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National Institutes of Health

Winner: 2009 Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Wellness benefits available to full- and part-time NIH employees include flu shots, health screenings, smoking-cessation programs, discounts to health clubs, physical-activity programs, weight-loss programs, stress-management programs, and special interest clubs. In addition, in February 2009, NIH sponsored CORE, for "Conditioning and Relaxation" Week, which highlighted several forms of physical activity and relaxing exercise. During the past 12 months, 44 percent of employees have used at least one of the NIH wellness benefits.

Full- and part-time employees can use the NIH on-site day care for children and grandchildren. The Institutes also offer referral services to help workers find care for children, grandchildren, and elders.

Benefits/Alternative-Work Arrangements: All employees can take advantage of the NIH alternative-work arrangements, such as flextime, compressed-work schedules, job-sharing, telecommuting, and a formal phased-retirement program. Additionally, full-time employees can move to part-time work on either a temporary or permanent basis. 

NIH offers two phased-retirement programs: (1) a gradual transition to retirement by reducing hours, or (2) a trial-retirement program, which allows retirees to return to work within one year of retirement.

Opportunities for Retirees: NIH offers the following opportunities to retirees: temporary work assignments, consulting or contract work, telecommuting, part-time jobs, and full-time positions. The Institutes maintain connections with retirees by communicating with them on a regular basis, by inviting them to events and celebrations, by offering them ongoing access to retirement planning, and by formally acknowledging employees when they retire. Retirees can also remain active in the NIH community by participating in various clubs and fitness and volunteer opportunities. 

Age of Workforce: Thirty-nine percent of NIH employees are age 50+. The average tenure for employees age 50+ is 14.5 years.

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