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Pepco Holdings Inc.

Winner: 2009 Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning Years: 2009, 2005
Industry:  Private/Service Sector - Utilities
Location: Washington, D.C.

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

Pepco Holdings Inc. has successfully hired mature workers or retirees through placement agencies for older job seekers. The company also turns to its own retirees when looking to fill a position. Pepco is working toward a formal phased-retirement program for workers and offers its retirees under and above age 65 most of the same health benefits as current employees. Pepco also offers retirees the opportunity to return to work in various capacities, and it emphasizes cross-departmental opportunities, field training, and other learning and development opportunities. Nearly half of all workers at Pepco are age 50 or older.

Recruiting: Pepco uses placement agencies for older job seekers to target and hire mature workers. The company also looks within its own ranks of retirees to fill positions.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities: Pepco offers all full- and part-time employees who work at least 20 hours per week tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. In the past 12 months, all employees (100 percent) have participated in at least one of the company's training opportunities or programs. On average, each employee spent four hours in training.

Pepco celebrates its employees' long-service anniversaries through announcements, parties, and awards. For employees with 25 years or more of service, Pepco recognizes them through its four regional, quarter-century clubs. Employees become members of these clubs and receive recognition and awards for their commitment and contribution to Pepco at annual or bi-annual banquets. Retirees are also invited to the banquets.

PHI has an internal Diversity Council, which holds yearly sessions for employees and focuses on many topics, including generational differences. 

Pepco offers workers opportunities or assignments to gain new experiences or develop new skills. Opportunities include temporary assignments in other departments, team projects, and access to a formal job-rotation program. Pepco offers temporary assignments through its Formal Engineer-Rotation program, its Cross-Rotational Development Program. The company also provides employees coaching and mentoring.

Pepco's Disability-Management Program and its Corporate Accommodation Review Board allow the company to accommodate employees with medical restrictions so that they can continue working in the company, gain new skills or training, and become candidates for other positions within the company.

Benefits/Health: Pepco offers all full- and part-time employees who work 20 hours or more per week medical, prescription-drug, vision, dental, long-term-care, and short- and long-term disability coverage for both workers and their families. The company also offers health flexible spending accounts (FSA) to help employees cover out-of-pocket health care costs. 

Pepco retirees under and above age 65 receive nearly all the same health benefits, with the exception of short- and long-term-disability coverage. However, retirees under age 65 receive individual life insurance, and retirees age 65+ are offered the services of an employee assistance program (EAP). All new hires are eligible for age-65+ retiree benefits upon retirement. 

Benefits/Financial: Financial benefits open to full- and part-time employees who work at least 20 hours per week include a defined-benefit plan, a 401(k) defined-contribution plan with an employer match, and a cash-balance or hybrid plan. As an incentive to participate in the defined-contribution plan, employees may also choose to invest in life-cycle funds, and those ages 50 and older can make catch-up contributions. Staff members from the financial services firm that administers the 401(k) or pension plan at Pepco provide financial planning information or training to employees and retirees through seminars and video presentations.

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