Skip to main content

You are here


Principal Launches New Hybrid QDIA

Client Services

To help meet growing demand for personalized investment strategies within employer-sponsored retirement plans, Principal Financial Group has launched a new, hybrid qualified default investment alternative (QDIA).  

Named Principal Intelligent QDIA, the hybrid solution offers both target date strategies, as well as a managed account service in one default option, according to the announcement.

Unless a different investment election is made during enrollment, participants younger than the plan’s set transition age (e.g. 45 years old) will be defaulted into a target date fund. Once participants reach the plan’s set transition age, they will automatically move to a managed account service that will enable tailored investment strategies that consider more than age by using additional factors such as contribution levels, account balance, and Social Security benefit.

Participants can further refine the strategy by inputting additional financial and goal-based information such as other retirement accounts, desired retirement age, planned retirement expenses and lifestyle in retirement.

“We know from research and our direct conversations with customers that personalized investment advice has become a need for retirement savers,” said Brett Fisher, head of investment product strategy for Retirement and Income Solutions at Principal. “Principal Intelligent QDIA can help participants feel more confident in their financial futures by getting them started on a savings path for retirement before ultimately helping them manage the wealth they’ve accumulated.”

Citing research from Cerulli, the firm suggests that hybrid QDIAs have become more attractive over the past two years. The number of plan sponsors adopting them as the default investment option increased 67% year-over-year from 2020 to 2021. Moreover, going into 2023, 86% of plan sponsors and 76% of financial professionals Principal surveyed agreed the most common default option by 2030 will likely be a target date fund with a managed account service.

Participants also acknowledge the value of advice, indicating their investing confidence increases from 35% to 65% when receiving professional help, according to another Principal survey.

“Our ultimate goal is to give participants a holistic view of their financial outlooks so we can help them determine what may be necessary to reach their retirement goals,” adds Fisher. “The more personalized and tailored those experiences can be, the better outcomes we believe can be created.”