The winners of the 2011 Eddy Awards chose themes to encourage greater retirement savings that ranged from linking the savings message to the company's line of business to using humor involving fortune cookies or missing socks to engage and educate participants.
Among award winners in the line-of-business approach, there were food and cooking themes for supermarkets and food suppliers; a take-your-medicine theme for a health-care provider; a building theme for a construction company and an animal theme for a veterinary-products company.
There was a healthy dose of metaphors, too. Gardening/planting themes were used by a religious organization, a hotel chain and a marketing agency; a highway-driving theme was used to alert health-care employees about looming retirement; and the grocery/food theme found its way into communication materials for public employees and teachers.
The award winners were announced March 14 during Pensions & Investments' East Coast Defined Contribution conference, held this year in Miami. The Eddy Awards, sponsored annually by P&I since 1995, recognize plan sponsors and service providers for achieving best practices in investment education to defined contribution plan participants.
A complete list of winners, along with judges' comments and other materials about the awards can be found at www.pionline.com/Eddywinners.
Only one entry won first place for both the plan sponsor — Plexus Corp. — and the service provider — The Hartford Retirement Plans Group, Boston. The entries were in the ongoing investment education category, for corporations with 1,000 to 5,000 employees.
Officials at Plexus, Neenah, Wis., wanted to remind employees that the corporate match had been raised, so they sent a single sock to participants in the 401(k) plan. To collect the other sock from the Plexus human relations department, employees had to make an additional deferral up to the new 4% match. Employees were encouraged to “sock it away.” New employees received a pair of socks as part of the corporate-match promotion.
“We really were focusing on the increased match and (chose) to focus a campaign on matching items,” said Jaye Ciontea, retirement plans supervisor at Plexus. Print materials featured other matches, such as twin girls and a double-scoop ice cream cone, with the motto “twice as nice.”
A mailer acknowledging participants who had met the match, said: “Now, you can focus on other things, like finding socks that mysteriously disappear in the dryer.”