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AARP Names Minnesota Life and Securian to List of `Best Employers for Workers 50 and Over’

AARP Names Minnesota Life and Securian to List of `Best Employers for Workers 50 and Over’

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) announced today that Minnesota Life Insurance Company and its Securian affiliates and subsidiaries were named to AARP’s list of 35 “Best Employers for Workers 50 and Over” in the U.S.

This is the third employer award for the company this year, having been named for the ninth time to Computerworld’s annual list of the “Best Places to Work in IT,” and for the third time to The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal’s list of “Great Places to Work in the Twin Cities.”

Companies that applied for the AARP list were evaluated on recruiting practices, continuing opportunities for advancement, flexible work schedules, and benefits for current and retired employees.

“We focus on finding and retaining good people, regardless of age,” said Robert Senkler, chairman, president and CEO, who has spent his entire 30-year career at the company. “Our employment policies provide opportunities and incentives for our associates to stay with us. We want them to climb the career ladder here, not somewhere else.”

Minnesota Life’s benefits reward longevity with a defined benefit pension with a five-year vesting period, a 401(k) plan with an annual employer contribution based on company performance, and subsidized health insurance for retirees. Minnesota Life also has an open job posting program that encourages employees to look for professional challenges throughout the company. Internal applicants are considered first for job openings; 80 per cent of Minnesota Life’s open jobs in 2003 were filled with existing employees. Employee turnover in 2003 was only five per cent.

Though Minnesota Life’s employment practices have always been geared toward retention, the company is well-positioned to deal with the labor shortage that is expected as baby boomers start to retire.

“Older employees will play a crucial role in filling future job demands,” said Deborah Russell, AARP’s Manager of Economic Security and Work. “The creative practices today’s winners have in place can serve as a model for employers seeking to recruit and retain the mature workforce.”

Other Minnesota Life and Securian employment practices aimed at retaining valued employees — including mature workers — are:

–Flex time, telecommuting, job sharing and compressed work schedules

–Up to six months job-protected leave to care for a family member

–Financial planning assistance

–Seminars on managing major life changes

–Tuition reimbursement

–Fully paid life insurance

AARP invited companies to apply for the Best Employer designation by describing their innovative practices toward 50 and over workers in an extensive questionnaire. A consulting firm provided a preliminary rating of the applicants. Then a panel of six outside judges evaluated the applications and their opinions, combined with the consultant’s evaluations, led to final ratings. Additional vetting followed to identify the Best Employers.

Securian Financial Group, parent company of Minnesota Life, was founded in 1880 and provides financial security for individuals and businesses in the form of insurance, pensions and investments. With $395 billion of life insurance in force and $23 billion in assets under management, the Securian Financial Group serves over six million people through a combined work force of 4,400 people in agencies and offices across the country and its St. Paul headquarters. Visit www.minnesotalife.com and www.securian.com.

AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to making life better for people age 50 and older, has 640,000 members in Minnesota. AARP provides information and resources; engages in legislative, regulatory, and legal advocacy; assists members in serving their communities; and offers a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for its members, including several publications and its web site, www.aarp.org . AARP has offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

NOTE: Download a photo of Robert Senkler at www.minnesotalife.com/news/download_center/download_portr.asp.

Visit http://www.minnesotalife.com/career/caropts.asp to learn more about Minnesota Life’s employment practices, benefits, and opportunities.

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