Thursday, October 4, 2007

Good Old Employers

They work at hospitals and financial services firms. They are engineers, accountants and nurses. And they have gray hair, wrinkles -- and bright career prospects.

That's because they work for the 50 organizations identified by AARP, the seniors' group, as the best employers for workers age 50 and up.

A few of these employers allow the staff "seasonal work" plans or paid time off to care for relatives. Some allow catch-up contributions to 401(k)s. Most offer flex time and recruit older workers.

Three employers based in the Washington area made the list: George Mason University, Noblis of Falls Church (formerly Mitretek Systems) and Fairfax County newcomer Volkswagen of America. Noblis, a nonprofit science and engineering company, offers a phased-in retirement program with full benefits for part-timers who work 20 or more hours a week.

The best employer overall, according to AARP and its judges, is SC Johnson, maker of cleaning products including Pledge and Windex. It has an on-site medical center and an extended menu of other benefits: training, a retiree contract and part-time work possibilities.

-- Vickie Elmer

© 2007 The Washington Post Company