Torch Technologies Featured in Best Practices Guide Published by The Principal Financial Group

Huntsville, AL (January 27, 2009)

At a time when the rollercoaster economy has thrown the business world for a loop, 10 award-winning companies have sought balance using a simple formula for success: strong benefits can build a strong workforce, which helps support a strong bottom line. A new best practices guide tells the stories of how--and why--The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security-2008 remain committed to employee benefits in the best and the worst of times.

"Great benefits are one of the keys to happy, productive employees," said Bill Roark, CEO of Torch Technologies, one of The Principal 10 Best - 2008. "In our business, happy employees are the key to sustained growth in any economic environment."

Selected by an independent panel of renowned benefits experts, The Principal 10 Best Companies have found ways to balance the need for strong benefits with the need to control costs.

"In a challenging environment like this, it is refreshing to showcase the good things happening in companies today," said Renee Schaaf, vice president, The Principal Financial Group, sponsor of the national recognition program. "The Principal 10 Best companies are working hard to stand by their employees. They understand how they treat their employees during tough times will impact their ability to keep and attract great employees when the economy turns around."

The new guide, The Formula for Success, showcases the fundamental best practices that help the savvy organizations withstand financial twists and turns and give them a competitive advantage.

The guide, available at no charge at www.principal.com/bestguide, offers employers and their financial professionals the following tools:

A benchmarking chart for comparing their benefits with those of The Principal 10 Best Companies and national averages

Easy-to-use, interactive checklists that can help companies fine-tune their benefits programs

Engaging case studies that describe how The Principal 10 Best Companies overcame the universal challenges faced by employers

"One of the long-lasting benefits (of this program) is that lots of other companies can learn from what The Principal 10 Best do," said Tim Welsh, director, McKinsey & Company and judge for The Principal 10 Best. "If we even get a small number of employers who read this guide to do a few things better, the number of employees who will be helped by these kinds of insights is truly huge."

Profiles of the 2008 winners are available atwww.principal.com/10best.

About The Principal 10 Best Companies Program

The Principal 10 Best Companies is a national program that recognizes small- and medium-size companies that excel at giving their employees a financial edge. Entries for the 2009 recognition will be accepted beginning Feb. 1, 2009. For more information, visit www.principal.com/10best.

About The Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group (The Principal) is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance, and banking through its diverse family of financial services companies. A member of the Fortune 500, the Principal Financial Group has $287.4 billion in assets under management and serves some 19.0 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 www.principal.com.

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