AARP Lists Annual 'Best Employers' for Workers 50 and Older

For the seventh year, AARP is honoring employers that have created welcoming workplaces for their 50-year-old-and-older employees. This year, the group included a twist in the selection process: In addition to each employer's submission of an almost 60-page application detailing the company's benefits and employment practices, older employees got to add their two cents in the form of an anonymous survey. The results show that winning workplaces attract and keep older workers with such benefits as paid-in-full health screenings, phased retirement, a "summers off" program, continuing education, and more.

SC Johnson, a Racine, Wis.-based consumer packaged goods company with operations in more than 70 countries, is the top finisher. Along with other forward-looking practices, the company offers a range of flexible work arrangements that enable workers to balance their professional and personal lives. The company's health benefits include an on-site medical center and various wellness, fitness, and recreation programs; an on-site education program that provides lifelong learning and college credits; and paid sabbaticals to experienced employees. The company also offers comprehensive financial benefits and retirement planning tools. Rounding out the top five finishers on the list are: Mercy Health System of Janesville, Wis.; First Horizon National Corp. of Memphis; Scripps Health of San Diego; and Stanley Consultants of Muscatine, Iowa. For the complete list of 50 winning companies, visit http://www.aarpmagazine.org/money/2007_best_employers.html.

In addition to the main Best Employers selections, AARP announced the winners of its annual Bernard E. Nash Awards for Innovation. These honorees, chosen from all applicants for the Best Employers honor, are spotlighted for achievement in at least one of these areas: flexible work options, recruitment, retiree work opportunities, and training and development. Mercy Health System of Janesville, Wis., won for flexible work options; Intuitive Research and Technology Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., won for retiree work opportunities; and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association of Chicago won for training and development opportunities.

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