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Vol. LXV, No. 14
July 5, 2013

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NIH Called ‘Best’ for Workers Over 50

NIH principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak and Jane Pauley at the AARP award presentation

NIH principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak and Jane Pauley at the AARP award presentation

NIH recently topped the list of recipients of the 2013 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 award, cosponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management. The 50 winners were announced on June 17 at the SHRM annual conference in Chicago. NIH principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak accepted the honor on behalf of NIH.

The award has been given since 2001; NIH has flirted with the top of the list for years. In 2008, NIH debuted at #11. NIH finished 3rd in 2009 and 2011.

The benefits to older workers for which NIH was touted include access to emergency day care, a variety of financial- and retirement-planning workshops and flexible work arrangements including telework and alternative work schedules. Campus fitness centers were also cited as an attraction.

Forty-seven percent of NIH’s workers are 50 or older, a percentage that has been creeping up annually. According to NIH’s Office of Human Resources, on average, NIH staffers stay on 5 years past their retirement eligibility date and the average tenure of employees over age 50 is 18.4 years.

The top five AARP honorees are all in the health care field. Ranking just below NIH were Scripps Health, San Diego; Atlantic Health System, Morristown, N.J.; University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; and Mercy Health System, Janesville, Wis. Forty-one percent of the top 50 employers are in health-related fields. The full list is available at

According to AARP, “Award winners have set outstanding examples through programs that help them retain, retrain, engage and recruit the older workers who will be increasingly crucial to their success and the success of the U.S. economy over the coming decade.”

AARP made a video at NIH earlier this spring in which a number of employees are featured. To watch, visit

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