Workforce Development

What They’re Saying: Early Coverage of the Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act

June 2, 2017  • Future of Work Initiative

One week after the bill’s introduction, we’re tracking responses to the first ever federal portable benefits bill. Here’s what some experts and leaders are saying about the legislation sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner, also Future of Work Initiative Honorary Co-Chair, and Rep. Suzan DelBene.


“We are grateful for Senator Warner’s leadership in addressing the issue of portable benefits for all independent workers. The growing desire for flexibility among many workers has created a need to consider new approaches. A pilot program that encompasses all independent workers is a wise way to explore the development of a portable benefits program nationally, a concept Lyft supports.”

Joe Okpaku, Vice President of Government Relations at Lyft

“Postmates applauds Senator Mark Warner for kicking off a national conversation that both celebrates the on-demand economy as an engine of commerce and economic growth in our communities; and also explores ways to extend a greater degree of financial certainty to those who provide their services on our platform.”

Bastian Lehmann, CEO and Co-Founder of Postmates

“With 55 million Americans freelancing, the time has come to build a new safety net to support independent workers as they move from gig to gig. The lack of portable benefits is one of the biggest impediments blocking independent workers from thriving in the new economy. I commend Senator Warner for recognizing the need to pioneer new benefits models to support a diverse and growing workforce, especially for those who are truly independent.”

Sara Horowitz, Founder and Executive Director of the Freelancers Union

“We envision a future where every person who is contributing to our economy has the economic security that working in America should afford, including the millions of housecleaners, home care workers and nannies who go to work every day without the guarantee of medical or family leave, retirement benefits, health care or many other basic benefits. For this reason, we believe that the funds created by this bill represent an essential and exciting first step to encourage all stakeholders — companies, workers, government and consumers — to work together toward fair and effective portable benefits solutions and access to benefits for all working people.”

National Domestic Workers Alliance

“It’s time we build a 21st century social contract for the way people work today, and portability is one of the important features to support workers. We will start by prototyping at the local level, and Senator Warner and Representative DelBene are making that possible with their new legislation.”

Natalie Foster, Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative Fellow

Check out these articles and blog posts for more information

Blog Posts


Prof. Alan Krueger, Princeton University:

David Rolf, President of SEIU 775:

Brooks Rainwater, Senior Executive + Director, National League of Cities’ Center for City Solutions:

Indy Worker Guild:

Ross Baird, Founder of Village Capital:

April Rinne, Sharing Economy Strategist/Advisor: