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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Best Employers

Vanguard

Winner: 2008 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning years: 2008, 2007, 2004
Industry: Financial Services
Location: Valley Forge, Pa.
Website: www.vanguard.com
2008 Rank: 47

Highlights of 2008 Winning Strategies

Vanguard offers employees age 50+ (with 10 years of service), or those age 55+, a free personal financial-planning module. The Career Development Days program provides a showcase of Vanguard’s career resources and encourages employees to make the most of their careers at the company. In addition, Vanguard University is a company-wide program offering more than 3,600 classes and study programs.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Vanguard offers full- and part-time employees the following learning and development programs: in-house classroom training and online training. To its employees working at least 37 hours per week, Vanguard offers tuition reimbursement and certification classes. In the past 12 months, 100 percent of Vanguard employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities, with an average of 67 hours spent in training.

The company celebrates long-service anniversaries with announcements, awards, and gifts.

Feedback from employee surveys has led to significant changes in policies and practices, including redesigning compensation, improving time-off packages, enhancing benefits packages, and introducing numerous work/life initiatives. Employees have opportunities to gain experience by working on temporary assignments in other departments, by completing team projects, and via access to formal job-rotation programs. Vanguard also encourages lateral moves with monetary incentives.

Special accommodations are made at Vanguard for employees with unique needs. The company created a special work station for an employee who became legally blind. The desktop has a computer program called ZoomText, which magnifies items on the computer, a special camera that magnifies images from the desk to the computer screen, and a keyboard with enlarged letters and numbers. For all employees with special needs, Vanguard allows flexible scheduling options.
 
Benefits/Health: Employees who work 25 or more 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. Vanguard offers individual and family long-term care insurance to employees working at least 15 hours per week.

Health benefits for retirees under age 65 include individual and spousal medical and drug coverage, individual and spousal vision and dental insurance, an employee-assistance program, and individual and spousal life insurance or other death-benefit coverage.

Retirees age 65+ are eligible for individual life insurance or other death-benefit coverage. New hires are eligible for all of the benefits upon retirement. Vanguard offers retirees a retiree medical account.

The company offers its employees flexible-spending accounts and health-reimbursement arrangements to help cover out-of-pocket health care costs.

Benefits/Financial: Vanguard offers a 401(k) plan with an employer match and a profit-sharing plan to its full- and part-time employees. Employees may choose to invest in lifecycle funds, and workers age 50+ can make catch-up contributions to their 401(k) plans. Employees receive financial-planning information from staff members, from the financial-services firm that administers their 401(k), and from external financial-planning experts.

Vanguard offers personal legal services to all benefits-eligible employees, spouses, and dependent children over age 21. The company offers paid time off specifically designated for caregiving and short-term and long-term time off without pay to allow for caregiving.

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