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2011 Best Employers

Virginia Commonwealth University

Full-time employees can take classes at VCU for free

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 defined-benefit plan and a money-purchase defined contribution 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 plan participants may invest in lifecycle funds that automatically re-allocate assets based on age or proximity to retirement.

VCU hosts an annual benefits and wellness fair where retirement and wellness vendors publicize their products.

Staff members, the staff from the financial services firm that administers the retirement plans, and external financial planning experts provide financial information and training to employees.

VCU staff offer monthly sessions for employees on retirement options and through VCU's Work-Life program financial experts present financial topics such as "Get It Together: Organizing Financial Records," "Identity Theft," "Using Home Equity and Refinancing," "Solving the Mystery of Credit Cards" and "Credit Reports: How to Adjust to the Credit Crunch." Monthly pre-retirement planning seminars for employees planning to retire under the defined benefits and defined contribution plans are also offered.

Short- and long-term leaves of absence without pay as well as 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, as well as stress management training. CommonHealth, VCU's employee wellness program, offers employees educational seminars on wellness topics.

VCU offers its employees on-site child care for children and grandchildren of employees, on-site elder care, as well as referral services to assist with child care, grandchild care and eldercare.

Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Employees working 20 or more hours per week can participate in flextime, job sharing, compressed work schedules and telecommuting.

Employees working 40 hours per week are eligible to participate in a formal phased retirement program. Eligible faculty interested in phasing into retirement can contract a retirement date and work a reduced workload until retirement while maintaining full benefits.

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

Opportunities for Retirees: VCU has 1,068 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 employees upon retirement. Employment opportunities for retirees include temporary work assignments, consulting or contract work, telecommuting and part-time work.

Age of Workforce: Thirty-eight percent of VCU employees are age 50 and over. The average tenure of those employees is 16 years.

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