Most people in olden days worked until they physically couldn’t or were forced out of a job as they aged. The idea of retirement didn’t really take hold in the industrialized world until the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
These days, retirement can mean more rounds of golf, jumping into a new career or business, or finally starting that non-profit start up that’s been a long time desire.
But it can also mean less income while living expenses remain the same or go up.
Planning for retirement is never easy. While there are programs like Social Security to help ease the financial burden, most workers have to depend on savings, 401k’s and the dwindling number of pension plans that some companies offer, to see them through their after-work years.
Some businesses try to help their employees plan ahead. We found some of the best to help their employees plan for the days when they don’t have to show up at work. Here they are.
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington
Number of employees: 2,242
Number of employees 60 years or older: 296
What makes this law firm attractive to those thinking of retiring is that workers receive a retirement contribution of 7.3 percent of pay plus nearly 6 percent of any pay above the Social Security wage base.
Also, Perkins Coie matches 50 percent of the first 6 percent of pay the staff puts into their worker retirement plan. For those still on the job, full time employees get medical and dental insurance with the firm paying 100 percent of the monthly premiums.
Atlantic Health System
Revenues: $1.6 billion
Headquarters: Morristown, New Jersey
Number of employees: 14, 462 full, part time and per diem
Number of workers 55 and older: 3,826
This is one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey.
For those thinking of retirement, Atlantic Health has a system in place to ease the transition. That includes counseling to help plan the financials of those calling it quits at work. The counselors are retired Atlantic Health workers.
Revenues: $22.7 billion
Headquarters: Columbus, Georgia
Number of employees: 5,174
Number of employees 50 or older: about 1,300.
The supplemental insurance company, with those ubiquitous TV commercials, is 60 years old this year!
Aflac offers its retirees several benefits, including continued health care coverage until age 65, pension plan or enhanced 401(k) plan, discounted Sam’s Club membership, invitation to the company Christmas party, an annual retiree breakfast and gift, subscription to the company magazine.
The company also has a stock purchase program that comes with no fees, and a federal credit union that helps with savings for workers planning for their retirement.
Revenues: $3 billion
Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas
Number of employees: 1,235 in U.S. and 384 overseas
Number of U.S. employees reaching 65: 164 in next five years
This liquids terminal and pipeline operator offers something unique to workers these days: both a 401(k) and a pension program. And to help retirees with their health care costs, they are provided with a defined subsidy for eligible third-party health care premiums.
NuStar says it provides “some of the best benefits and compensation plans in corporate America.”
The company also has a very generous all-employee annual bonus plan, based on the premise of all for one and one for all. The bonuses are awarded companywide, so if the employees don’t get a bonus, the CEO doesn’t get a bonus.
JM Family Enterprises
Revenues: $13.1 billion
Headquarters: Deerfield Beach, Florida
Number of employees: 4,100
Number of workers 55 or older: 600
This automotive company offers a retirement savings program that includes an annual profit sharing contribution of up to 12 percent of total compensation.
Plus, JM Family has an automatic 3 percent employer contribution to their 401(k), and the company offers a pension plan to provide additional supplemental income during retirement.
Once retired, former workers are eligible for a medical plan and have access to JM Family’s onsite Health & Wellness Centers and medical staff.
Navy Federal Credit Union
Revenues: $4.2 billion
Headquarters: Vienna, Virginia
Number of employees: 12, 374 in U.S., 224 overseas
Number of U.S. employees 55 or older: 1,457
You don’t have to wait to be 65 or older to retire from this credit union. Navy Federal helps you retire sooner if you like.
To do that, the credit union has a cash balance pension plan that contributes 3 to 7 percent of earnings. There’s a 401(k) company match of 7 percent, a 457(b) Deferred Compensation plan, along with pre- 65 retiree medical, dental, and vision plans and pre and post 65 dental and vision plans.
Retirees also have access to a medical supplement – a lump sum amount or monthly annuity amount to offset retiree health expenses based years of service. And they can get loans and discounts that they enjoyed as an employee.
Plante & Moran
Revenues: $450 million
Headquarters: Southfield, Michigan
Number of employees: 2,020
Number of employees over 59: 91
This accounting and business advisory firm strives for work-life balance throughout a staff person’s career to avoid burnout and to provide for a smooth transition to retirement.
There are a number of retirement plans available including a 401-K, Roth 401-K, and a defined contribution money purchase plan. Plante Moran’s 401-K plan matches are immediately vested.
Plante & Moran tries to help retirees when it comes to health care costs. Administrative staff that stays with Plante & Moran until age 62, can elect to continue on the firm group health plans until 65 and then they can transfer to Medicare. This allows retirees to take advantage of group rates for health insurance until they can enroll in Medicare.
Revenues: $2.9 billion in North America
U.S. headquarters: Indianapolis, Indiana
Number of workers: 4,500
Number of workers eligible to retire: 700
Roche Diagnostics is a division of Hoffmann-La Roche, which manufactures equipment and reagents for research and medical diagnostic applications.
Ok, so how is it for workers reaching retirement age? The company has medical, dental and prescription benefits for retirees. There’s also a 401k plan and a pension plan for those hired before April of 2007 and another pension plan for those hired between April 2007 and January 2010.
Roche also provides a medical account with $1,000 for each year of service to offset eligible expenses.
On your way out the retirement door, Roche hands out a gift valued between $500 and $750 and you’ll get a departmental send-off party.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance
Revenues: $23.9 billion
Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio
Number of employees: 33,728
Number of employees 55 or older: 5,506
As the TV commercial says, Nationwide is “on the side” of its workers, especially those reaching retirement.
To help reach retirement, Nationwide provides a 401(k) plan with matching contributions, a cash balance pension plan, and access to retiree medical options.
In addition, based on years of service, Nationwide offers an option to continue with life insurance coverage, once someone retires. They also offer COBRA in the event associates are not eligible for retiree medical insurance and access to long term care products.
Revenues: $24 billion
Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas
Number of employees: 27,600
Number of employees 55 or older: 6,474
This financial services company offers a retirement savings plan that matches dollar for dollar up to 8 percent per paycheck.
And as the company goes so go the workers. That’s because there’s an additional annual age-based profit sharing contribution when the company meets performance objectives.
Once out of the company, retirees and their qualified dependents can also elect retiree medical coverage that includes an account funded by USAA annually.
And employees and retirees can participate in a USAA wellness program that encourages healthy behaviors and activity to reduce medical premium costs.