The iOme Challenge, a national competition to address the nation’s retirement crisis, is pleased to announce that a team from Texas Tech University won this year’s grand prize. Students Benjamin Cummings, Christopher Browning, Thomas O’Malley, and Shaun Pfeiffer collaborated to win the top, national prize.

The Texas Tech team won $10,000, plus 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 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 essays and produce a short video to illustrate what their lives could be like when they reach retirement in 40 years or so.

Specifically, teams write essays of 10,000 words, outlining three significant differences that will exist in the U.S. economy 40 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 40 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.

To learn more about the iOme Challenge and view the videos from this year’s winners, visit:

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

PAi is located in De Pere, Wisconsin. The company provides business services to the financial industry with 401(k) administration and payroll solutions tailored for small businesses. PAi services over 13,000 employers with more than 250,000 employees and $3 billion in retirement plan assets. PAi works with financial advisors and financial institutions nationwide.

LifeTuner – LifeTuner ( is a website that helps young adults learn the essentials of money – how to earn, save and use it to live a full life. At LifeTuner, young adults can get straight answers from experts, gain honest perspective from columnists and entrepreneurs, and find practical tips and tools to help them reach their goals.

ASPPA – The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries ( is a national organization of more than 7,500 retirement plan and benefits professionals and serves as the educator, voice, and advocate for the employer-based retirement system.

Sage – Sage North America ( is part of The Sage Group plc, a leading global supplier of business management software and services. Sage North America employs 4,000 people and supports 3.2 million small and midsized business customers.

iShares – iShares ( is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 460 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 19 exchanges worldwide. The iShares Funds are attractive to many individual and institutional investors and financial intermediaries because of their relative low cost, tax efficiency and trading flexibility.

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