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P&I rewarding innovation, excellence in DC plans

Pensions & Investments and the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association are seeking nominations for the Excellence and Innovation Awards program, now in its eighth year.

These awards are designed to recognize DC plan executives and their employers for well-executed, creative and unusual projects that help ensure participants have an adequate income at retirement. Entries are judged on innovation well as excellence in execution.

Entries for the 2019 awards are due May 31. P&I and DCIIA are looking for programs implemented on or after Jan. 1, 2018.

Winners will be announced at P&I's West Coast Defined Contribution Conference, to be held Nov. 3-5 in San Diego.

Among last year's innovation award winners, Tobias Read, Oregon state treasurer, was recognized for the OregonSaves program, a state-based auto IRA aimed at helping workers contribute to a retirement savings program if their employers don't offer such an opportunity.

OregonSaves allows these workers to invest in a Roth individual retirement account. The program sets an automatic deferral of 5% of pay per year, plus an annual 1% automatic escalation until the total retirement contribution reaches 10% of pay. Employees can opt out.

Also, Mary Nell Billings, Memphis, Tenn.-based senior director, global retirement programs, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., was recognized with an excellence award. Hilton made extensive use of detailed data from its record keeper, T. Rowe Price Group Inc., to get a better understanding of participants' needs and retirement savings practices, allowing the company to tailor its communications.

Hilton was able to analyze who wasn't saving, who was saving at rates below the company match and who was saving at or above the company match. The company also looked at the savings behavior of different age groups.

For more information and the nomination form, visit pionline.com/innovation awards2019. Need more help? Contact Julie Tatge, executive editor, at 312-649-5442 or by email at jtatge@pionline.com.

Self-nominations are encouraged. Nominations also will be accepted from colleagues and people outside the organization familiar with the work being done. There is no fee to enter.

Visit pionline.com/innovationawards2018 to review the groundbreaking efforts of all nine 2018 winners.