iOMe Retirement Challenge Winners Announced

From St. Norbert College, January 26, 2011
by Mike Counter, mike.counter@snc.edu, (920) 403-3089

Organizers of the iOMe Challenge, a national competition to address the nation's retirement crisis, are pleased to announce that a team from Texas Tech University has won this year's grand prize. Benjamin Cummings, Christopher Browning, Thomas O'Malley, and Shaun Pfeiffer collaborated to win this national retirement preparedness competition for college students.

The winning team will be awarded $10,000 and an expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. to present their entry to members of Congress. Dr. Michael Finke served as the team's faculty advisor and will receive a $2,000 cash prize.

Judges also awarded first runner up to a team from the University of Nevada -- Reno (UNR) and an honorable mention to LaGrange College. The UNR and the LaGrange College teams received $2,000, plus $500 for their faculty advisors.

The 2010 contest was sponsored by Sage North America, iShares, the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA), and LifeTuner (an initiative of AARP).

The iOMe (I-owe-me) Challenge was established in 2009 by PAi (Plan Administrators, Inc.) and is organized and administered by David G. Wegge, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Survey Center at St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI. The competition encourages the 80 million members of the Millennial generation to help solve America's retirement problem. Student teams write an essay and produce a short video to illustrate what their lives could be like when they reach retirement.

Specifically, teams are asked to write an essay of 10,000 words or less, outlining three significant differences that will exist in our economy forty years from now, provided the U.S. personal saving rate is sustained at 6% versus the lower prevailing savings rates of the last decade.

Teams are also required to submit a short video that depicts American life forty years from now if Americans do not begin to save enough.

Finalists were judged by a Blue Ribbon Panel that met in Miami, Florida on January 15, 2011 to determine the winners. The distinguished judging panel included:

- John List, Recipient of the Kenneth Galbraith Prize by the American Agricultural Economics Association, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago
- James Choi, Recipient of the Project Development Award by NBER Center for Aging and Health Research, Associate Professor of Finance at Yale University
- Laura Schwartz, Former White House Director of Events and author of Eat, Drink & Succeed
- Charles Wise, three-time recipient of the William and Frederick Mosher Award, Founding Director of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University.
- Martin Merzer, retired reporter with The Miami Herald. Member of two Pulitzer Prize winning teams from The Miami Hearld and author of Democracy Held Hostage the story of the 2000 presidential election in Floirida.

To learn more about the iOMe Challenge and view the videos from this year's winners, visit: http://iomechallenge.org.

The winning team will present its ideas at an award reception in Washington D.C. in March 2011.