For ongoing education, Trinity Health worked with Diversified Investment Advisors, Purchase, N.Y., on its winning entry for plans with more than 5,000 employees. It used a health care theme for some of the materials and also tied the campaign to the seasons, according to Sylvia Frank of Trinity.
The brochures included one for spring, advising an "annual financial checkup," and a "summertime fitness" brochure, advising employees to shape up their retirement plans during the summer. The program also included giveaways such as a squeezable stuffed toy pumpkin in the fall. Employees had to contact the plan to get the pumpkin, which the judges thought was an excellent gimmick.
"We increased enrollment in the plan from 47% to 53% as of Sept. 30 and we're very hopeful it will go higher," said Ms. Frank. She said the plan also rolled out an online pension estimator and used a tape measure as a giveaway for that part of the project.
Harman International's winning campaign for companies with fewer than 5,000 employees managed to illustrate the concept of sound. With help from Putnam Investments, Boston, the audio-visual company, best known for its sound products, used creative branding to get the attention of employees. Each handout bore the slogan "Sound Investing," and the education material used illustrations of microphones in the tables and charts.
"We were opening up the plan to funds other than just the Putnam (mutual) funds that we had previously," said Sandra Buchanan, manager of taxes and employee benefits at Harman. "This education campaign was the first time we had opened up the plan to non-Putnam funds," she added. The company held meetings to explain the changes for employees at all of its locations.
Ms. Buchanan said Harman has decided to keep Putnam as its provider for now, despite the mutual fund trading scandal. "We examined it and made the decision not to move now," she said.
Fuji Photo Film took first place in the special projects category for companies with more than 5,000 employees, with help from CIGNA Retirement & Investment Services, Hartford, Conn. The program was the epitome of simple yet effective education, using a camera-shaped card in Fuji silver that said: "Think ‘point and click' was easy? Try 401(k)." Employees who returned the detachable postcard were entered into a drawing, and one entrant from each work location won a camera.