My Virtual Coach Creates Real-Life Results

New online conversations now available for retirement-plan

DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The results are in. My
Virtual Coach
, a web-based, interactive educational resource from Principal
Financial Group
®, is empowering people to plan—and save
for—the life they want in retirement.

Launched about a year ago, My Virtual Coach covers a range of topics.
Results from the first conversation, which tackled getting employees
enrolled in their organizations’ retirement plans, include1:

  • Nearly one-third of people who enroll through My Virtual Coach
    contribute 10 percent of their salary or more (only 7 percent of
    people contribute 10 percent or more using traditional enrollment
  • More than 30 percent elect automatic, annual contribution increases
    (compared to 5 percent when using traditional enrollment).
  • Their deferrals are nearly 3 percentage points more, on average, than
    those enrolling traditionally.

“We’re blown away by these stats,” said Jerry Patterson, senior vice
president of retirement and income solutions at Principal®.
“We know people want to make the best choices, and it’s clear that My
Virtual Coach is empowering them to take action by delivering a
personalized, experience that simplifies the complex.”

The collection of My Virtual Coach conversations includes everything
from enrollment to designating a beneficiary to investing choices.
They’re tailored to the individual based on relevant information, so
most participants can get through each one in just five to seven minutes.

shows that regardless of generation,
people are very open to digital tools as resources for explaining the
ins and outs of retirement,” Patterson said. “My Virtual Coach is
available anytime, anywhere and on any device, aligning with how people
want to receive information today.”

Plan sponsor pluses
My Virtual Coach complements the
evolving workplace, giving plan sponsors the flexibility to reach
employees working remotely or in other locations with the same

And given the increased scrutiny around what may be considered advice
versus education under the new Department
of Labor fiduciary regulations
, My Virtual Coach offers a robust
platform that helps plan sponsors track the education their participants
receive. “While participants can choose different paths, they stay
within the boundaries of the designed educational experience,” Patterson

What’s new?
Just in time for benefit-election season, a
newly launched conversation provides participants with an annual
to help track their progress and give their retirement
strategy a once-over.

Whether getting a raise, getting married, having a child or getting
closer to retirement, it’s important to revisit savings decisions on a
regular basis to stay on track. The annual-checkup conversation ends
with email-ready action items that capture reminders of what the user
still needs to do.

Another new conversation explains the value of guaranteed income in
retirement. It unpacks Principal
Pension Builder
, an in-plan product that allows participants to
direct a portion of their retirement plan contributions into a deferred
income annuity.2

My Virtual Coach is part of Principal®
, an approach to workplace retirement readiness designed to
help make retirement plans work better for both participants and plan
sponsors. Principal PlanWorks is made up of three key pieces—plan
design, participant experience and strategic measures—to help drive
successful retirement outcomes.

For more research, analysis and insights from Principal, visit the Principal
Knowledge Center
and connect with us on Twitter.

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 Pension BuilderSM is a deferred
income annuity rider available through certain group annuity contracts
with Principal Life Insurance Company, a member of the Principal
Financial Group®, Des Moines Iowa 50392.
Principal Pension
Builder may not be available in all states.


1 My Virtual Coach enrollment results from 23,998 eligible
401(k) and 403(b) plans; traditional enrollment results based on 24,127
eligible salary deferral service plans (Jan. 1, 2016-June 30, 2016).

2 The ability of Principal Life Insurance Company to pay the
guarantee is based on the claims-paying ability of the general account
and is subject to the terms of the contract.


Principal Financial Group
Jaime Naig, 515-247-0798