PORTLAND – The application deadline for the annual AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 list is fast approaching. Employers who offer workplace practices and policies that greatly benefit workers ages 50 and older are encouraged to apply at www.aarp.org/bestemployers before Feb. 22.

The AARP Best Employers program rewards innovative organizations that offer policies and features that appeal to workers 50 and older, including flexible work options, training/learning opportunities, competitive health and retirement benefits and age-neutral performance and appraisal systems. Now entering its seventh year, the AARP Best Employer search honored 50 employers last year, including L.L. Bean, the first-ever Maine winner.

Any employer with at least 50 employees and based in the United States is eligible to apply to the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 program. That includes for-profit companies, not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions and local, state and federal governments.

An independent research firm and a panel of judges comprised of outside experts score applicants. Final ranking is based on these scores after review by AARP. Best Employer awardees will be honored at a dinner, which will be followed by an international conference addressing best practices among international companies.