels of employee engagement, motivation, and productivity.

“More and more business owners are observing that offering a comprehensive benefits package carefully designed to foster a culture of healthy living and financial preparedness is not only a good thing to do, but also it’s good for the company’s health,” said Luke Vandermillen, vice president at The Principal(R). “When employees are cared for and feel invested in their company’s success, they are healthier, happier, more productive, and less likely to leave.”

This marks the 13th year The Principal has sponsored the program, which honors growing companies (five – 1,000 employees) for their commitment to employee financial security through outstanding employee benefits. An independent panel of judges selected The Principal(R) 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security – 2014 in a blind judging process to identify companies with an outstanding commitment to their employees’ financial security.

“There’s been some uncertainty about what level of benefits companies will offer in the future,” said Amy Friedrich, vice president at The Principal. “The companies that invest in their employees find they have a more engaged workforce and give themselves a distinct competitive advantage.”

Judges noted top trends among this year’s winners:

  • They Make Saving for Retirement Easier. Eighty percent of 10 Best companies automatically enroll eligible employees in their 401(k) plans, and half of those plans have auto-escalation features to encourage their workforce to increase their contributions as they get more established in their careers and closer to retirement.
  • They Empower Employees through Financial Education. The 2014 10 Best companies all provide a one-on-one financial guidance program to their employees so they can take appropriate action to secure their own financial futures. They also offer extensive financial planning resources, such as group seminars, online tutorials, telephone help lines and educational materials.
  • They Give Employees a Stake in the Company’s Success. All 10 of the winning companies offer a profit-sharing bonus to reward employees when the company does well. Several also offer employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).
  • They Care About Their Employees’ Health and Wellness. The 10 Best employers go out of their way to keep their workforce healthy. Half cover 100 percent of their workers’ health care premiums and many offer and fund dental, vision, accident, group life, critical illness, and/or long-term care insurance, as well as perks like paid health club memberships and on-site fitness coaches. Most offer Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Accounts and many encourage employees to stay fit and healthy through wellness programs.

And the winners are…..

The Principal 10 Best 2014 winners are certainly a diverse group, working in industries from technology to aerospace and agriculture. The smallest winning company has only 14 employees, whereas the largest has a workforce of 543. When it comes to company longevity, the winners run the gamut as well; the youngest company was founded five years ago and the oldest is 81 years old.

The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security-2014:

  • CoBiz Financial, Denver, Colo.; financial services
  • Gibson, South Bend, Ind.; insurance/benefits
  • Haviland Enterprises, Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich.; manufacturing
  • Keller Williams Realty Inc., Austin, Texas; real estate
  • National Pork Board, Clive, Iowa; agriculture/ trade association
  • Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC), San Francisco, Calif.; insurance/benefits
  • Quick Left, Inc., Boulder, Colo.; technology
  • Stellar Solutions, Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.; aerospace/defense
  • Strategic Communications, Louisville, Ky.; technology
  • The Sartell Group, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.; information technology

Learn more about the winning companies at

About the Principal Financial Group
The Principal Financial Group(R) (The Principal(R))2 is a global investment management leader offering retirement services, insurance solutions and asset management. The Principal offers businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement, asset management and insurance through its diverse family of financial services companies. Founded in 1879 and a member of the FORTUNE 500(R), the Principal Financial Group has $517.9 billion in assets under management3 and serves some 19.4 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 According to SHRM Strategic Benchmarking database history
2“The Principal Financial Group” and “The Principal” are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
3 As of June 30, 2014.

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