More defined contribution plans are reaching out to participants through mobile applications and, this year, the Eddy Awards judges will find out how effective those apps are.
Mobile applications is the newest category in the Eddy Awards.
Entry forms for all categories are available online. There are separate entry forms for plan sponsors and service providers. All are available as PDFs and Microsoft Word documents.
Entries must be received by Oct. 18.
The new category came about last year when judges of the 2013 awards noticed that several entries included mobile apps, something not seen in previous years. Acknowledging that the ways to educate and communicate are expanding, judges decided to add the category midway through judging the 2013 entries. It's now a formal category.
Apps entries can be for tools that work on smartphones or tablets, or both. The only requirements are that they be creative and focus on educating plan participants.
Winners will be announced at Pensions & Investments' annual East Coast Defined Contribution Conference, to be held March 2-4 at the Turnberry Isle Resort & Club in Miami. They also will be honored at an exclusive dessert party.
Starting in 1995, the Eddy Awards have put a spotlight on plan sponsors and service providers exhibiting the best practices in offering investment education to defined contribution plan participants.
For the fourth year, the Eddy Awards integrate print and online in all categories. Thus, a single entry may include not just printed materials like brochures, postcards, table tents and posters, but also websites, CD-ROMs, e-mails and videos.
In addition to mobile apps, the 2014 Eddy Awards categories are:
- plan transitions, for programs that help employees move to new defined contribution plans following mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs;
- retirement readiness, for educating participants about what steps they must take to have an adequate income at retirement;
- automatic re-enrollment, for programs that educate employees about the process and benefits;
- initial investment education;
- ongoing investment education;
- special projects;
- conversions to new record keepers; and
- fee disclosure and education.
Entries should include web access for judges, such as a temporary user ID and/or password valid through March 15.
All plan sponsor entries must include documentation that plan executives approved the submission if the entry is being submitted by a provider and not the plan sponsor.
For all plan sponsor entries, each category is divided by type of sponsor (corporate, public, union and not-for-profit) and by size. For service providers, each category is divided by size, and then by whether the entry was prepared for a specific client or is generic.
Service providers may enter the same investment education campaigns in their awards that their clients enter in the plan sponsor awards.
Winners of the 2013 Eddy Awards may not submit the same materials in the 2014 competition, although new materials are welcome from all past winners.
All entries, except those in the subcategory of “generic” for service providers, must contain customized materials clearly branded for a particular plan sponsor.
Each entry must be submitted with a separate entry form and in its own envelope. Multiple entries may be mailed in one package.
Judges — mostly DC plan executives — will consider, among other things, the effectiveness and completeness of the investment education program. Creativity counts.
A letter containing evidence of the effectiveness, such as an increase in participation, must accompany the entry.
Complete rules and entry forms are available at www.pionline.com/eddy2014.
To review last year's winners, please see the link at www.pionline.com/eddy2013.