Today’s workforce is changing dramatically, with increased remote working environments and a focus on diversity and company culture. It’s a jobseeker’s market right now as thousands of companies frantically try to fill critical roles. One way businesses are attracting new candidates is with portable benefits. Portable benefits are becoming more popular across a variety of industries. And applicants seem to value these even more than salary, vacation days, and front row parking.
The traditional method for offering employee benefits is not portable. Freelancers, gig workers, and off-payroll employees are often ineligible from participating in those old-school benefits packages. And most employers have static plans with very little flexibility. However, many of the commonly offered benefits can actually be portable.
Providing and accepting portable benefits is becoming a popular way for employers to attract top talent. It’s also proving to increase retention rates. Portable benefits are growing among the independent contractor workforce segment, as well. And as companies explore more diverse staffing options, including freelance workers and off-payroll employees, portable benefits provide certain advantages to the company’s bottom line, too.
These workers have unique skill sets, and offering portable benefits is becoming an increasingly attractive way to secure them. In short, portable benefits are appealing to every kind of employee and also employers. But what exactly are they, and how do they benefit everyone more than the traditional model of benefits?
What Are Portable Benefits?
Let’s look at 401K plans as an example. They are not considered to be portable benefits, but they do act much in the same way. Employer-sponsored 401K plans are portable and can be rolled into another company’s 401K plan should an employee changes jobs. Many contribution plans are already structured with these transferable options, making the 401K one of the most important benefits to employees.
Portable benefits can be attached and tied to an individual rather than the company and job; the individual can take them when there is a change in their employer. Portable benefits can also port into the new employer’s plan. When accepting a new position, it should be discussed if this is provided or not.
Currently, healthcare and some insurance plan benefits are not portable. This new benefits concept aims to tackle those issues and transform common job benefits like these into a portable model.
Why Portable Benefits Are Valuable
One clear advantage of portable benefits is the ability for employees to take those benefits with them wherever they work. Freelancers, gig workers, and off-payroll employees all find value in these types of plans, as well. Portable benefits essentially allow workers to build and retain benefits throughout their entire careers and avoid transferring, resetting, or losing out on key benefits throughout their workforce journey.
Having portable benefits means facing today’s volatile work environments with far less stress. When employees face furloughs or layoffs, still common in today’s post-pandemic climate, they still have those much-needed benefits. Portable benefits are critical, too, when workers face challenges associated with reduced hours, medical time-off periods, and even early retirement. In a way, portable benefits are the full-time benefits solution to help employees bridge those gaps in employment.
Benefit or Burden?
Working, full-time employees may not have to worry about their benefits right now. However, employees believe that no business or industry is immune to economic shifts, financial hardship, or acquisition. Many of those in the workforce do not see their job as 100% secure. Having portable benefits can offer peace of mind and provide a much-needed lifeline should any unforeseen situations arise.
Portable benefits provide extra security to various employee types; independent contractors, gig workers, and salaried staff alike can leverage the transferability of these benefits, regardless of the job. In a way, these portable benefits can be seen as an investment in future employment endeavors. Having the security of benefits to see a worker through unemployment, especially now, might be an important employment negotiation tool
Pensions are unportable, but 401Ks are. Adding extra portable benefits like health savings programs and others will not burden the individual. Employees may have to manage them individually and pay them monthly, but this is easily done through the correct plan and can be carried out at the paycheck level. As an added benefit, these are usually pre-tax contributions, but companies have the flexibility to customize portable benefits platforms.
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Who Really Benefits?
Everyone involved in portable benefits can leverage the available incentives because they are flexible and can match companies’ and individuals’ requirements, providing value to everyone. Temporary placement agencies may be helping the most since temporary job assignments routinely end and change, allowing candidates to continue to enjoy certain portable benefits.
Portable benefits allow temp agencies to offer attractive, comprehensive packages for all contract employees. They can provide contributions towards many different types of portable benefits. Benefits are crucial for many contractors choosing to work with a temp agency and not the employer directly. Payment is flexible in which both parties can contribute, or the agency can pay fully.
Independent contractors find this style of benefits extremely attractive. Before portable benefits, traditional company offerings were unattainable at all. Adding health insurance and other popular benefits to a portable model proves to be the critical differentiator for companies looking to attract new talent.
Some key positions are temporary, like accountants, graphic designers, database admins, and more. And historically, they have all been losing out on traditional benefits packages. While the freedom and pay can, in most cases, be better in these roles, the loss of benefits can be a real issue to some with families or other dependents. Portable benefits allow companies to offer those competitive salaries for short-term projects, along with the same additional benefits that salaried staff members enjoy.
This article mentions some high-paying contract jobs and how they can potentially pay higher than the same full-time position. But it also demonstrates the sacrifices in benefits. This is where portable benefits come in and are revolutionizing the benefits space.
Off-payroll employees often represent core contributors to a company or business’s projects. They typically have unique and specialized skill sets that bring great value to the employers. Many hiring managers and company leaders recognize that these employees deserve access to the same benefits as other payrolled teams.
Make The Most of Portable Benefits
Breakroom Benefits is a platform for off-payroll benefits. They are designed for small businesses so that they can offer competitive compensation packages and set up with not only the businesses in mind but the individual benefit receivers too.
This comprehensive solution ensures businesses have the ability to tailor it to their individual needs and offer what they want to provide the most attractive benefit plans. Contact us at Breakroom and discover what more you could be offering to everyone on your teams today!