RICHMOND, May 26, 2023 — The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) received a 2023 Communicator Award of Distinction for marketing effectiveness from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) for its Hybrid Retirement Plan Auto-Escalation Campaign in the Strategic Marketing Achievement – Marketing Effectiveness – Integrated Campaign Category.
VRS partnered with MissionSquare Retirement, the plan’s third-party record keeper, to develop a communications campaign featuring the January 2023 auto-escalation as a convenient way for Hybrid Retirement Plan members to increase their voluntary contributions. Auto-escalation is an automatic savings increase that takes place every three years. VRS’ goal was to promote auto-escalation as a savings opportunity, while informing members of the matching employer contributions that further boost savings.
The “Keep Your Savings Rolling With Auto-Escalation” campaign highlighted educational content for both members and employers. Materials for members featured the ease of auto-escalation, reinforcing that automatic increases and matching employer contributions can keep savings rolling toward future retirement. Employers received resources to help them explain auto-escalation to members.
As a result, more than 99% of eligible members targeted in the campaign embraced the saving increase or began making voluntary contributions during the January auto-escalation. Less than 1% chose to opt out.
“Auto-escalation makes it simple to adopt the habit of paying yourself first,” VRS Director Patricia Bishop said. “In our outreach, we explain the long-term benefits of increasing savings over time with the addition of employer matching contributions. We are pleased that most hybrid plan members choose auto-escalation to build their savings.”
The Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive international awards program honoring creative excellence in an annual competition for marketing and communications professionals. AIVA members, professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to progress and the evolving nature of media, judge contest entries.