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2011 Best Employers

National Institutes of Health

Employees benefit from flexible hours and financial training

Benefits/Financial: Full- and part-time employees are offered a 403(b) plan with employer match and a defined-benefit plan. All new hires 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. The EAP offers assistance on financial and retirement planning, including the emotional aspects of retirement.

Short- and long-term leaves of absence without pay and paid time off are offered to allow for caregiving. In addition, the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program gives participating employees the option of sharing their accrued annual leave with other employees who are faced with insufficient leave needed to cover a serious medical condition for themselves or a family member.

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, and stress management training. Forty-nine percent of NIH employees have utilized at least one of these wellness benefits in the past 12 months.

The NIH Recreation and Wellness Association supports more than 30 clubs in areas from bicycling to cooking to photography. These clubs are open to all retirees and are avenues that maintain their connection to NIH.

Full- and part-time employees are offered on-site child care for children of employees and for grandchildren of employees with responsibility for grandchildren as well as referral services to assist with child care, grandchild care and elder care.  

Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: The following alternative work arrangements are offered to full- and part-time employees: flex time, compressed work schedules, job sharing, telecommuting and a formal phased retirement program.

NIH's Gradual Retirement Program provides full-time employees with the option of switching to a part-time, seasonal or intermittent schedule, and part-time employees can switch to different schedules as well. Employees maintain the same level of benefits during gradual retirement as they did prior to joining the program. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.  

Opportunities for Retirees: NIH stays connected to 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. 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 NIH employees are age 50 and over. The average tenure of those employees is 15.25 years.

Return to List of 2011 Best Employers Winners. >>

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