Employees overwhelmed by difficult benefit choices and complex financial decisions, now have a new tool to put them on track, the Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, Iowa, has announced. My Principal Edge Milestones is an interactive program that analyzes financial needs and gives employees an easy to follow roadmap of actions to help meet their goals.

Much more than a retirement calculator, Milestones from the Principal Financial Group, helps employees of plan customers identify shortfalls in saving for retirement and shows gaps in other financial needs. The output is a simple, personalized action plan that outlines steps towards filling those gaps and help in meeting long term financial goals.

“It’s little wonder 66% of American workers say they have not conducted an analysis of their financial needs in the past three years. Making financial decisions is complex and calculators often require more information than they have at their fingertips,” said Luke Vandermillen, national director of worksite solutions for the Principal Financial Group. “With Milestones, employees can develop a plan with as little as four pieces of information. What they get in return is a one-page, personalized timeline with simple steps that help them take action.”

Overcoming roadblocks to increase benefit satisfaction

Available online or at the worksite, early use of the tool shows double digit increases in benefit participation. In 2007, employees took some 40,000 benefit plan actions after using Milestones during 68,000 one-on-one worksite meetings.

Milestones works alone or as the perfect compliment to The Principal model of offering one-one worksite meetings with salaried benefits experts. Employees see how the benefit plans offered by their employer work together to help them plan for the future. The tool meets individuals where they are today regardless of their life stage or income. Employees walk away with a personalized roadmap and a greater appreciation of all their benefits.

“Traditionally financial guidance has been focused on affluent individuals, but we’re offering help for the ‘rest of us,’” said Vandermillen. “Whether you access Milestones through our Web site or by sitting down one-on-one with a benefit specialist, this is one more way we’re putting individuals on the road to a more secure financial future.”

For more information about Milestones and to check out a simplified version of the tool, visit www.principal.com