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December 12, 2006
Better Pay Equals Better Performance, Workers Say

When the Principal Financial Group asked more than 2,000 workers in the fall of 2006 what employers could do to help employees get more out of work, the answer was pretty clear. Almost three-fourths (73%) said that their employers could provide better pay for performance, and nearly half (47%) said that better benefits would do the trick.

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The Principal Financial Well-Being Index, conducted online by Harris Interactive on Principal's behalf, found that 61% of workers were either satisfied or very satisfied with their employers. They must be; the survey found employees are working more now than they did a year ago. When asked how the length of their work week compares with a year ago, 29% said they worked more in 2006 than they did in 2005. Just 20% of respondents said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their employers.

The poll queried workers on why they work and, not surprisingly, most (89%) said they work in order to pay the bills. Benefits were cited by 64% of respondents as their reason for working, and 51% said they work to save for their future.

The poll found that the future is on many workers' minds: 71% of employees and 50% of retirees (630 of them were included in the survey) worry about their long-term financial future. "It is no wonder than many work well beyond their 50s and 60s to pay for their basic necessities and maintain their current financial well being, or just to stay engaged," said Dan Houston, executive vice president, Retirement and Investor Services at The Principal. "For many, it's an economic decision to keep working, in order to pay mounting healthcare bills, keep up with inflation or just to cover the basic necessities. For others, it is simply a desire to stay active, engaged and make a contribution."

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