Multiple media approaches, multiple languages and multiple demographic strategies characterized some of the winners of the 24th annual Pensions & Investments Eddy Awards.
Multiple medical employers also figured prominently — six received awards for strategies as diverse as the people they treat. In all, 42 education campaigns were honored last month at the P&I East Coast Defined Contribution Conference in Miami.
Hennepin Healthcare System Inc., Minneapolis, injected humor into its effort, which garnered first place in the special projects category for not-for-profit institutions with more than 5,000 employees. (The service provider is Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust.)
"Time for your sponge bath" said one brochure as Hennepin encouraged participants to raise contributions in the three DC plans that it offers.
The sponge-bath comment is "a connection to what employees do on a day-to-day basis," said Sue Roeser, director, human resources. The theme was designed to be "easy and eye-catching," as well as relating the retirement education campaign to what employees did at work.
"There are different levels of education at our facilities," she said. "We want the message to be clear."
Hennepin didn't spare the puns in a print campaign that featured an illustration of rubber ducks in a bathtub. "Don't let taxes drain your retirement savings"; "How to clean up in retirement"; "The bare essentials"; and "Soak it all in" all were part of the sales pitch.
McLaren Health Care, Grand Blanc, Mich., took second place among not-for-profit employers with more than 5,000 employees. McLaren officials decided the best way to attract employees' attention was to hold a retirement party, said Donna Aho, director of corporate retirement services (service provider, MassMutual Retirement Services).
"Our biggest challenge is reaching employees," said Ms. Aho, pointing out that McLaren has 12 hospitals and multiple ancillary medical facilities. Merely announcing a meeting wouldn't be as effective as promoting a party that was "visible and fun" because "everyone wants to attend someone's retirement party."
McLaren held parties at 32 locations during a six-month period, featuring balloons, cake, raffle tickets and games. At the parties, plan officials answered employees' questions and helped them make changes to their accounts if necessary."The parties put them at ease to ask questions," she said.
McLaren recorded 283 new enrollments and 661 deferral increases, prompting Ms. Aho to add that McLaren will offer more themed events in the future.