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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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The Aerospace Corporation

Winner: 2009 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Employees are allowed paid time off specifically for child or family caregiving as well as unpaid time off. The Aerospace Corporation provides full- and part-time employees flu shots, health screenings, a physical activity or exercise program, a weight-loss program, and a stress-management program. The company also holds 'Lunch and Learn' seminars on various health topics. During the past 12 months, 19 percent of employees used at least one of the company’s wellness-related benefits. The company weight-loss program is a collaboration with Weight Watchers and is held during the lunch hour.

The Aerospace Corporation offers all employees referral services to assist with finding care for children, grandchildren, and elders.

Benefits/Alternative-Work Arrangements:  The corporation offers full- and part-time employees alternative-work arrangements, including flextime, telecommuting, and a formal phased-retirement program. Full-time employees who work 40 hours per week are eligible to take compressed-work schedules. Full-time employees also have the opportunity to move to part-time schedules on either a permanent or temporary basis.

The Aerospace Corporation offers three phased-retirement options: (1) working part-time before retirement, (2) taking a leave of absence up to one year before retirement, and (3) retire and be rehired as a 'retiree casual' employee, who can work up to 1,000 hours a year at pre-retirement salary. Those who choose to work as 'retiree casual' workers can also collect full level retirement benefits.

Opportunities for Retirees:  The Aerospace Corporation has 3,240 retirees and a staff person with direct responsibility for relations with them. The company maintains relations with its retirees through regular communications, invitations to events and celebrations, and by formally acknowledging them on the day of their retirement.

The company also launched a Web site for retirees, to provide former employees with information on group-insurance and retirement news. The Aerospace Corporation maintains a contact list of its retirees who say they are available for work. Retirees are offered temporary work assignments and can be paid for up to 999 hours per fiscal year in order to continue receiving their pensions.

Age of Workforce:  Fifty-eight percent of The Aerospace Corporation employees are age 50+, with an average tenure of 18.8 years.

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