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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Mercy Health System

Winner: 2008 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Employees receive financial-planning information from staff members and from the firm that administers their 403(b) plan. Mercy offers paid time off that is specifically designated for caregiving, short-term time off without pay, and long-term leaves of absence without pay for caregiving. Employees also have a Combined Time Off plan and employees can request time from the Donated Leave-Sharing plan if they need extra time off.

Full- and part-time employees can take part in the following wellness programs: flu shots, health screenings, health-risk appraisals, smoking-cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and exercise programs, weight-loss programs, and stress-management training. All employees attend the annual safety fair. Ninety-one percent of Mercy’s employees have used at least one of its wellness benefits during the past 12 months.

The following dependent-care benefits are offered to full- and part-time employees: on-site eldercare, backup care for children, grandchildren, and elders, and referral services to assist with care for children and grandchildren and for eldercare. In addition, Mercy’s Senior Connection, a free program for those age 55+, provides health insurance and financial counseling, a free prescription-discount card, and activities for older people.

Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Mercy offers the following alternative work arrangements to its full- and part-time employees: flextime, compressed work schedules, telecommuting, and a formal phased-retirement program. Full-time employees are also eligible for job sharing. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.

Opportunities for Retirees: Mercy has 311 retirees and has an employee directly responsible for retiree relations. Mercy stays connected with its retirees by communicating regularly, by inviting retirees to organization events and celebrations, by providing ongoing retirement planning workshops and information, and by formally acknowledging employees’ service when they retire.

Mercy offers retirees temporary work assignments, telecommuting, and full- and part-time work. The Mercy Association of Volunteers, comprised mainly of retirees and older community members, runs numerous programs, including the area’s largest Lifeline, Meals on Wheels, and a thrift store.

Age of Workforce: Thirty percent of Mercy employees are age 50+. The average tenure of employees age 50+ is 12 years.

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