NU Online News Service, Feb. 2, 2004, 1:31 p.m. EST – Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, is looking for 10 companies with great benefits programs.[@@]

The Principal 10 Best Companies award program is open to any employer with 5 to 1,000 employees. The employers do not have to be Principal customers.

The application deadline is May 1.

Judging criteria will include the breadth and depth of financial benefits offered, level of commitment by the company to its employees’ financial security, and the quality of benefits communications and educational efforts.

Principal will showcase the winning employers in a best practices guide on its Web site, and the Principal Financial Group Foundation Inc. will make a donation in the name of each company to a local charity of each company’s choice.

The entry form for employers is at http://www.principal.com/theprincipal10best/entry.htm

Financial advisors can nominate employers using a form posted at http://www.principal.com/theprincipal10best/nomination.htm