MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. and DES MOINES, Iowa - October 3, 2001 - The Principal Financial GroupÂ®, the nation's 401(k) leader, and Intuit Inc. today announced an agreement to jointly market and develop QuickBooksÂ®-branded retirement solutions for businesses. Retirement services from The PrincipalÂ® will be available to QuickBooks customers in the coming weeks. Future releases of QuickBooks will automate data transfer and simplify administration of the retirement solutions.
Under the agreement, Intuit will co-brand and market the new service to small and mid-sized businesses, including its nearly three million existing QuickBooks customers. The Principal Financial Group will deliver leading bundled retirement solutions, offering customers choice from a full spectrum of 401(k), SIMPLE IRA and SEP IRA plans.
"Just like accounting, managing an employee retirement program is complicated," said Elliot Cooperstone, vice president of Intuit's Employer Services Group. "At the same time, being able to offer a retirement plan is very important to business owners. We chose the best-of-the-best in The Principal Financial Group to give businesses something they've always wanted - an easy way to offer their employees a great retirement plan at a competitive price."
"As small- and mid-sized businesses work to compete with larger enterprises for employees, it becomes increasingly important to offer competitive benefits and retirement solutions," said J. Barry Griswell, president and CEO, The Principal. "The recent Principal Financial Well-Being Index revealed that 77% of American workers surveyed said that having a good benefits plan would keep them at their current employers.
"Even more impressive, 69% of respondents said a good benefits plan would encourage them to work harder and perform better," continued Mr. Griswell. "Through this arrangement, more small business owners will soon be able to offer very competitive programs to help them attract, retain and reward key people."
Today only 20 percent of small businesses offer an employer-sponsored retirement program for employees (EBRI 2001 Retirement Confidence Survey). Similarly, many QuickBooks customers do not have a formal retirement plan in place for employees.