Entries for the 2007 Eddy Awards are now being accepted.
The Eddy Awards, sponsored by Pensions & Investments, recognize companies and other institutions for outstanding efforts to educate their employees about how to invest their defined contribution plan assets wisely for retirement.
Winners will be announced at P&I's Defined Contribution/401(k) East Coast conference, to be held Feb. 11-13 at the PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Only plan sponsors may enter, although the materials may have been developed with the help of outside providers. Entries submitted solely by service providers and vendors — without any indication the plan sponsor was involved in the entry process — will be disqualified.
The competition is open to all corporate, public and union participant-directed defined contribution plans.
There are five categories, further divided by number of employees. Plan sponsors may enter as many categories as apply. Each requires a separate entry form.
The categories are:
• Printed materials-initial education: This includes brochures, booklets and other print pieces that introduce existing employees to investment options and plan features of a new or modified plan, or introduce new employees to the investment options of an existing plan. Materials must focus heavily on the investment process.
• Printed materials-ongoing education: This category is designed for printed materials that reinforce all or part of a plan sponsor's earlier investment education efforts, or to change participant investment behavior.
• Special projects-print: Here's your chance to showcase special investment education programs that can range from an attention-grabbing postcard to an entire campaign on a wide variety of investment-related topics, including new investment options, diversification, or increased deferral rates.
• Other media: This category includes all non-print media, such as videos and use of the intranet, Internet, e-mail and any other technology designed to boost participation rates or to communicate initial investment education, enrollment or ongoing investment information. When necessary, the plan sponsor must provide judges with access to websites, e-mail accounts and any other location for the information. Temporary user identification or passwords valid between Oct. 15 and Dec. 31 should accompany the entry. In addition, non-video entries should contain two printed copies of campaign highlights, including the home page.
• Train the trainers: This category can encompass printed materials and/or videos and/or new media such as the Internet. This is a chance for plan sponsors to show their most creative efforts at educating not the general employee population, but rather those employees who provide other employees with assistance in understanding the workings of the defined contribution plan.
Entries are judged in three size divisions: fewer than 1,000 employees; 1,000 to 5,000 employees; and more than 5,000 employees.
Winners of the 2006 Eddy Awards may not submit the same materials in the 2007 competition, but new materials are welcome from any or all past winners.
The Eddy Awards judges — mostly plan sponsors who are previous winners — will consider the effectiveness and completeness of the investment education program. A letter containing evidence of the effectiveness (such as a change in asset mix or an increase in participation) must accompany the entry.
Successful entries will be creative and will feature strong identification with the plan sponsor. Generic vendor materials will not win.
Each entry must be submitted with a separate entry form and in its own envelope. Do not mount entries on boards. Materials will be returned, but only if accompanied by an appropriately sized self-addressed envelope.
Plan sponsors that have put in time and effort to help plan participants better understand their plans, and to use them more effectively, are urged to submit their materials for consideration.
The 2007 Eddy Awards entry forms and rules and regulations are available online at www.pionline.com/eddyaward. There is no charge to enter.