August 2013

AARP’s annual ranking of workplaces for employees over 50

Health systems and research institutions
claim top five spots

Multiple medical- and research-related institutions landed on AARP’s list of best workplaces for employees age 50 and older this year. Here’s a snapshot of the top five, all of which have biomedical ties.
Logo for the National Institutes of HealthNational Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Md.)
Listed at the No. 1 slot in the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 was the National Institutes of Health, which has been recognized four times now by the annual program. AARP and its co-sponsor, the Society for Human Resource management, noted that 47 percent of NIH employees are age 50 or older. The organization emphasized the NIH’s flexible work schedules, paid time off for caregiving and fitness programs, including one for workers 50 and older.
Logo for Scripps HealthScripps Health (San Diego)
The nonprofit Scripps Health, which includes four hospitals and 19 outpatient facilities, came in at No. 2. AARP pointed to its staged retirement programs for workers 55 and older and its use of recruiters and employment websites specifically aimed at older workers and retirees. Employees over 50 represent 36 percent of the Scripps workforce.
Logo for Atlantic Health SystemAtlantic Health System (Morristown, N.J.)
Retirees of the Atlantic Health System, ranked at No. 3 by AARP, can work up to 999 hours each year and still collect their retirement benefits. They also get discounted meals at AHS hospital cafeterias. Like Scripps, AHS uses employee-placement agencies and websites that focus on older workers. Thirty-eight percent of the system’s workforce is 50 or older.
Logo for the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston)
Part of the largest medical center in the world, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was ranked at No. 4. MD Anderson covers 100 percent of full-time employees’ medical premiums and covers 100 percent of retirees’ medical and prescription premiums. Like the three institutions above, it dedicates an administrator to retiree relations.
Logo for Mercy Health SystemMercy Health System (Janesville, Wis.)
Coming in at No. 5, Mercy Health System offers a program called Senior Connection that makes admission to MHS facilities smoother and offers a variety of other benefits, including Medicare and insurance claims assistance. The Work-to-Retire program gives employees between 50 and 54 (with five years of service) more flexible schedule options, and those 55 and up (with 15 years of service) work seasonally while keeping their benefits. Like all of the institutions above, MHS also offers many types of free health screenings and programs.

Angela HoppAngela Hopp ( is editor of ASBMB Today. Follow her on Twitter at

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