“We have a huge retail environment with young, lower-paid workers and union and manufacturing employees. It's a very varied population. We went from pretty good in the corporate area to dismal in retail. Our big goal in the move was to increase participation,” said Ms. Palchanes.
In the conversion category for plan sponsors, Veolia Water, Houston, won first place. Chris Chisholm, chief financial officer, said officials of the $280 million worked hard on getting all the different images together and making them click.
We wanted the brochures and postcard to grab our employees' attention. I think it came out great,” said Mr. Chisholm. PartnerComm Inc., Dallas, and Wells Fargo Institutional Trust Co., San Francisco, were the service providers.
Ongoing education campaigns yielded the most awards for the 2008 Eddy Awards.
For corporate plans with more than 5,000 employees, Landmark Communications Inc., Norfolk, Va., took first in ongoing education. Judges especially liked that the $190 million 401(k) plan targeted different age groups with photos and messages. The Vanguard Group, Malvern, Pa., is Landmark's service provider.
ICF International Inc., Fairfax, Va., won first for ongoing education for corporate plans with 1,000 to 5,000 employees.
Jean Waxman, benefits director, said the $100 million 401(k) plan takes retirement education very seriously. “We're of the position that we are a growing company, and we want to move ahead, but don't want to leave anyone behind. We want to reach out to all people and make sure they make the most of the plan,” she said. Vanguard was the service provider that assisted ICF.
First place for corporate plans with fewer than 1,000 employees went to ILC Data Device Corp., Bohemia, N.Y., for its 401(k) Day campaign that lasted all year. Sun Life Retirement Systems, now Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, Conn., was ILC's service provider.
Said Leanne Willmer, ILC's corporate financial accountant: “They (employees) loved it. We had it in both of our main divisions and other sites. They made sure they got all the goodies, but they also came away with important information. We were really happy with the turnout.” About 75% of employees participated in the event, she said.
Trinity Health, Farmington Hills, Mich., won first place for not-for-profit plans in ongoing education — one of three first-place trophies Trinity won this year.
The ongoing education campaign featured a customized, well-branded mailer that used graphics of different animals.
“Everyone is used to seeing pharmacists, so we thought we would do something light and fun. And it went over really well,” said Silvia Frank, manager of defined contribution for the $850 million 403(b) plan. Diversified Investment Advisors, Purchase, N.Y., is Trinity's service provider.
For the special projects category, Universal Orlando, Orlando, Fla., won first place for corporate plans with more than 5,000 employees.
Universal Orlando had the challenge of reaching out to a mobile, younger work force, said Sue Steck, director of benefits for the $200 million 401(k) plan.
“It's hard to get the attention of people when they work in a theme park, so we had to come up with something unique. We wanted it to have the friendliness of Universal with a non-intimidating nature. We wanted to make sure they weren't intimidated by the financial aspect of the campaign,” said Ms. Steck. Charles Schwab Corporate Services Inc., San Francisco, is the plan's provider.
Judges awarded Ball Horticultural Co., West Chicago, Ill., first place in ongoing education for plans with fewer than 1,000 employees.