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2011 Best Employers

Cornell University

Work toward college degree credits as an employee with this institution.

Benefits/Financial: Full- and part-time employees are offered a 403(b) plan with employer match and those working 20 or more hours per week are eligible for a money- purchase defined contribution plan. All employees are automatically enrolled in the 403(b) plan, employees age 50 and over can make catch-up contributions to their plan and may invest in lifecycle funds that automatically re-allocate assets based on age or proximity to retirement.  

Staff members, external financial planning experts, and staff from the financial services firm that administers the retirement plans provide financial information and training to employees. Cornell's benefits staff provides weekly workshops on various financial topics and an outside vendor offers financial planning for retirement seminars twice a year.  

Short-term and long-term leaves of absence without pay, and paid time off are offered to allow for caregiving.  

Full- and part-time employees are offered flu shots, health screenings, health risk appraisals, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and weight loss programs, stress management training, as well as lectures on heath issues including diabetes, back care, exercise cancer classes, and women and heart disease.  

Employees working 20 or more hours per week are eligible for on-site child care for their children and grandchildren. Referral services to assist with child care, grandchild care, and eldercare, and back-up care for child care and grandchild care are offered to all employees.   

Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: The following alternative work arrangements are offered to employees working 20 or more hours per week: flex time, compressed work schedules, job sharing and telecommuting.  

Full-time tenured faculty members age 55-70 and nontenured staff age 55 and over with 10 or more years of service can participate in a formal phased retirement program. In the program, the faculty and staff can reduce their teaching, research and administrative duties prior to retirement. Full benefits are offered in the program including health care, retirement, life insurance and a number of voluntary programs.  

Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent and temporary basis.    

Opportunities for Retirees: Cornell University has 4,300 retirees and an individual directly responsible for retiree relations. The university stays connected with its retirees by communicating regularly, inviting retirees to organization events, providing ongoing access to retirement planning workshops and information, and by formally acknowledging retirees when they retire.  

All retirees are automatically enrolled in the Cornell Retiree Association. Retirees are offered work opportunities including temporary work assignments, consulting or contract work, telecommuting, full-time work and part-time work.

Age of Workforce: Forty-three percent of Cornell University employees are age 50 and over.  The average tenure of employees age 50 and over is 18 years.

Return to List of 2011 Best Employers Winners. >>

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