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2011 Best Employers

West Virginia University

This institution increased its retirement education and savings options in response to employee requests

Benefits/Financial: Employees working 20+ hours per week are offered a 401(k) plan and a 403(b) plan with employer match.  All new hires and all employees are automatically enrolled in the plan, employees may invest in lifecycle funds that automatically re-allocate assets based on age or proximity to retirement, and those age 50+ can make catch-up contributions to their plan.  

The staff from the financial services firm that administers the retirement plans provide financial information and training to employees.  WVU has an on-site retirement specialist who provides resources and assists employees with the retirement process.  In addition, the Division of Human Resources, Benefits Administration sponsors an annual ‘Planning for Retirement’ Conference which offers retirement workshops.

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

The WVU Catastrophic Leave Program allows eligible employees who are approved for medical leave and have exhausted their own available sick leave, annual leave and other paid time off, the opportunity to apply to receive donations from WVU qualified employees.  Once approved, this program makes it possible for an employee to continue receiving pay if sufficient donations are received.  

Full- and part-time employees are offered flu shots, health screenings, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and weight loss programs, as well as stress management training.  

WVU offers employees working 20+ hours per week on-site child care for children of employees and for grandchildren of employees with responsibility for grandchildren, as well as referral services and back-up care to assist with child care and grandchild care.  In addition, WVU employees have a dependent care flexible spending account benefit.

Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Employees working 20+ hours per week can participate in flex-time, job sharing, compressed work schedules, telecommuting, and a formal phased retirement program. While participating in the phased retirement program, employees have flexibility to determine the level of retirement they would like to receive and maintain benefits as active employees.  Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent and temporary basis.    

Opportunities for Retirees: WVU currently has 2,566 retirees and stays connected with its retirees by inviting them to organization events and by providing ongoing access to retirement planning workshops and information.  Employment opportunities for retirees include: temporary work assignments, consulting or contract work, telecommuting, as well as full- and part-time work.  The WVU Retired Faculty Committee reaches out to retired faculty members and serves as a resource for former faculty members.  

Age of Workforce: Forty-five percent of WVU employees are age 50+.  The average tenure of employees age 50+ is 19 years.

Return to list of 2011 Best Employers winners. >>

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