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Chat retirement strategies with AARP’s Jean Setzfand today, Oct. 24th, at 2:00 p.m. ET

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2011 Best Employers

National Institutes of Health

Employees benefit from flexible hours and financial training

Winning Years: 2011, 2009, 2008
Industry: Government: Federal
Location: Bethesda, Md.
Website: www.nih.gov

National Institutes of Health (NIH) financially educates its employees with the NIH Training Center, the NIH Credit Union and the NIH Benefits Office, which host quarterly financial seminars offering guidance on estate planning, strategic college funding, Thrift Savings Plan investing, Social Security, and investing and fraud avoidance tips. These seminars also allow employees to get answers to their specific retirement-related questions.

See also: How the 2011 Best Employers winners were selected.

In addition, NIH's Recreation & Welfare Association hosts regular financial planning seminars. Pre-retirement classes and formal courses are also offered to help employees manage their finances at each stage in their careers, including Early Career Financial Planning and Mid-Career Financial Planning.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Recruiting: NIH participates in job fairs to target mature workers such as the AARP-sponsored Senior Expo-Baby Boomers Expo.
 
Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities:
Full- and part-time employees are offered tuition reimbursement, certification classes, in-house classroom training, online training, commercial training, professional conferences and the student loan repayment program. In the past 12 months, 100 percent of employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities with an average of 8 hours spent in training.

Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements, parties and awards.

Employee opinion surveys have led to the expansion of wellness activities and resources, including more on-site, low impact exercise classes offered for free to NIH employees. The opinion surveys have also increased support of telecommuting options.

Employees have opportunities to gain new experiences by working on temporary assignments in other departments, on team projects and by participating in a formal job rotation program.

NIH provides workspace and computer modifications for disabled employees. Technical modifications have been made for a blind employee including providing WindowEyes, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Plantronics CS 50, a GoldTouch Keyboard and Jaws for Windows. In addition, the employee was given a corner office to make it easier for her and her guide dog to find her office.
 
Benefits/Health: Full- and part-time employees receive individual and family medical and prescription drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, and individual and family long-term care insurance, as well as short- and long-term disability.

Health benefits for retirees include individual and spouse medical and drug coverage, individual and spouse vision and dental coverage, individual and spouse long-term care insurance, employee assistance program (EAP) services, as well as individual and spouse life insurance or other death benefit coverage. All of the above benefits are available to new hires upon retirement.

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) are available to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs.

Next: More benefits such as an accrued annual leave program. >>

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