Entries in Pensions & Investments' 2014 Eddy Awards for defined contribution plans were judged last week, and I walked away with a big list of do's and don'ts for those planning to enter the Eddys in the future.
Many of them involve reading.
Read the entry form. It clearly states that PowerPoint presentations will not be judged. I would guesstimate one-third of the entries contained PowerPoints. We threw them away. Unfortunately, in some cases the entry was nothing more than a PowerPoint. Sadly, those we disqualified.
Read one of the hundreds of stories we have written about the Eddy Awards. If you had, you'd know the Eddys are designed to honor the best practices in educating participants about their defined contribution plans. We received several entries educating the staff working on the DC plan, rather than the participants. We disqualified them.
Read the categories. For the second consecutive year, we had an “automatic re-enrollment category.” But many of the entries in that category were for auto enrollment, not auto re-enrollment. The judges who suggested we add the category noted auto re-enrollment is newer and isn't widely undertaken, so good campaigns to educate participants about automatic re-enrollment should be recognized. We didn't judge the enrollment entries.
Read the description of the categories. We explained, for example, that a mobile application must be something that is used on mobile devices, such as tablets and/or smartphones. Yet the majority of the mobile app entries were websites accessed by any computer.
Know what the Eddys are about. Perhaps it's naive on P&I's part to assume this, but we think it's obvious the Eddys are about defined contribution plans. But virtually every year we get some entries about defined benefit plans. We disqualify those.
The entry we received this year that is the most removed from what the Eddys represent came from South Korea. It was a childbirth video, in Korean. n
This article originally appeared in the November 25, 2013 print issue as, "Reading is fundamental when entering Eddy Awards".