AARP Names Best Workplaces for Workers Over 50 in 2004

August 31, 2004 ( - AARP, a leading lobbying group for the needs of older Americans, released its latest list of top employers for workers over 50 including two firms receiving the accolade for the third consecutive year.

Making the 2004 list were 35 companies including 12 hospitals, four in financial services, and three insurance providers, AARP said in a news release on its Web site. Two recipients, Principal Financial Group and Adecco Employment Services, were named to the list for the third consecutive year while 12 others are two-time honorees.

A large number of companies excelled in many, if not all, of the categories that were evaluated, including:

  • recruitment practices
  • continuing opportunities for advancement
  • flexible work schedules
  • benefits for current and retired employees.

“The winning employers stand as exemplary models for others who have yet to plan for the graying of their workforce,” said Deborah Russell, who directs the Best Employers program for AARP. “The creative practices today’s winners have in place may well evolve in the future, but the 2004 Best Employers give us high standards to strive for.”

The 2004 winners include Minnesota Life, New York University Medical Center, Pitney Bowes, The Vanguard Group, and Volkswagen of America.

AARP also on Tuesday unveiled a new Web site to provide information and guidance for employers seeking to attract and retain a mature workforce at .

In conjunction with this year’s list of best employers, AARP also released Staying Ahead of the Curve 2004: Employer Best Practices for Mature Workers, an analysis of the best practices among winning employers over the past three years. Drafted by Mercer Human Resource Consulting on behalf of AARP, the report includes these findings:

  • Attraction and retention of the right workforce is important to the winning companies. For example, a number of companies offer phased retirement programs. Several allow employees to collect full retirement benefits while continuing to work part-time or reduced hours – while also allowing full health and other benefits.
  • Some employers leverage their areas of market focus to offer programs to support the maturing workforce. For instance, some hospital systems and health care providers offered health care services at a discount.

The news release and full list of award winners is at .