IOme Challenge

What is the iOme Challenge? 

The iOme (I OWE ME) Challenge works to raise awareness about the impact of financial security in retirement on the social and economic well-being of all generations in our society. The Challenge encourages students to challenge status quo thinking about the current state of retirement and propose viable policy recommendations.

Each year, student teams from across the country respond to the annual iOme Challenge question in the form of an essay and short promotional video. A blue ribbon panel judges submissions and selects the winning team. The team wins a financial award and is invited to Washington, DC to present its submission at a symposium and to discuss it with public policymakers.

The 2018 Challenge Question!

This year, teams were asked to imagine that Congress has invited a Team of millennials to join the Special Bipartisan Task Force to address the nation's growing retirement crisis. A special emphasis will be placed on increasing retirement savings opportunities for millennials at the workplace and independently.

Teams were tasked with developing a comprehensive policy proposal that will address some of the challenges and result in more millennials saving for retirement. The policy proposal could include, but was not be limited to:
1. Ideas to expand the number of employers that offer plans to traditional and nontraditional workers;
2. Ideas to encourage gig economy workers to participate in retirement savings;
3. Ideas to encourage more employees to participate in the plans offered to them;
4. Ways tax or other government policy can be used to increase savings; and
5. How to use online resources and social media to facilitate awareness and increase savings.

Check out the complete Challenge question at


The 2018 iOme Challenge Winner!

The iOme Challenge is pleased to announce this year's winner of the iOme Challenge, Evan Avila! Evan is a student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Read Evan's essay and watch his video in response to this year's Challenge question. His faculty advisor is Professor Douglas J. Lamdin, Department of Economics, UMBC.

As the winner of the Challenge, Evan received a $5,000 prize and presented his essay at a forum in Washington, DC on June 20, 2018. His faculty advisory also received $1,500.

Congratulations, and stay tuned this fall for more information about the 2019 iOme Challenge!


The iOme Challenge was established in in 2009.  In 2015, WISER took over the management of the iOme Challenge.  


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