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2013 AARP Best Employers

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

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Industry: Government: Federal            Location: Washington, D.C.             Website: www.finra.org  

Winning Years: 2013, 2009, 2008

Highlights of 2013 Winning Strategies

FINRA’s Benefits Awareness Campaign focuses on one of the following key areas weekly. My Money highlights programs and benefits that help employees save and plan for retirement; My Health provides health and wellness information, tools and resources; My Life offers programs and benefits that promote work/life balance such as flexible work arrangements, volunteer days and team activities; and My Insurance highlights aspects of FINRA’s insurance plans.

Additional Policies and Practices

  • Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: FINRA employees working 20-plus hours per week are offered the following learning and development programs: in-house classroom training, online training and reimbursement of professional membership dues. Employees working 35-plus hours per week are eligible for tuition reimbursement and certification classes. In a recent 12-month period, 100 percent of employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities with an average of seven hours spent in training. Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements, parties and awards. Based on feedback gathered from an employee engagement survey, FINRA has increased promotion of its flexible work arrangements and introduced a long-term care insurance plan. Employees have opportunities to gain new experiences by working on temporary assignments in other departments, on team projects and by participating in formal mentoring programs.
  • Benefits/Health: Employees working 20-plus hours per week receive individual and family medical coverage, individual and family prescription drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, individual and family long-term care insurance, and short- and long-term disability. Health benefits for retirees pre-65 and retirees age 65-plus include individual and spouse medical and prescription drug coverage, individual and spouse vision and dental coverage, individual and spouse long-term care insurance, as well as the services of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). New hires are eligible for all of the above benefits upon retirement. Retirees and their spouses, children, parents and parent in-laws are eligible for Health Advocate, which is a program to help navigate the health care system and maximize health care benefits. Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are available to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs. Full- and part-time employees are offered flu shots, health screenings, health risk appraisals, smoking cessation programs or counseling, health club discounts, physical activity and weight loss programs, health fairs, wellness coaching, and stress management training. Eighty-seven percent of FINRA employees utilized at least one of these wellness benefits during a recent 12-month period. EAP services are available to full- and part-time employees as well as their family members.
  • Benefits/Financial: Employees are offered a 401(k) plan with employer match as well as a separate Retirement Account that was introduced in 2011 for new hires and those employees electing to participate in the account. This account is funded with contributions made by FINRA. Individuals who do not participate in the Retirement Account are participants in a defined-benefit plan that is closed to new entrants. All new employees are automatically enrolled into the 401(k) plan, and defaulted into the appropriate target date fund; a fund that automatically reallocates investments based on the employee’s proximity to retirement. Participants are also eligible to make Roth and after-tax contributions and employees age 50 and over are able to make catch-up contributions to help reach their retirement goals. Employees are financially educated by staff members and from the staff of the financial services firm that administers their plan. Employees age 50-plus receive a free annual financial planning session through FINRA’s partnership with their benefits provider. Employees are offered short- and long-term leaves of absence without pay and paid time off for caregiving needs. FINRA offers referral services and backup care for child care, grandchild care and eldercare to employees working 20-plus hours per week.
  • Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Employees working 35-plus hours per week can participate in alternative work arrangements such as flextime, compressed work schedules, job sharing and telecommuting. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.
  • Opportunities for Retirees: FINRA has 340 retirees and an individual directly responsible for retiree relations. The organization stays connected with its retirees by communicating on a regular basis, by providing retirees with ongoing access to retirement planning workshops and information, and by formally acknowledging employees on their retirement. Retirees can work for FINRA in consulting or contract work assignments, and can also be a FINRA arbitrator. Arbitrators serve as contractors who resolve business disputes filed by investors against securities firms and individual brokers.

  • Age of Workforce: Twenty-seven percent of FINRA employees are age 50-plus. The average tenure of employees age 50-plus is 14.3 years.

Also of Interest: More AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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