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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Best Employers

Solix Inc.

Winner: 2009 Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Industry: Business Services
Location: Parsippany, NJ

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

This year marks Solix's inaugural appearance on AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. Nearly half the workforce at Solix is age 50 or older. The company provides current workers and retirees younger than age 65 long-term-care coverage. Solix maintains a roster of retirees and considers them for consulting and part-time work and gives them discounts to local businesses.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities: Solix offers development opportunities, such as tuition reimbursement and certification classes, to full- and part-time employees who work at least 30 hours per week. All employees can engage in in-house, classroom training, online training, and general off-site courses. During the past 12 months, 50 percent of all employees participated in at least one of the company's development opportunities, with each employee spending an average 12 hours in training.

Solix celebrates long-service employees with announcements and awards at five-year intervals. The company also recognizes long-term employees through articles on its intranet.

During the past three years by taking an employee survey, Solix found its employees wanted—and in response the company implemented—a new health-benefits package and a smoking-cessation program. Employees of Solix can gain professional experience and skills by completing temporary assignments in other departments and collaborating on team projects. 

Solix has purchased software, made modifications to office doors, provided special technical equipment, and allowed telecommuting—all in efforts to assist employees with special medical or physical needs.

Benefits/Health: Full- and part-time employees who work at least 30 hours per week receive individual and family medical, prescription-drug, dental, vision, long-term care, and short- and long-term-disability coverage. Solix also offers employees health flexible spending accounts (FSA) to help with out-of-pocket health expenses. Retirees younger than age 65 can receive individual and spousal medical, prescription-drug, and long-term-care coverage.

Benefits/Financial: At Solix, full- and part-time employees who work 30 hours per week or more can participate in the company's employer-matched 401(k) plan. The company automatically enrolls all new hires in the plan. Employees have the option to invest in life-cycle funds based on age and retirement date, and those age 50+ can make "catch up" contributions. Representatives of the financial-services firm that administers Solix's retirement plans provide financial-planning information and training to employees on-site.

Solix allows employees to take unpaid time off to care for a child or other family member. Full- and part-time employees also receive wellness benefits, including such as flu shots, health screenings, health-risk appraisals, a smoking-cessation program, and discounts to fitness facilities. Solix also offers employees a formal Wellness Program. Forty-four percent of Solix employees have used at least one of its wellness benefits during the past 12 months.

The company also offers full- and part-time employees referral services to help them find care for children, grandchildren, and elders. The company has negotiated discounted rates at two local day-care facilities for employees' children and grandchildren.

Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Solix offers its full- and part-time employees alternative-work arrangements, including flextime, telecommuting, compressed schedules, job sharing, and a formal phased-retirement plan. Full-time employees have the opportunity to move to part-time work either permanently or temporarily. The company's phased-retirement program gives the soon-to-be-retired reduced hours and the option to move to project work or to convert to consulting status.

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