Start putting together those Eddy Award entries

Summer is almost over, so it's time to think about applying for the annual Eddy Awards sponsored by Pensions & Investments.

Entry forms are online. They must be received by Oct. 17.

Since 1995, the Eddy Awards have focused on best practices by plan sponsors and service providers to offer investment education to defined contribution plan participants.

For 2015, there are a few changes for the Eddy Awards, whose winners will be announced at P&I's annual East Coast Defined Contribution Conference, to be held March 1-3 at the Trump National Doral in Miami.

There is only one entry form and one set of awards. The form should be used by plan sponsors entering on their own; service providers entering generic materials on their own; and plan sponsors and their service providers entering together. In the latter instance, both will receive trophies for a winning entry.

The entry menu also features a few changes and modifications. The 2015 award categories are:

  • Initial investment education: Entries should introduce current employees to the investment options of a new or modified plan, or new employees to the investment options of an existing plan.

  • Ongoing investment education: Entries should reinforce all or part of earlier investment education efforts or change participant investment behavior.

  • Special projects: A spotlight on special investment education and communication programs.

  • Conversions: Entries should illustrate campaigns that explain the transition to a new service provider.

  • Plan transitions: Entries should reflect the investment education and communication — in print and/or online — necessary when employees are eligible to participate in a new defined contribution plan. Eligibility can be a result of events such as mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs, or when a defined benefit plan is frozen and participants are moved to a new or existing DC plan.

  • Retirement readiness: This category recognizes organizations doing the best job of educating participants on how much they should save, how to make their savings last and other steps needed for a financially secure retirement.

  • Automatic re-enrollment: A category that recognizes plan sponsors that have created effective materials to educate employees about the automatic re-enrollment process and how it can benefit them. This category excludes automatic enrollment.

  • Mobile applications: This focuses on games, tools or other applications that work on tablets and/or smartphones; it excludes programs used on computers.

The Eddy Awards integrate print and online in all categories. Thus, a single entry may include not only printed materials like brochures, postcards, table tents and posters but also websites, e-mails and videos.

Entries will be judged on the effectiveness and completeness of the investment education messages except where noted. Successful entries in all but generic categories must be creative and have strong identification with the sponsor.

Entries must be accompanied by a letter containing evidence of the effectiveness of the program, such as an increase in plan participation or a change in the average participant asset mix.

For all entries that include online components, the complete website address and a temporary user ID and password, valid through March 10, 2015, must be provided.

Entrants must complete and return an entry form with one set of educational materials. A separate envelope and entry form must be used for each category entered; multiple entries may be boxed together for mailing only.

Please do not mount entries on boards. Entries will be returned only if accompanied by an appropriately sized self-addressed envelope. PowerPoint presentations will not be judged; please do not include them in your entry.

Joint entries must include documentation that the plan sponsor approved the submission. An entry acknowledgement form is available online.

Complete rules and entry forms are available at www.pionline.com/ eddy2015.

To review last year's winners, please see the link at www. pionline.com/eddy2014. n

This article originally appeared in the August 18, 2014 print issue as, "Start putting together those Eddy Award entries".