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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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F.E.G.S. Health and Human Services System

Winner: 2009 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning Years: 2009
Industry: Constituency or Community Services and Programs
Location: New York, N.Y.

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

This year, F.E.G.S. Health and Human Services System makes its first appearance on AARP’s list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. By combining a reputation and history of social-service work with such perks as a defined-benefit pension plan, F.E.G.S. has effectively been able to attract and maintain mature workers. Thirty percent of employees at F.E.G.S. are age 50 or older, with an average tenure of 10.5 years.

Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Full- and part-time F.E.G.S. employees are eligible for in-house classroom training, online training, professional memberships, and certification classes. Full-time employees working at least 35 hours per week are also eligible for tuition reimbursement. In 2008, all employees took part in at least one development opportunity, with the average employee spending five hours in training.

The organization celebrates its employees’ long-service anniversaries by giving awards and longevity-pay increases. F.E.G.S. assists its employees with gaining new on-the-job experience through team projects, temporary assignments in other departments, a formal job-rotation program, and by cross-training them. F.E.G.S. is committed to providing its employees an accommodating work environment through a diverse range of adaptive technologies and physical-workspace modifications.

Benefits/Health: F.E.G.S offers all employees working at least 18 hours per week individual and family medical and prescription-drug, dental, and vision coverage. Employees working at least 35 hours per week are also eligible for long-term disability coverage. In an effort to help employees with the costs associated with medical care, F.E.G.S. offers its staff a flexible spending account (FSA).

Full- and part-time employees at F.E.G.S. are also eligible for nutrition seminars and discounts at local health clubs. During the past 12 months, 12 percent of employees took advantage of either the seminars or the health-club discounts.

Benefits/Financial: Full- and part-time employees are offered a defined-benefit plan and a defined-contribution 401(k) plan. Employees with caregiving responsibilities can take paid time off and also use short- and long-term unpaid leave. Caregivers can also take advantage of referral services for child- and eldercare.

Benefits/Alternative-Work Arrangements: Employees can adopt a number of different alternative-work arrangements, including flextime, compressed work schedules, job sharing, telecommuting, and a formal phased-retirement program. Full-time employees can move to part-time work on either a temporary or permanent basis.  

Opportunities for Retirees: F.E.G.S. has 34 retirees who benefit from the work of a staff member directly responsible for maintaining retiree relations. The organization keeps in touch with retirees through regular communication in the form of invitations to events and by formally recognizing employees when they retire. Retirees are eligible for part-time, consulting, and temporary assignments.

Age of Workforce: Thirty percent of F.E.G.S. employees are age 50 or older, with an average tenure of 10.5 years.

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