What is the iOme (I Owe Me) Challenge?

The iOme (I OWE ME) Challenge is a national student competition that encourages students to analyze the current state of retirement policy in the U.S. and propose viable policy solutions to meet the needs of their generation.

How does it do that? 

Each year, student teams from across the U.S. respond to the annual iOme Challenge question in an essay with a public policy proposal. A panel of judges reads the submissions and selects the winning team. The winning team shares a cash prize of $5,000 and an invitation to Washington, DC to present their submission at a symposium and discuss it with public policymakers.

The iOme Challenge engages younger generations in the process of finding solutions to the financial and retirement challenges facing all generations. Each year, the project aims to involve more students in order to promote this important intergenerational dialogue.

Congratulations to the 2024 iOme Challenge Winning Teams! ​

Peter Wilschke, Arvind Kuruvilla, and Matthew Dyson of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Their winning paper, Improving American Retirement Prospects: Policy Solutions for the Financially Fragile is available here.

The UMBC team was advised by Douglas J. Lamdin, Professor, Economics, Affiliate Faculty, School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). 

Roy Randen, Deanna Portero, Di Han, Emmanuel Animashaun, Cira Sun, and Xenia Afoakwah of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

Their winning paper, in Our Future: A Transition to Sustainable Retirement Security, is available here.

Phillip H. Phan, Ph.D., is Alonzo and Virginia Decker Professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School with joint appointment as Professor in the Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine. He is Robert Bosch Policy Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.

Learn more about the past Winning Teams here.

The iOme Challenge was started in 2009. In 2016, the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER®) took on the management of the iOme Challenge, and continues to expand its reach and impact.