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Pinnacol Assurance

Winner: 2008 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning years: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
Industry: Insurance
Location: Denver
2008 Rank: 25

Highlights of 2008 Winning Strategies

Pinnacol Assurance encourages college education by offering on-site college courses in partnership with the local community college and by giving employees cash incentives for earning professional designations or certifications. Pinnacol offers a Financial Wellness Series, which hosts monthly seminars on financial topics, such as budgeting, investing, and estate and college planning. The company offers employees an extra four weeks of extended leave, and employees can take advantage of a paid-time-off bank.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Recruiting: The Pinnacol Assurance Alumni Program hires retirees and former employees to assist with temporary and part-time assignments.

Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Pinnacol offers the following learning and development programs to its full- and part-time employees: tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. The company offers the tuition-reimbursement program exclusively to employees working at least 30 hours per week. In the past 12 months, 100 percent of Pinnacol employees participated in at least one of its training opportunities, with an average of 38 hours spent in training.

The company celebrates long-service anniversaries with announcements and awards. Responding to employee feedback, the company has also made the following improvements to policies and benefits: added a 401(k) company match, a 457-plan option, domestic-partner benefits, and adoption assistance; increased tuition-level payouts, on-site college classes, and on-site health and wellness classes; built a resource page on eldercare on the intranet; offered free flu shots and an on-site Weight Watchers program; and created an environmentally focused Green Team.

Employees gain new experience and develop new skills by working on temporary assignments in other departments and on team projects. Pinnacol employees receive ergonomic evaluations upon hire or as requested, and the company makes adjustments to workstations in order to meet employees’ physical needs. In addition, the company has a wheelchair on site, and job reassignments and restructuring are considered for employees who have special needs.

Benefits/Health: Full- and part-time employees working at least 30 hours per week receive individual and family medical coverage, individual and family prescription-drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, and short- and long-term disability. All employees receive individual and family long-term care insurance, although both require one hour of work per week.

Health benefits for retirees under age 65 and 65+ include individual and spousal medical and drug coverage, individual and spousal vision and dental insurance, individual and spousal long-term care insurance, and individual and spousal life insurance or other death-benefit coverage. New hires are eligible for all of the benefits upon retirement. The company offers flexible-spending accounts to employees to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs.

Benefits/Financial: Pinnacol offers its full- and part-time employees a 401(k) plan with a company match, a 457 plan, and a defined-benefit plan. Workers may invest in lifecycle funds, and those 50+ can make catch-up contributions. Employees receive financial-planning information from the firm that administers their 401(k) plan.

Pinnocol offers paid time off specifically designated for caregiving, and short-term time off without pay and long-term leaves of absence without pay to allow for caregiving.

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