Here it is, hot off the presses: the entry form for The Eddy Awards, the new, improved, less cumbersome moniker for Pensions & Investments' annual defined contribution investment education awards.
The awards have a snappier moniker, but they still recognize the best in high-quality investment education for defined contribution participants.
Plan sponsors that have helped participants understand the investment process, especially in these difficult times, are encouraged to enter, by entry form or by getting a copy of the rules and forms at www.pionline.com/eddy/awards.
The deadline for all entries is Oct. 18. Winners will be announced at P&I's Defined Contribution/401(k) Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to be held Feb. 9-11.
In addition to the name change, this year marks the return of the "ongoing education" award category. This category will recognize sponsors that are committed to a continuing investment education process for their defined contribution plan participants. Ongoing education awards will be given for print and video entries.
The other award categories are:
* Printed materials/video - initial education: brochures, booklets and videos that introduce existing employees to the investment options and plan features of a new or modified plan, or that introduce new employees to the investment options and plan features of an existing plan;
* Special projects - print/video: print media or videos designed to allow sponsors to showcase special investment education and communication campaigns launched in the past year; and
* New media: intranet, Internet or e-mail used to communicate initial investment education, enrollment information for new employees in an existing plan, information encouraging employees to participate in their company's plan, or on-going investment education. All-purpose service-provider Web pages are discouraged. Accompanying entries in this category should be two printed copies highlighting the campaign and, if an intranet or the Internet were used, the design of the homepage or website. In order to be judged, plan sponsors must give P&I access to the information with a temporary user ID and password that would be valid Oct. 18 through Dec. 20.
While plan sponsors must submit all entries, they may receive assistance from their consultants or outside vendors. Previous winners may re-enter, but only with new materials.
Although imagination and originality distinguished many of last year's winners, entries need not be gimmicky to win; nor do they have to be elaborate or expensively produced. Judges look most at educational content.
Materials should be appealing and provide practical information that effectively meets the needs of a diverse employee group. Potential entrants are urged to submit only materials that thoroughly and effectively communicate key investment and savings concepts. Entries should clearly identify with the plan sponsor and the plan's unique features.
Among the issues that should be covered in the submitted materials are: an emphasis on early and regular saving; the power of compounding; the value of matching and dollar cost averaging in accumulating a retirement nest egg; an analysis of the dangers of inflation as well as a detailed explanation of risk and the relationship between risk and return; and a discussion of the value of diversification as a tool for reducing volatility.
Judges will also be looking for programs that helped participants improve their investment and savings habits; campaigns addressing a unique employee demographic; and program results.
All entries must be accompanied by an official entry form, which may be photocopied. Printed materials should not be attached to boards. Contestants will be judged against their peers of similar size and employee base.