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Principal Financial shift to result in local layoffs

October 20, 2010

Financial giant Principal Financial Group Inc. is exiting the health insurance business, a move that will cost 60 Indianapolis workers their jobs.

Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal notified state officials of the pending job cuts in an Oct. 11 letter that was made public this week. Layoffs are scheduled to begin on Dec. 10 and continue for two to three years.

Principal announced Sept. 30 that it was getting out of health insurance. UnitedHealth Care has agreed to renew customers’ policies during a 36-month transition.

CEO Larry D. Zimpleman said the business has been performing well financially, but its relative size has declined as the company’s retirement and asset-management product lines have grown.
 
“The medical business continues to be one that undergoes rapid change, which would mean investing additional capital into the business to be able to offer competitive products,” he said in a news release. “For us, that just does not make sense."

The company said its decision, which is expected to be permanent, will affect employees in multiple locations, including several offices that will close. In Indianapolis, workers at Principal’s offices at 8909 Purdue Road and 8902 Vincennes Circle will get at least 60 days’ notice if their jobs are eliminated.

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