Principal Life settles for $6M over NY state violations
CBJ Women of Influence awards honor region's leaders
• In the CBJ: Wind on the rise in Iowa
FDIC: Iowa 5th-lowest in nation for unbanked households
Initial unemployment claims in Iowa increase
• Corridor events, KCRG-TV9 headlines and First Alert Forecast
Principal Life settles for $6M over NY state violations
Des Moines-based Principal Life Insurance Co. has reached a $6 million settlement with financial regulators in New York for not being upfront with customers about how much money they might lose by switching their life insurance plans from deferred annuities to immediate annuities.

The New York Department of Financial Services announced Oct. 30 it had entered into a consent order with Principal for state violations of insurance disclosure and suitability regulations in deferred to immediate annuity replacement transactions. The company will pay just over $6 million in restitution and penalties.

“Today’s settlement provides restitution to New York consumers who lost savings after being lured into disadvantageous annuities," Superintendent of Financial Services Linda Lacewell said in a statement. "This case serves as a reminder to New York’s life insurers that they must abide by our regulations and provide full disclosure, so New York consumers are able to invest their life savings wisely.”

The state's investigation found that Principal failed to properly disclose to consumers income comparisons and suitability information, causing hundreds of consumers to exchange more financially favorable deferred annuities with less favorable immediate annuities. Many New York consumers received incomplete information regarding the replacement annuities, resulting in less long-term income.

The settlement is the result of an industry-wide investigation into deferred to immediate annuity replacement practices in New York state. To date, the investigation has resulted in settlements with more than 10 carriers, totaling more than $12 million in restitution and penalties.  

Hundreds of New York consumers will receive additional restitution for the remainder of their annuity contract terms and Principal has agreed to take corrective actions, including revising its disclosure statements to include side-by-side monthly income comparison information and revising its disclosure, suitability, and training procedures to comply with regulations.

Annuities are contracts between life insurance companies and consumers that provide guaranteed payments for the remainder of an individual’s lifetime or for a specified period. Immediate annuities provide periodic income payments that begin within 13 months after the annuity is issued, while deferred annuities allow consumers to earn interest on their premium before receiving payments at a future date.

Recommending that consumers replace existing deferred annuities with immediate annuities without proper disclosures may cost consumers substantial lifetime income, New York regulators said.

Read a copy of the consent order here.
CBJ Women of Influence awards honor region's leaders
The Corridor Business Journal celebrated its 2020 Women of Influence on Tuesday in a long-awaited event at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center.

Originally scheduled in early April, the awards ceremony was rescheduled several times due to gathering restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The 16th-annual event recognized 10 women who have made a difference in the Corridor as role models and leaders in their fields and communities. New this year, the CBJ also recognized one Emerging Woman of Influence, Megan Lehman, for her early career success and recognition within her peer group. 
In what Dawn Kluber, executive director of the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business Executive MBA Program, called a “much needed bright spot in a really tough year,” recipients sat at their own socially-distanced tables and gave heartfelt speeches at the podium. Those who couldn’t attend delivered speeches virtually through the live Zoom/Facebook broadcast.
Many of this year's honorees credited their families and upbringing for their career and philanthropic success. 
“This honor is as much about them as it is about me,” Ms. Lehman said of her parents in an emotional speech. “Without their example of endless faith, relentless persistence and absolute love, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”
To watch the awards ceremony in its entirety, visit The profiles of the women originally published in March will be published again in next week’s CBJ.

PHOTO: The CBJ's first Emerging Woman of Influence Megan Lehman speaks at the Women of Influence awards ceremony held Nov. 3 at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center. 
In the CBJ: Wind on the rise in Iowa
Iowa’s wind, which last year became the state’s largest source of electrical power, has reached something of a tipping point, energy leaders say.

“Wind and solar are the economic choices,” said James McCalley, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering and the Jack London Chair in power systems engineering at Iowa State University. “It’s no longer about being green. It’s an economic choice if you’re building at utility scale. Even five years ago, we weren’t able to say that.”

Wind turbines supplied 42% of the electricity generated in Iowa in 2019, or more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) worth, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). That’s the highest proportion of any state, and helped push wind’s share in Iowa past that of coal-fired plants for the first time. The state remains the third-largest wind energy producer, on a total MW basis, after Texas and Oklahoma.

The American Wind Energy Association says the $19 billion invested in Iowa wind power over the past few decades has created more than 9,000 jobs in the state.

Government support and subsidies for wind power are now ending, Mr. McCalley said – not out of political opposition, but because they’re simply no longer needed. With the infrastructure in place, wind’s marginal cost – the expense of adding additional generating capacity – is “close to zero.”

“What does it cost you to generate one more megawatt hour?” he said. “For coal and gas, you have to buy that fuel and build that plant. For wind it’s almost nothing. You build a lot of wind capacity and it pulls down that marginal cost pretty effectively.”

Iowa’s utilities are responding rapidly to the changing economics of wind. Alliant Energy last week unveiled its Clean Energy Blueprint for Iowa, “a path for accelerating their transition to cleaner energy for customers.” The plan will add 400 MW of solar-generated power over the next three years, supplementing the 1,300 MW already generated by Alliant-owned wind farms. That will bring renewables’ share of Alliant’s portfolio to about 50%.

Under the plan, Alliant’s coal-fired plant at Lansing in northeast Iowa will also be shut down by 2022, and its Burlington plant will shift from coal to natural gas next year.

Read the full members-only story in this week's print or digital editions of the CBJ.
FDIC: Iowa 5th-lowest in nation for unbanked households
A record 95% of U.S. households had a bank or credit union account in 2019, according to a new biennial survey and report released Monday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as reported by the Des Moines Business Record.

The report, "How America Banks: Household Use of Banking and Financial Services," also found that a record low 5.4% of U.S. households were unbanked in 2019.

The number of unbanked households in Iowa declined by 62% over the past four years, bringing the percentage of Iowa households without a checking or savings account to 2.6% - the fifth-lowest percentage in the country.

"This means that over 3 million Iowans have an account at a financial institution," said John Sorensen, president and CEO of the Iowa Bankers Association, in a release. "Studies have shown that an account relationship is a prerequisite to future economic success. Iowa banks remain committed to creating a welcoming environment where all may access mainstream financial services at a reasonable cost.

In partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, the FDIC conducted the survey in June 2019, collecting responses from nearly 33,000 households. The FDIC found that between 2017 and 2019, more than 1.5 million new households opened bank accounts, and the use of mobile banking as the primary means of accessing accounts more than doubled.

Key findings of the report:

  • Nearly 95% (124 million) of U.S. households had at least one bank or credit union account in 2019, while 5.4% (7.1 million) of households did not.
  • Nearly half of unbanked households reported they did not have a bank account because they did not have enough money to meet minimum balance requirements, and approximately one-third of unbanked households stated they did not have an account because they did not trust banks.
  • Mobile banking continued to increase sharply in 2019, more than doubling as the primary means of access since 2017 and leading all other methods of account access, including tellers, ATMs and online banking.
  • Approximately 14% of African American households and 12% of Hispanic households did not have bank accounts in 2019. This is the lowest percentage of unbanked households for these groups since the FDIC began conducting the survey. However, among white households, fewer than 3% were unbanked.

Murray Williams, president and CEO of the Iowa Credit Union League, said Iowa credit unions are committed to getting the percentage of unbanked households in Iowa "down to zero."

"As not-for-profit financial cooperatives, Iowa credit unions are proud to play a central role in helping unbanked Iowans find a trusted home at a financial institution," Mr. Williams said. "The downward trend for unbanked households in Iowa will lead to increased financial well-being for Iowans, and support the economic prosperity of our local communities."

The FDIC also launched a new website to assist consumers who would like to learn more about the process of opening a bank account, including top reasons to have a bank account. To learn more, visit and follow the campaign at #GetBanked.
Initial unemployment claims in Iowa increase
Iowa saw an increase in the number of initial unemployment insurance claims filed between Oct. 25 and Oct. 31, according to the latest data from Iowa Workforce Development.

For the week ending Oct. 31, 4,964 initial claims were filed. That’s an increase of 613, or about 14%, from the previous week. Of those claims for the week ending Oct. 31, 4,478 were made by individuals who work and live in Iowa and 486 claims were made by individuals who work in Iowa and live in another state.

The number of continuing weekly unemployment claims was 37,290, a decrease of 2,535 from the previous week.

For the week ending Oct. 31, unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled $10.41 million. These industries had the most claims:

  •   Manufacturing (1,227)
  •   Construction (693)
  •   Industry Not Available - Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc (593)
  •   Health Care & Social Assistance (441)
  •   Administrative, Support, Waste Management, and Remediation Services (294)

For the latest unemployment insurance statistics, click here.
Connect with the CBJ

The CBJ’s mission of informing and connecting the Corridor’s business community is more important than ever. Our news operations will continue researching and reporting on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through our multiple distribution channels. Here’s how you can connect with us today and moving forward:

  • You can reach our newsroom directly with leads, updates, cancellations, etc. at [email protected].
  • Our comprehensive, deep-dive content continues in our weekly CBJ. If you are not a digital subscriber, you can sign up here.
  • Our daily news coverage solution is spread throughout the week with our free e-newsletters. If you have not already signed up, you can do so here.
  • Updated coronavirus information will also be published on our website,, and through our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels.
  • All of our staff members remain available to assist you. You can find our full contact information at

Remember: Subscribers can access the digital CBJ anytime and anywhere. Don't remember your password? Please email [email protected] for a password reset.

The CBJ print subscribers can also temporarily have the CBJ mailed to their home. To temporarily switch your address, please send your full temporary mailing address to [email protected]. Please include start and stop dates for the temporary address.

Thank you for your continued support of the Corridor Business Journal.
Short Term Event Planner

Nov. 5 
Building Innovation Scholars for Now and the Future, by NewBoCo, noon, online. 
Terry Cyfers, assistant director of innovation for the University of Charleston’s Wehrle Innovation Center, will talk about the history and future of the Innovation Scholar Program. Cost: $10. To register, visit

Nov. 6 
Friday Connections and Ribbon Cutting for table, by Iowa City Area Business Partnership,, 8-10 a.m., table restaurant, 575 Cameron Way, North Liberty. Celebrate the opening of table with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Free. For information, visit
Drive-Thru Job Fair, by IowaWORKS, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Lindale Mall, Cedar Rapids. Receive materials about job openings and talk with a staff member to learn about job search services and job training opportunities. Free. For more information, call IowaWORKS at (319) 365-9474 or email [email protected]
Nov. 9 
Marion Chamber 2020 Annual Meeting, by Marion Chamber of Commerce, noon-1 p.m., online. Keynote speaker Ron Nakamoto, co-founder of EW Plus LLC, will present “Realize What Matters, Re-Localize Marion.” Cost: $20 individual, “quaranteam” of 10, $200. To register, visit

Nov. 9-13
RSM Tax Summit 2020, by RSM US LLP, 11 a.m., online. Sessions will focus on post-election perspectives, changes in business models due to recent events, and considerations for business owners and tax professionals as 2020 comes to a close. Free. To register, visit
Get in the know
Forward the FREE CBJ Business Daily newsletter to your friends and colleagues, and share the feeling of being informed! Use our fast, one-minute subscription to the CBJ's newsletters here, or check out our other subscription options here.
See something we missed?
Send tips, leads, corrections, etc. to [email protected].
Headlines from KCRG-TV9
These news items are provided by KCRG-TV9 

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department responded to reports of a large storm debris pile on fire at the Tait Cummins Ball Park Complex located at 3000 C St. SW just before 2 a.m. today. Officials said the large pile of storm debris was fully engulfed in flames. However, the fire was not threatening any ballpark equipment, because the pile was located on the far west side of the complex. Fire crews wet down the edges of the fire to help contain the fire to the debris pile. But the area is not accessible for the department’s large fire engines, so brush units were used. Officials said though the fire is contained, the pile will still be burning and releasing smoke for several days. Firefighters will be on site surveying the area. There was no damage done to the park or its ball fields and it is not threatening any structures or other properties.

A big spike in both COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations was reported in Iowa today. The Iowa Department of Health reported a record high 4,562 COVID-19 cases and 20 additional deaths in the state over the last 24 hours. The state also reported a new high of 839 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized as 156 additional patients were admitted in the last 24 hours. There are currently 188 hospitalized patients in the ICU and 60 on ventilators. As of 10:30 a.m. today, the state’s data is showing a total of 140,609 COVID-19 cases and 1,801 COVID-19 related deaths since the pandemic began.

These news items are provided by KCRG-TV9
Your KCRG-TV9 First Alert Forecast
Nice weather keeps rolling and any scattered clouds will give way to sunny sky and highs around 70. Plan on widespread 70s to continue through the weekend with the wind increasing from the south Friday and especially so by Saturday and Sunday. The next system is still on track to bring us a chance of rain Monday into Tuesday with the potential for some snow to mix in as the system wraps up Tuesday night. At this time, latest data suggests parts of the area may receive over one inch of rainfall.