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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Best Employers

The Aerospace Corporation

Winner: 2009 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning Years:  2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002
Industry: Private – Non-profit
Location: El Segundo, Calif.
Website: www.aero.org

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

This year marks The Aerospace Corporation’s seventh appearance on AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. The company continues to maintain its Retiree Casual-Pool Program and to rehire retirees for temporary assignments.

The Aerospace Corporation offers employees a formal phased-retirement program and many of the same health benefits in retirement as employees who are currently working. Retirees from the corporation's 'Casual Retiree' program can receive job training and employee education.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities: Full- and part-time employees at The Aerospace Corporation who work at least 20 hours per work are eligible for tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. In the past 12 months, 82 percent of the corporation's employees have participated in at least one of its training programs, so on average, employees received 58 hours of education.

The Aerospace Corporation recognizes employees' long-service anniversaries through announcements, parties, and awards. In addition, every five years of their employment, workers at the corporation receive recognition for their services. In the last three years, employee feedback has prompted the company to form committees to address employee concerns and any areas of the workplace that need improvement.

To help employees gain new experience or develop new skills, The Aerospace Corporation offers them temporary assignments in other departments, team projects, and access to a formal job-rotation program. Retirees can also participate in the job-rotation program. All employees have access to internal job postings and an online application process.

The Aerospace Corporation provides a quiet break area for an employee with fibromyalgia and gives ergonomic assessments to all employees' work spaces to make sure their needs are accommodated.

Benefits/Health: The corporation's full- and part-time employees who work at least 20 hours per week are eligible for individual and family medical, prescription-drug, vision, dental, and short- and long-term disability coverage. The company helps employees cover their out-of-pocket health care costs by offering health flexible spending accounts (FSA).

Retirees younger than age 65 receive many of the same benefits as current working employees, except for individual and retiree plus spousal vision or dental coverage. Retirees under 65 also receive individual dental coverage. Retirees ages 65 and older receive health benefits similar to those of current workers at The Aerospace Corporation, except individual and family vision insurance and retiree plus spousal life insurance. The company also provides employees access to a wellness and health-education program, a health coach, and a 24-hour nurse help line.

Benefits/Financial: The Aerospace Corporation offers full- and part-time employees a defined-benefit plan, a 403(b) defined-contribution plan, and a money-purchase defined contribution plan. All employees need work only one hour per week to be eligible to participate in any of these plans. Employees can choose to invest in life-cycle funds, and those age 50 or older can make catch-up contributions.

The Aerospace Corporation employees receive financial-planning information or training from members of the company's staff, representatives of the financial firm that administers the plans, and external financial planning experts. Representatives of the 403(b) carriers conduct one-on-one consultations, presentations at the company 'Lunch and Learn' program, and pre-retirement workshops on-site.

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