NU Online News Service, Dec. 1, 2004, 3:49 p.m. EST

A large insurer has enlisted in the battle to protect the retirement income of disability claimants.[@@]

Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, has introduced the Principal Disability Insurance Retirement Security program.

The program offers individual disability customers a separate individual disability income policy for an extra layer of protection. Instead of directly replacing a disabled insured’s income, the program replaces retirement plan contributions by paying disability income insurance benefits to an irrevocable trust. The insured can manage the investments in the trust. At the end of the benefit period, the trust distributes the assets to the insured.

Principal issues the retirement security program and other individual disability coverage through its Principal Life Insurance Company unit.