2014's five Innovator Award winners all sought to engage specific groups of participants who haven't taken full advantage of retirement savings programs or who have been underserved by their defined contribution plan.
The winners are:
- Rosemary Vilgan, CEO, QSuper, Brisbane, Australia;
- Steven Grossman, Massachusetts state treasurer and receiver general, Boston;
- Carol Sung, 401(k) product manager, International Paper Co., Stamford, Conn.;
- Jeannie Lowe, vice president, human resources, Buck Consultants, San Francisco; and
- Georgette Gestely, director of the New York City Employee Benefits Program, Office of Labor Relations.
Using techniques that range from the technological to the conversational, the award winners — plus eight finalists who were given Awards of Excellence — were honored at Pensions & Investments' West Coast Defined Contribution Conference, held Oct. 26-28 in San Diego.
The awards are co-sponsored by P&I and the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association. They recognize plan executives who have taken unusual, bold and creative steps to help improve participants' income at retirement.
“Picking the winners and finalists is so difficult, in part because the nominees take such different approaches and yet all are successful. One might use annuities in the investment lineup; another might deliberately eschew annuities and go a different route,” said Nancy K. Webman, P&I's editor.
Added Lew Minsky, executive director of DCIIA: “The work of innovation in the plan sponsor community is so important. There is so much potential in the current retirement savings system, but maximizing this potential and closing the retirement security gap depends, in large part, on sponsors that are focused on improving retirement outcomes and are willing to innovate.”