Top employers for Canadians over age 40 announced
By Mediacorp Canada
Canadians are preparing to retire and leave the workforce in record numbers, with significant consequences for the nation’s finances, economy and policymaking. For many employers, making sure the experience and skills accumulated over a lifetime don’t walk out the door isn’t just a matter of good HR management but something critical to the organization’s survival. Retaining experienced workers and understanding their needs is vital to making sure this knowledge transfer can take place.
The best of these employers were recognized today, as the Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 for 2020 were announced by Mediacorp Canada Inc.
“As part of their strategy to create exceptional workplaces, the best employers ensure they have programs and policies in place that demonstrate that employees are valued for their long-term experience,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project at Mediacorp, which manages the competition. “They also offer opportunities for experienced employees to grow professionally and develop their skills, as more Canadians will be working into their later years and need to keep their skills sharp.”
Now in its 19th year, the Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 is one of the longest-running competitions within the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. This special designation recognizes the employers that lead the nation in creating programs and benefits of interest to employees 40 years of age and older.
“How an employer treats its employees in the second half of their careers sends a powerful signal to younger workers and those thinking about joining an organization,” adds Anthony Meehan, Publisher at Mediacorp. “It doesn’t take a lot of foresight to realize ‘that will be me soon’ – employers that neglect this issue do so at their peril.”
The competition reviews a wide range of practices at employers including: active recruitment programs for employees over 40; a broad range of health, financial and family-friendly benefits including long-term savings, health benefits for retirees and support programs such as succession planning and phased-in work options; and opportunities for retirees to stay socially connected with colleagues after they stop working.
Some examples of the employer initiatives recognized this year include:
- Based in Lacombe, Alberta, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) helps employees prepare for ‘life after work’ with retirement planning courses (with dedicated courses for employees over and under 45 years of age), in addition to providing generous contributions to a defined benefit pension plan. The organization also considers previous experience when setting vacation entitlements for experienced hires.
- CIBC provides retirement planning assistance with phased-in work options for those nearing retirement, in addition to maintaining a special committee to represent retirees’ interests and provide input on policy review and development. Many longtime CIBC employees also save for retirement through the bank’s attractive share purchase plan, which has yielded significant gains over the years.
- At Canada Revenue Agency, longtime employees have an opportunity recharge or pursue outside interests with unpaid leaves of absence (to 60 months) and self-funded leaves (to 12 months).
- BASF Canada helps employees prepare for ‘life after work’ with retirement planning, employer contributions to a DC pension plan and health plan coverage for retirees (with no age limit and 100% company-paid premiums). The company also has formal mentorship programs to encourage knowledge- and skills-transfer to the next generation.
- Desjardins Group helps employees save for retirement with a defined benefit pension plan, recognizes longtime employees with an annual awards gala, and maintains a special retiree association with 5,000+ members.
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