University of Pittsburgh
March 19, 2019

University Retirement Savings Plan Receives Award


Joe Miksch


Cell: 412-997-0314

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Human Resources, in partnership with TIAA, is the first place winner of the 2019 Eddy Awards in the Plan Transitions category. Pitt was recognized for its implementation and communication efforts in updating the 2017-2018 University’s Retirement Savings Plan.

The University of Pittsburgh and TIAA, a leading financial services provider in the academic field, received this honor at Pensions & Investment’s annual East Coast Defined Contribution Conference on March 10-12, 2019, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Pitt joins 66 defined contribution communication campaigns that were honored for their efforts to motivate and educate participants. 

The Plan Transitions category honors select organizations for their investment in education and communication materials for employees eligible to participate in a retirement plan or who are impacted by plan changes. In August 2017, Pitt and TIAA launched a comprehensive communication strategy to introduce a streamlined investment menu, a new self-directed brokerage account option and a new 457(b) Plan for the University’s Retirement Savings Plan. In addition, a new brand identity for the University’s retirement savings plan, “Write your own financial story: Prepare for the future you imagine,” was created and included in this strategy. Notably, the judges for the Eddy Awards praised Pitt for the inclusion of employee stories to highlight financial lessons.

“We are honored to receive first place in the Plan Transitions category at the Eddy Awards,” said Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Cheryl Johnson. “Our team is proud to be recognized for the efforts taken to make improvements to the University’s retirement savings plan and to communicate them to the Pitt community in a way that honors our generationally diverse staff and faculty; recognizes that people are on individual journeys and need to be empowered; and, is accessible, motivational and educational.

“So many organizations talk about their retirement savings and defined contributions plans, their benefits and how good they are, but few put the focus on the individuals themselves,” added Johnson. “We are dedicated to the financial literacy and wellness of every member of the University community. With TIAA as a vital partner throughout this transition, we were able to captivate employees with a fresh brand, an interactive digital experience, an enhanced plan and more resources and tools than ever before, and we are appreciative to be distinguished for these efforts by Pensions & Investments.”

“One of our primary goals involved educating faculty and staff on the attractive retirement savings plan offered by the University and encouraging them to become more involved with investing in their financial future,” said John Kozar, assistant vice chancellor for University benefits, who oversaw the updates. “To be honored with the Eddy Award means that our efforts have been recognized by others and this will help strengthen our efforts within the University community. I am grateful for everyone in the Office of Human Resources, and especially the members of the retirement oversight committee who supported the effort to make the transition a success.”

Since 1995, the Eddy Awards, sponsored by Pensions & Investments, have recognized best practices by plan sponsors and service providers that offer investment education to defined contribution plans and a commitment to educate participants about key financial savings and personal goals. The University of Pittsburgh joins the ranks of previous notable recipients across all industries, including: American Express, J.P. Morgan Chase, IBM, Harvard University, Pepperdine University and Washington University.

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