EUROPE - Officials at a Swedish pension fund have told pension fund executive the winning of an IPE European Pension Fund Award added "real value" to their relations with members, so entries are now being invited for this year's event.

Attendees of the IPE Awards Masterclass held last month in France heard one Swedish pension fund - which has won a number of awards over several years - heard while the winning fund had very positive results in terms of public relations and human resources, it played a greater role in boosting member confidence towards their pensions arrangement.

Similarly, other officials in the UK said being rewarded for innovation in pension delivery also acted as a strong public relations tool with the sponsoring employer.
So that is why IPE hopes there will be more awards than ever before for this year's European Pension Fund Awards, being held on November 20 in Barcelona.

Access to the entry form is now open and available until September , so here are a few pointers also revealed at the France meeting which might make your entry eye-catching to the judges:

Think widely about what could be the subject matter of an award entry. Any aspect of pension funds' operations from investment and benefits to structure and governance can be included. The format of the IPE Awards asks entrants to submit in 750 words details of ‘an activity in which they have excelled during the 18 months period of January 2007 to June 2008'. Make sure the activity, as one judge put it, which makes the fund ‘stand out from the crowd' either by topic (for example, the investment process) or how it was implemented. Give an explanation as to what the fund officials see as their real achievement in the area in which they excelled. Clearly set out the intended objectives and how they were achieved, and highlight any difficulties or objectives which had to be overcome. Make it as factual as possible by giving performance figures, cost savings, risk reduction etc, if possible. Where the fund had achieved something already is thought to count for more in the judges' eyes than an entry that focuses on activity being planned for the future. Entries for the Themed and European level Awards will be looked at by judges outside your own country, so make sure the named achievements are explained in such a way that they can be appreciated by someone outside your own country. If these fund developments relate to an issue such as high interest rates or lack of a bond market that is particular to your country, they need to be explained so ‘non-local' judges understand. Explain things in as straightforward a way as possible, and include technical words as appropriate. The danger with too technical descriptions is that not all judges may be able to understand exactly what the fund is saying. Be aware of focusing on topical, fashionable or ‘hot' issues instead of picking on some more day-to-day issue that your fund really tackled well and so could make a strong entry topic for your fund, and

You can enter a topic again which was submitted in a previous year, but which you consider is still important and relevant, providing the information relating to it would need to be updated.

To find out more about the event and how to enter go to and also download a copy of the simplified entry online, or contact the IPE Awards team for more information by email at