INTERACTIVE

Detailed list of 2012 Eddy Award winners

The Eddy Awards were created to identify and reward the best practices in providing investment education to defined contribution plan participants.
Please join us in congratulating all of our 2012 winners.
Plan sponsor winners
Initial Education: Public
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First place: Municipal Employees’ Retirement System of Michigan
When MERS took administration in-house, it reintroduced the plan to its employees. The result is proof that gimmicks aren’t necessary to do a great job at educating your employees about the plan and its investment options. From clear enrollment instructions to a brochure solely on the investment menu, this initial education packet is simple and easy to use.
Service Providers: AllianceBernstein (AB), The Tegrit Group
Initial Education: Not for Profit
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First place: Cleveland Clinic
To increase participation, Cleveland Clinic launched a program in print and online providing complete investment education to targeted groups of employees (based on age and compensation). Most of the investment information is online. The print materials included big postcards, wallet cards and an easy-to-use “quick enrollment card.”
Service Provider: Fidelity Investments
Ongoing Investment Education: Corporate
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First place: Thomson Reuters
Using the company’s financial blogger, Thomson Reuters created a video on volatility that grabs your attention and keeps it. Great graphics help too. The blogger, Felix Salmon, is so casual and engaging that the act of getting educated is virtually painless. His and Thomson Reuters’ approach is unique and funny.
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Second place: Intel Corp.
Intel’s concept, “If you got a message from yourself in the future, what would it say,” is an amazingly clever, yet simple, idea. A series of text messages is contained in a well laid-out booklet, “Your 2011 Retirement Decision Guide,” and manage to be both thorough and entertaining.
Service Providers: Aon Hewitt, Ayco Co., Fidelity Investments
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Explaining changes in investment options is never easy, but SAIC takes a complicated subject and is very clear and up-front about what’s going on and what action participations must take. In addition, the materials are well-targeted.
Service Provider: Vanguard
Ongoing Investment Education: Public
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Judges said the Fed’s entry is a unique way to deliver education, using an active learning concept that facilitates discussion – an approach not used often enough. A presenter holds up a card, someone reads it and a discussion follows. The design is visually appealing and the approach is appropriate to the employer’s culture.
Service Providers: Ayco, Root Learning
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Second place: Florida Retirement System
Florida does a good job explaining the differences between its defined benefit and defined contribution plans and which might be the best option for a particular employee. Its kit is comprehensive, plus there is an engaging video on a day in the life of a new employee.
Service Provider: Aon Hewitt
Ongoing Investment Education: Not for profit
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First place: Norton Healthcare
This visually appealing entry is proof you don’t have to spend a lot to get results: Participation increased to 67.9% from 59.1%; and those invested in one non-asset allocation fund dropped by nearly 10%. Norton used a variety of communication tools, including postcards, seminars and newsletters. “A good campaign is a good campaign,” one judge commented.
Service Provider: Diversified
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Second place: Trinity Health
Trinity’s new ongoing education program, “Smart Strides: A Path to Retirement,” is completely customized. While its mascot, Sticky, remains, the new campaign is streamlined and, therefore, easier for participants to read and understand. A three-part series of seminars brings home the messages.
Service Provider: Diversified
Conversions: Corporate, more than 5,000 employees
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First place (tie): AMR Corp.
These well-branded materials give an unusually clear explanation of why AMR set up two new 401(k) plans for its American Eagle employees, who previously were eligible to participate in American Airlines’ plans. Results speak for themselves: AMR expected about 35% of Eagle employees would enroll; instead, more than 56% did so.
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First place (tie): Nestle USA Inc.
Nestle gets extra points for using a picture of the CEO, something no other organization did, as well as for including fee disclosure information. The program was developed for participants in Dreyer’s 401(k) plan, who were transitioned to Nestle’s plan. The process is explained simply with a checklist on the back of the brochure.
Service Providers: Towers Watson, ING, Financial Finesse
Conversions: Corporate, less than 5,000 employees
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First place: School Specialty Inc.
A very clear checklist of what to do and a good review of plan features are highlights of this entry. Colorful photos make the materials visually appealing. Results exceeded goals in every case. Among them, 36% re-enrolled, vs. a goal of 25%, and 77% of assets were transferred to target-date funds, exceeding the goal by more than 70%.
Service Provider: J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services
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Second place: PVH Corp.
“When you look at the cover, you know it’s Tommy Hilfiger,” one judge said about the custom-tailored campaign to educate Hilfiger’s employees about converting to Phillips-Van Heusen’s. Another plus: Participation in the PVH plan by “Tommy” employees was greater than it had been in the Hilfiger plan.
Service Provider: Schwab Retirement Plan Services
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Third place (tie): Apache Corp.
The materials for Mariner Energy participants moving to Apache’s plan are all in one package, increasing the chances participants will do what they need to do, judges said. Plus, the photos are excellent.
Service Provider: Fidelity Investments
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Third place (tie): UCB Inc.
UCB provides a lot of information, but it is clean, clear and easy to understand. Good graphics help get the message across. Since everyone loves free stuff, UCB gets bonus points for including a magnet with plan contact information.
Service Provider: DWS Investments
Conversions: Public
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First place: Municipal Employees’ Retirement System of Michigan
“A change you can trust, a change for the better” is the tagline Michigan Muni (or MERS) used when it undertook the giant task of moving to internal administration. Good choice, judges said. Although participants received several brochures, the materials are visually pleasing and easy to read, and clearly explain what steps employees need to take.
Service Providers: The Tegrit Group, AllianceBernstein
Fee Disclosure and Education
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“We’re dedicated to transparency,” New York State Deferred Comp tells its participants in a headline on its fee fact sheet. The sheet explains the per-participant fee, asset-based fee, loan fees and self-directed brokerage fees. The explanation of investment management fees includes gross expense ratio and the judges’ perennial favorite, cost per $1,000 invested.
Service Provider: Nationwide Retirement Solutions
Special Projects: Corporate, more than 5,000 employees
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First place: NBCUniversal
Here’s one judge’s comments on NBCUniversal’s video starring comedian Jimmy Fallon and anchor Brian Williams: “What did we like about this? Everything.” The company’s project to introduce its DC plan to new hires is funny and memorable, with the most clever legal disclosure imaginable. The video makes phenomenal use of the brand and its resources.
Service Provider: Peacock Productions
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Second place (tie): MGM Resorts International
MGM’s “The Match is Back” campaign had its work cut out for it: Some 1,000 participants withdrew from the plan within a month after the match was suspended. Using buttons, posters, mailers – all with a confetti theme – MGM won back more than 1,100 participants within 30 days of the first announcement.
Service Provider: The Hartford Retirement Plans Group
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Second place (tie): US Foods
Using a super-hero theme, complete with kapows, US Foods introduced “super ways” to make investing in the plan easier – a new three-tiered approach. Another piece targeted non-participants with an easy-to-use enrollment postcard. Everything was totally branded and highly creative.
Service Providers: ROC Group, eDOC Communications
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Third place: Four Seasons
Simplicity and elegance – hallmarks of the company’s hotels – are present in Four Season’s campaign, “Let’s Grow Together,” informing employees in English and Spanish they now must contribute to the plan in order to get the company match.
Service Provider: Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust
Special Projects: Corporate, less than 5,000 employees
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First place: M.A. Mortenson Co.
To celebrate 50 years of contributions to the profit-sharing plan, Mortenson’s “solid gold” campaign was, indeed, solid gold. The project used multiple channels, both print and online, the latter featuring flash dancers and the song, “Celebrate.” IPod Shuffles were awarded at workshops for anyone who danced for 30 seconds to the song.
Service Provider: Blue Communications
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Second place: Red Bull North America Inc.
Edgy and fresh are perfect words to describe Red Bull’s project to promote the reintroduction of the company match. “No b.s.” screams one poster. The highly customized materials are age- and brand-appropriate. But even though the content is light, it’s simple and to the point – people will ‘get’ it.
Service Provider: Diversified
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Third place: Plexus Corp.
Plexus’ project encouraged participants to diversify their investments. Photos and images were excellent, as was the giveaway, a clip with a compass for those who diversified. Results were great: More than 16% of participants took action.
Service Provider: The Hartford Retirement Plans Group
Special Projects: Public
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First place: City of Los Angeles
“Doris Deferred” and “Roth Hudson” are symbols Los Angeles’ deferred compensation plan chose to explain the differences between the tax-deferred approach participants were used to and the new post-tax Roth approach. The theme is very visual and well-developed (including the use of focus groups) and created a campaign buzz that helped raise awareness.
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Second place: State of New Mexico Deferred Compensation Plan
Designed to engage employees, New Mexico’s “Who wants to be a tagline writer?” succeeded: Enrollment increased 12%. Judges said the concept almost forced employees to think about specifics of the plan. And they thought the magnetic word game giveaway was great.
Service Provider: Nationwide Retirement Solutions
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Third place: California Savings Plan
From barbells made of coins to sneakers filled with money, the images the California Savings Plan used in its “Take the next step” financial fitness fairs were excellent. The campaign was cohesive and filled with good underlying messages.
Service Provider: Nationwide Retirement Solutions
Special Projects: Not for profit
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First place: Susan G. Komen for the Cure
This multimedia, multi-phased project was highly customized with bright graphics, graphics appropriate to the plan sponsor and a catchy theme: Here comes the sun. Brighten your retirement outlook.” With only 256 employees, “it’s amazing what they did for a plan that size,” one judge said. And the online part got more hits than 256.
Service Providers: Diversified, Lockton Investment Advisors LLC
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The university used very targeted messaging to get participants to use plan’s website. The results tell the rest of the story. For example, in the month after the campaign launched, the site got 21,500 hits, vs. 722 the month before.
Service Provider: Fidelity Investments
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Third place: Staten Island University Hospital
“Will your retirement be a bowl of cherries? Or the pits?” is the theme of the Staten Island University Hospital’s project to boost participation. The graphics are eye-catching and the messages are simple and easy to understand.
Service Provider: Diversified
Service provider winners
Initial Education
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First place: Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust
Knowing that about half the work force at a company Cardinal Glass had acquired had little or no investing knowledge, Wells and Cardinal decided to map accounts to new target-date funds. A thorough print investment education package, along with onsite meetings, resulted in more than 75% of participants moving to the new funds.
Client: Cardinal Glass Industries
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Second place: T. Rowe Price
“Retirement. It’s No Mystery” is the theme of T. Rowe’s kit for employees of a company Sempra acquired. A clever illustration of a stereotypic detective figure appears throughout. The brochure is clean and readable. Plus, the materials are printed on an on-demand basis, which could be a cost saver.
Ongoing Investment Education: Corporate, more than 5,000 employees
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First place: ING Retirement
When DIRECTV wanted to introduce new investment options and a Roth 401(k), ING used a combination of print and web communications. The well-organized eBook allowed participants to dig down for details but to not get overwhelmed by them. About 10% of participants viewed the eBook in the first month, and about 25% attended onsite programs.
Client: DIRECTV
Ongoing Investment Education: Corporate, 5,000 or fewer employees
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First place: New York Life Retirement Plan Services
New York Life and Resorts moved away from their award-winning casino theme to a softer, but still visually appealing one, “Plant a seed today and watch it grow.” They targeted different populations, especially highly compensated employees, educating them on how to manage market volatility. Seed packets were distributed onsite.
Client: Resorts International Holdings LLC
Ongoing Investment Education: Public
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First place: Great-West Retirement Services
Great-West used Baltimore active and retired participants who gave video and print testimonials – in a brochure and on posters -- about the benefits of participating in the plan. Judges applauded the campaign for engendering trust and for overcoming the huge hurdle of not being allowed to send direct mail or e-mails to non-participants.
Client: City of Baltimore Deferred Compensation Plan
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Second place: Great-West Retirement Services
After learning that some participants were being solicited by brokers, Great-West created materials with great state photos discussing leaving money in South Carolina’s plan or taking it out at retirement. The materials include a newsletter article, “Broker Beware,” which warned about fees and commissions.
Client: South Carolina Deferred Compensation Program
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Third place: BlackRock (BLK)
Judges applauded BlackRock for “taking advantage of the electronic medium to make is simple.” Plus, as one judge said, “the tabs are cool.” The purpose of the interactive PDF was to explain target-date funds to Ohio Deferred’s participants.
Client: Ohio Deferred Compensation
Ongoing Investment Education: Generic
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First place: Mercer
Mercer’s web-based education program, called RetireTALK, is interactive and engaging. The instant polling is novel and fun. The videos are easy to watch. The fact or fiction section works well. There’s lots of information available, but the format doesn’t overwhelm. Participants are exposed to behavioral finance concepts in a relatively painless way.
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Second place: The Hartford
Great images using gorgeous colors help make The Hartford’s “Your retirement. Plan for life” materials a winner. Postcards, posters and online presentations help participants understand risk, diversification, investment options, asset allocation and other important topics.
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Third place: New York Life Retirement Plan Services
New York Life’s clean and clear ongoing education postcards are all about ease. They are easy to understand and the tear-off SASE cards are easy to use. Each postcard focuses on a topic: “easy enroll; easy increase; easy 1% increase.”
Conversions: Corporate, 5,000 or fewer employees
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First place: J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services
A clear checklist and a good review of plan features are highlights of J.P. Morgan’s entry, also a winner in the plan sponsor awards. Colorful photos make the materials visually appealing. Results exceeded goals, including 36% re-enrolled, vs. a goal of 25%, and 77% of assets were transferred to target-date funds, surpassing the goal by more than 70%.
Client: School Specialty Inc.
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Second place: Diversified
In its materials, Diversified alternated the use of “security,” “safety” and “protection” – words to connect what the gun maker can provide to its customers with what the 401(k) plan can provide to its participants. A nice touch: “Security” t-shirts with the plan’s website address were distributed at meetings.
Client: Smith & Wesson
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Third place: ING U.S. Retirement Corporate Markets
ING made good use of communicating online when SI was spun off from Lockheed Martin and SI employees were moved to a new plan. The delivery methods included multiple e-mails, a flip-book transition guide and a plan brochure.
Client: The SI Retirement Savings Plan
Conversions: Corporate, more than 5,000 employees
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First place (tie): J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services
These well-branded materials give a clear explanation of why AMR set up new plans for American Eagle employees, who previously were eligible to participate in American Airlines’ plans. Results speak for themselves: AMR expected about 35% of Eagle employees would enroll; instead, more than 56% did so. This entry also won a plan sponsor Eddy.
Client: AMR Corp.
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First place (tie): T. Rowe Price
Flowserve specializes in flow management, so the tagline, “Plan well upstream. Enjoy life downstream,” was an excellent choice. The same stream was shot from different angles for different brochures. T. Rowe did a great job explaining the transition process and what actions participants needed to take, as well as the changes in investment options.
Conversions: Public
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First place: T. Rowe Price
“Plan it forward. Invest in you” was the theme when T. Rowe became the sole provider (from four) and streamlined the investment menu of Fairfax County’s 457 plan. The materials were clear, clean and concise, including an excellent participant check list. Plus, participation increased 5% as a result of the campaign.
Client: Fairfax County 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
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Second place: ING
Rebranding the 457 and 401(k) plans as “PERAPlus” was a wise decision since the conversion also involved an overhaul that included cutting fees, adding investment advice and streamlining the investment choices. There’s nothing gimmicky about ING’s materials, but they do the job nicely.
Client: Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association
Conversions: Generic
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First place (tie): Fidelity Investments
Fidelity’s winning entry is a conversion/transition microsite for clients wanting to move away from print materials. It was developed to easily link to the provider’s existing web locations for ongoing education and account management. And, clients have saved $7 to $10 per participant vs. print costs.
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First place (tie): New York Retirement Plan Services
When New York Life redid its conversion materials, it reduced to 10 pages the amount of content and focused only on the transition process. Judges lauded the overhaul. They especially liked the fitness theme of “On the move” and the visually appealing and easily digestible brochure.
Special Projects: Corporate, more than 5,000 employees
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First place: New York Life Retirement Plan Services
New York Life and Staples partnered with a non-profit, Doorways to Dreams Fund, to use “financial entertainment” to get Staples employees to save for retirement. While running the online “Bite Club,” a day club for vampires, employees also can review their retirement benefits and visit their plan’s portal site. The result is a unique, clever and fun special project.
Client: Staples Inc.
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Second place: J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services
Bold pizza-dough graphics creating a strong tie with Schwan’s and very targeted mailings are keys to J.P. Morgan’s win. Results exceeded goals: 6.1% of non-participants enrolled (the goal was 3%); and 14.3% of participants increased their contributions to at least 6% of pay (vs. a 5% goal).
Client: Schwan’s Shared Services LLC
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Third place: Vanguard
Vanguard used well-branded graphics despite the company’s decision that the photos could not look like FedEx products. And the message – contribute enough to get the full, recently reinstated company match – was simple but articulate.
Client: FedEx Corp.
Special Projects: Corporate, 1,000 to 5,000 employees
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First place: Diversified
Edgy and fresh are perfect words to describe Diversified’s project to promote Red Bull’s reintroduction of the company match. “No b.s.” screams one poster. The highly customized materials are age- and brand-appropriate. But even though the content is light, it’s simple and to the point – people will ‘get’ it. This entry also won second place in the plan sponsor awards.
Client: Red Bull North America
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Second place: The Hartford
The Hartford’s work for Plexus encouraged participants to diversify their investments. Photos and images were excellent, as was the giveaway, a clip with a compass for those who diversified. Results were great: More than 16% of participants took action. This entry won third place in the plan sponsor awards.
Client: Plexus Corp.
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Third place: J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services
The electronic campaign J.P. Morgan created for Forest Labs had a “soft, Hallmark feeling,” one judge explained. Also, the online matching game, attached to an e-newsletter, was fun. Unique visits to the website increased 45% vs. a goal of 20%.
Client: Forest Laboratories Inc.
Special Projects: Corporate, less than 1,000 employees
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Francis’ work was wonderfully tailored to Wisconsin Oven, beginning with the theme, “We’re turning up the heat on our 401(k) plan.” Plus, an oven mitt with the same motto was given free to all participants. Results were great too: Some 22% enrolled or increased their deferrals; and 74% made changes to their investment lineups.
Client: Wisconsin Oven Corp.
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Second place: New York Life Retirement Plan Services
Promoting reinstatement of the company match as a way to get Bernhardt Furniture’s employees to enroll and existing participants to boost their deferrals worked well. The baseball theme was engaging with taglines like, “Load the bases with help from your company match.”
Client: Bernhardt Furniture Co.
Special Projects: Public
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First place: Great-West Retirement Services
One of the most difficult topics to communicate is beneficiary designations, and Great-West did a terrific job for New Jersey Transit. The branding and imagery were on target and the message was communicated well. A 51% decrease in the number of participants without a designation prompted one judge to say, “We’d be lucky to get half that.”
Client: New Jersey Transit
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Second place: Great-West Retirement Services
Great-West produced posters and fliers with short, simple messages in a campaign aimed at increasing participation among employees of San Francisco International Airport, the large employer in the San Francisco plan. The graphic design was unusual, from the colors to the retro feel.
Client: San Francisco Deferred Compensation Plan
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Third place: ING
Targeting participants not contributing enough to get Michigan’s match, ING created two postcards with dramatic photos of arm wrestlers and football players to stress the strength and power of the match.
Client: State of Michigan
Special Projects: Generic
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First place: Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust
Creativity wins in Wells’ “A story about my life in retirement,” a dry-erase board with a fill-in-the-blanks game complete with a marker. The idea was for employees to personalize their retirement story. The project’s overall theme was “Save for the date,” an engaging approach that included fliers and e-mails with tales of how people were saving for retirement.
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Second place: ICMA-RC
The clever and delightful “Paper retires” is aimed at persuading clients to enroll participants in an electronic delivery system. “Paper has been with ICMA-RC for 39 years…but Paper is ready to retire,” the homepage for the campaign announces. Click and there’s a picture of a paper doll on a golf course.
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Third place: Putnam Investments
Putnam’s user-friendly “lifetime income analysis tool” helps plan participants to determine how much income they’ll need in retirement, vs. what they’d get with what they’re saving now. It includes steps they can take to increase their accounts.
Judges
Karen Kay Barnes
McDonald’s Corp.
Tobi Davis
Sue Duncan
ICI Foundation
Jaime Erickson
NBCUniversal
Denise Foster
United Parcel Service
Deanna Garen
Garen & Associates
Matt Gnasbasik
Annette Grabow
M. A. Mortenson
Bernie Knobbe
Yahoo
Marla Kriendler
Winston & Strawn
Keith Overly
Ohio Deferred Compensation
Kelli Send
Francis Investment Counsel
Patty Sonnenschein
BP America
Julie Stapel
Winston & Strawn
Michelle DeMarco
Pensions & Investments
Connie Mullis
Pensions & Investments
Kevin Olsen
Pensions & Investments
Robert Steyer
Pensions & Investments
Nancy Webman
Pensions & Investments