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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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First Horizon National Corporation

Winner: 2009 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning Years: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003
Industry: Financial Services
Location: Memphis, Tenn.

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

Celebrating its seventh consecutive year on AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50, First Horizon emphasizes leadership and training for its employees. The company offers numerous leadership courses and encourages all employees to recognize their peers' accomplishments via the Firstpower Line program. First Horizon continuously uses feedback from workers to amend or create new benefits programs, including a vacation-donation program and parental leave.

Recruiting: First Horizon uses placement agencies for older job seekers and draws on a relationship it has cultivated with Senior Services of Memphis to locate and attract mature workers and retirees. 

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities: All full-, prime-, and part-time employees receive the following learning and development opportunities: tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. In 2008, 100 percent of First Horizon employees participated in at least one learning and development opportunity, so each employee had an average 50 hours of instruction.

Responding to employee feedback, the company has developed vacation-donation and paid parental-leave programs and has begun offering domestic-partner benefits.

First Horizon recognizes employees' long-service anniversaries with announcements, parties, awards, and a points program. Employees can redeem their points for a broad range of gifts, including movie tickets, merchandise, and gift cards.

Employees at First Horizon can expand their skills through temporary assignments in other departments and team projects. 

First Horizon works to accommodate the needs of its employees with disabilities and special needs. One such employee had major surgery to prevent paralysis. The company provided her six months of leave with full pay, and upon her return, she was able to reduce her hours while maintaining the full-time benefits she needed.

Benefits/Health: Full-, prime-, and part-time employees working at least 20 hours per week receive individual and family medical and prescription-drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, and short- and long-term disability coverage. Long-term care insurance is offered at a discounted rate to all employees, regardless of number of hours worked.

First Horizon offers retirees below and above age 65 the following benefits: retiree and spousal medical and drug coverage, life insurance, and services from the employee assistance program. Retirees also have the option to purchase retiree and spousal long-term-care insurance at a discounted rate. Upon retirement, new hires are eligible for all retiree health benefits. First Horizon provides health savings accounts (HSA) and health flexible spending accounts (FSA) to help employees defray out-of-pocket health-care costs. 

Benefits/Financial: First Horizon offers full-, prime-, and part-time employees a 401(k) retirement plan with an employer match, and stock options are also available to eligible employees. Employees can choose to invest in life-cycle funds, and employees age 50+ can make catch-up contributions. First Horizon offers its employees financial-planning information from certified financial planners, the Retire Ready Solutions Group, and via online tools from the firm that administers the retirement plans.

Unpaid short- and long-term leave are available to employees to help them meet their caregiving responsibilities. Additionally, First Horizon does not track sick, emergency, or vacation leave for exempt employees. This allows greater flexibility for employees to take care of outside responsibilities.

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