JHU communications campaign for retirement plans transition to TIAA wins big award

Pensions & Investments gives program a first place in its 2023 Eddy Awards

The emails, mailings, Hub at Work stories, and town hall notifications sent your way in 2021 and 2022 about all of JHU's 403(b) retirement plans moving to TIAA did more than their important task of informing you about the upcoming transition: They won a big award.

Pensions & Investments, a print and digital media company focused on the institutional investment market, has just awarded first place in its 2023 Eddy Awards program in the Conversions/403(b) Consolidation (not-for-profit/other) category to the communications plan created by Johns Hopkins University and its service providers, TIAA and Segal Benz.

The effort was led at JHU by April Floyd, senior director of Benefits & Worklife, and Joel Searfoss, director of Benefits Compliance and Operations.

The goal of the transition of the retirement plans to TIAA was to streamline and simplify the retirement program and retirement education for the benefit of JHU employees. Along with sending written communications, JHU held employee town halls, created a dedicated website, and offered individual financial consulting services from both TIAA and Marsh McLennan Agency. The 18-month omnichannel communications strategy was designed to help JHU's 38,000 retirement plan participants understand what was changing, how they were affected, and actions they could take. In the transition, JHU reduced recordkeepers from six to one and investment choices from 300-plus to 33.

"We're so proud of having received this award," Floyd says. "The JHU leadership and HR teams knew the importance of communication and supporting our retirement plan participants in their understanding of the changes. We pulled out all the stops to engage with them."

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