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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Best Employers

FINRA, or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

Winner: 2009 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning Years: 2009, 2008
Industry: Nonprofit
Location: Washington, D.C.
Website: www.finra.org

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

FINRA retirees can take advantage of many of the same health benefits as active employees and can be rehired in various capacities. Once eligible, retirees can also pursue roles as arbitrators in FINRA Dispute Resolution.

Employees can opt for reduced schedules and switch to part-time status, or they can take advantage of alternative-work arrangements, as they near retirement. Working with various partners, FINRA is able to offer retirement-planning programs for employees age 50 or older.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities: FINRA offers full- and part-time employees who work at least 20 hours per week the opportunity to develop their professional skills by completing in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. Full-time employees who work at least 35 hours per week are eligible for tuition reimbursement.

FINRA recognizes long-serving employees are with announcements in its electronic newsletter, departmental celebrations, and service awards.

FINRA looks for ways to enhance its work environment by incorporating feedback gained from employee surveys, focus groups, and other sources, into new work policies and fixtures. The organization has responded to employees' suggestions to add or improve a number of programs and initiatives, including backup child care and elder care, extended military leave, domestic partner benefits, wellness programs, and informational lunch-and-learn sessions.

FINRA provides workers opportunities to gain new experience and skills by completing temporary assignments, team projects, and cross-functional teamwork.

FINRA has enhanced its office space to accommodate employees with disabilities. The agency continues to assess ways in which it can improve its work environment and culture for all employees.

Benefits/Health: FINRA offers all full- and part-time employees individual and family medical, prescription-drug, vision, dental, and short- and long-term-disability coverage. To help employees handle out-of-pocket health-care expenses, FINRA also offers employees health flexible spending accounts (FSA).

Retirees receive most of the same benefits as active employees, with the exception of short- and long-term disability.

In general, employees can receive retirement-related benefits, such as the retiree medical account, on their first day of active employment—provided certain service requirements are met.

In addition, retirees are eligible to use the services of the employee assistance program (EAP) and Health Advocate. Active employees, retirees, and their families have access to two programs—Health Advocate and Wellness Advocate—that help participants monitor their health and navigate the health-care system.

Benefits/Financial: Full- and part-time FINRA employees can participate in a defined-benefit savings plan and a 401(k) savings plan with an employer match. To encourage employees to participate in the defined-contribution plan—and to promote saving for retirement—FINRA automatically enrolls all new hires into the 401(k) plan. Employees over age 50 can make catch-up contributions.

FINRA also provides access to Financial Engine, a service that can help employees plan their track to successful retirement. The agency's employees receive total-compensation statements that outline the different elements of their cash and non-cash benefits. In addition, the organization's 401(k) plan administrator offers free financial counseling to participants age 50 and older, to help with their retirement planning.

FINRA offers workers paid time off and unpaid leaves of absence for caregiving. Full- and part-time employees can take advantage of the agency's numerous wellness benefits, including free flu shots, health screenings, health-risk appraisals, smoking-cessation programs, fitness facility discounts, physical-activity programs, weight-loss programs and stress-management training. In addition, employees can use FINRA referral services to find dependent care and to arrange backup care when regular arrangements do not go as planned. … Back to Article

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