Eight executives received Awards of Excellence.
David Beik, vice president for operations at Verizon Investment Management Corp., a unit of Verizon Communications Inc., Basking Ridge, N.J., expanded the use of alternatives in Verizon's custom target-date funds. These alternatives included commodities, infrastructure, global equity, global high-yield bonds and active currency.
Lisa Blasdale, senior benefits manager, Staples Inc., Framingham, Mass., used a game-show format to educate participants about retirement savings.
A meeting, aimed primarily at first-generation Americans less familiar with retirement accounts, included a master of ceremonies asking Staples employees about their experiences with retirement planning. For the game show, modeled after “Family Feud,” employee teams were asked questions about retirement topics discussed earlier in the meeting.
Tim Berry, former Indiana state auditor in Indianapolis, added auto enrollment and auto escalation to the Indiana Deferred Compensation Plans, known as Hoosier S.T.A.R.T.
Mr. Berry, who oversaw the plans, expanded the custom-target date portfolios to include alternatives such as unconstrained bonds and an absolute-return fund.
Tom Gonnella, executive vice president, Lincoln Trust Co., Denver, restructured his company's plan to achieve greater results through greater simplicity. Lincoln's Smart Plan eliminates core options. Instead, it defaults participants into low-cost, risk-based models that are professionally managed.
Mr. Gonnella changed the strategy in part because he found 25% of participants either had no equities or 100% equities in their accounts.
Helene Sanford, the Palm Bay, Fla.-based director of human resources and compensation for Intersil Corp., coordinated a revamping of the company's 401(k) plan that included expanding its financial wellness program.
The Intersil program features a health-cost calculator, giving participants a broader picture of their future beyond salary and retirement savings.
Michele Talka, senior director, HR operations, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer & Research Institute, Tampa, Fla., restructured two defined contribution plans by changing auto-enrollment and auto-escalation features, revising the vesting schedules and changing the employer-match formula to reward greater participation.
Thomas Woodruff, director of the healthcare policy and benefit services division in the Connecticut comptroller's office, Hartford, sought to simplify participants' investment choices in the state's three defined contribution plans.
Mr. Woodruff helped establish eight custom-risk portfolios ranging from ultraconservative to ultra-aggressive.
Gina Zoetvelt, former senior benefits manager, Motorola Solutions Inc., Schaumburg, Ill., continued her company's focus on getting workers who are nearing retirement to take advantage of managed accounts.
As participants turn 60, Motorola automatically enrolls them in a program that contains investment advice, a managed account and a mechanism for providing monthly payments upon retirement. Participants may opt out.