Principal Expands Retirement Plan Access to Hispanic Workers by Taking Savings Mobile

  • Retirement industry leader adds Spanish-language option to retirement app, enhancing suite of resources customized to address savings gap for Hispanic workers

Principal Financial Group announced an expansion of its suite of retirement solutions for Hispanic workers by adding a Spanish-language option to its mobile retirement app. This enhancement is designed to help increase retirement savings and management access to the thousands of Hispanic workers Principal serves as many face a retirement savings gap made worse by the pandemic.1

“To make financial security more accessible, we are creating opportunities to reach more people and businesses”

“Cultural and language barriers can often limit the engagement of Hispanic workers and hinder retirement outcomes, particularly during times of economic uncertainty,” said Joleen Workman, vice president of customer care, Retirement and Income Solutions at Principal.“By adding a full-service Spanish-language retirement mobile app to our solutions for Hispanic workers we are focused on helping even more people feel secure and confident in their retirement planning.”

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Principal brings the Spanish-language mobile app to participants at a time when mobile use for retirement saving and planning has increased significantly. In 2019, over 21% of participants used the retirement app via a mobile device, with that rate jumping to 37% of participants on mobile devices instead of desktops this year. 2

Research also shows that access to employer-sponsored retirement plans for Hispanic workers is lower as compared to other groups: 48% of Hispanic workers with fulltime jobs don’t have access to plans as compared to 24% for other fulltime workers.3 The Principal app’s bilingual capability can help assure employers they can reach more Hispanic workers. The app provides the appropriate language in Spanish or English based on a user’s phone language setting, allowing Spanish-speaking users to:

  • Check retirement account balances
  • Make contribution decisions
  • Monitor their retirement progress
  • Get immediate assistance from bilingual customer support

The Spanish-language app is available to all Principal customers and adds to the company’s Principal®Hola Futuro, a free educational and financial wellness resource for the Hispanic community. It will also be an immediate resource for Spanish-speaking workers who onboard with Principal® Real Start en Español, a bilingual digital enrollment platform.

1 About four-in-ten Hispanic adults (43%) say they have used money from a savings or retirement account to pay their bills since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak compared with 29% of White adults and 33% of Asian adults (The Pew Research Center, Sept. 24, 2020).
2 Principal reporting as of March 31, 2021.
3 The Pew Charitable Trusts, September 2017.

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Beyond language

The advancement of the mobile app is part of the Principal approach of building customer experiences that go beyond just language. The company has a bicultural approach which doesn’t just translate for Spanish-speaking audiences, but takes cultural influences into account to accurately express meaning and purpose.

Principal® Hola Futuro (“Hello Future”) is an accessible, culturally-appropriate resource providing employees with financial wellness videos, worksheets, FAQs, and access to a bicultural support team. In addition, Principal® Real Start en Español is a personalized retirement plan onboarding experience available in Spanish and English. Since 2019, Real Start has led to an average savings deferral rate of 8% among Hispanic participants.

“To make financial security more accessible, we are creating opportunities to reach more people and businesses,” Workman said. “This mobile retirement savings platform is an important step in that work.”

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