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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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MEI Technologies

Winner: 2009 Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Industry: Engineering/Research
Location: Houston

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

This year marks the first appearance of MEI Technologies on AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. The MEI Technologies Associates Program gives the company the ability to recruit experts with longtime experience in the field, who are likely to be retired. The retired associates in this program still receive their pensions and continue contributing to their defined-contribution plans.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities: All the employees at MEI Technologies can take advantage of training opportunities that include in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. Full-time employees who work at least 30 hours or more per week are also eligible for tuition assistance. During the past 12 months, 100 percent of MEI employees have participated in at least one of the company's training opportunities.

MEI Technologies celebrates employees' long-service anniversaries with announcements and awards.

During the past three years, employee feedback has prompted the company to make improvements to its prescription-drug plan by adding more medications, increasing the amount employees can direct to their flexible spending accounts, and lowering their copays for generic drugs. Employees at MEI Technologies have opportunities to gain experience or develop job skills through team projects. Cross-departmental projects also provide training.

MEI Technologies has implemented accommodations, such as technology and flexible schedules, to help employees and retirees work remotely. 

Benefits/Health: At MEI Technologies, full-time employees who work at least 30 hours per week  receive individual and family medical, prescription-drug, vision, dental, and short- and long-term-disability coverage. MEI Technologies also offers employees health flexible spending accounts (FSA) to help with out-of-pocket health-care costs. 

Benefits/Financial: All full- and part-time employees at MEI have the opportunity to participate in a 401(k) plan with an employer match. The company automatically enrolls all new hires in the plan. Similarly, all employees can choose to invest in life-cycle funds that reallocate assets based on age and closeness to retirement. Workers age 50+ can also make catch-up contributions. Staff of MEI Technologies, representatives of the financial services firm that administers the 401(k) plan, and external experts—all provide training in and information about financial planning to employees.

MEI Technologies allows employees unpaid time off to attend to caregiving responsibilities.

All employees have access to wellness benefits that include flu shots, health screenings, health-risk appraisals, a smoking-cessation program, fitness facility discounts, and exercise programs. Full-time employees can participate in a weight-loss program and stress-management training; they can also use personal-health consultations, vitamin discounts, and alternative health care. During the past 12 months, 33 percent of MEI employees used at least one of the company's wellness benefits.

Full-time employees at MEI can also take advantage of its  referral services to help locate care for children, grandchildren, and elders.

Benefits/Alternative-Work Arrangements: If the contract allows, employees at MEI Technologies can choose flextime, compressed-work schedules, and telecommuting. Full-time employees can move to part-time positions on a permanent or temporary basis. MEI Technologies allows retirees to continue receiving 401(k) benefits and contributing to the plan.

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