Family Finances

Financial Security at the Core: Building a Benefits Infrastructure Supporting Connection, Care, and Confidence for All Workers

September 12, 2022  • Rachel Black

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Benefits are foundational to achieving financial security, yet many workers and their families lack these critical supports. This report identifies a starting point for building a core set of benefits that all workers need to support their well-being and live economically dignified lives To do so, Aspen FSP has undertaken a series of multi-method research activities with cross-sector stakeholders–from benefit leaders within government and the private sector to workers themselves–to answer three key questions:

  1. What role do benefits play in the financial lives of workers?
  2. What needs are most foundational to the design of a core bundle of benefits that ensures the well-being of all workers?
  3. What other factors are essential for effectively designing and delivering benefits to ensure workers’ well-being?

Key Findings from this report:

  • Key Finding: Existing benefits perform inconsistently in supporting these needs, creating disparities in worker well-being. Key features that boost performance include reliability, sufficiency, and trust.
  • Key Finding: Benefits that support health care, paid leave, and income protection and sufficiency provide a minimal starting point for building a core bundle that all workers need.
  • Key Finding: Workers and benefits leaders alike see a need for a new narrative around benefits that appropriately situate their importance in people’s lives and creates a sense of ambition and urgency around modernizing the system of benefits to ensure the dignity of all workers. 

We envision a new system of benefits, designed and built as essential social infrastructure available to all workers enabling them to live lives full of connection, care, and confidence, no matter where they start or what challenges they encounter. 

Download the report and view 5 other key findings to see how the public and private benefits system can improve to support the well-being of all workers.

View these two other publications which are part of the 2022 work of Benefits21 to understand the foundational role benefits play in supporting household financial security, assess how public and workplace benefits perform, and determine the core benefits needed to ensure overall well-being. 

Reimagining a U.S. Benefits System That Supports All Workers is a rapporteur’s report from the 2022 Benefits21 Leadership Forum. It  features 5 key takeaways from our Forum  with 55 experts in public and private benefits, including corporate leaders, policymakers, worker advocates, entrepreneurs, and researchers, who came together to brainstorm solutions for closing gaps in our public and private benefits and strengthening their design and delivery to support all workers and their families.. Focus groups at the Forum were one of the research activities informing the findings in Financial Security at the Core. 

The 2022 Benefits Scorecard creates a framework to assess the performance of 22 prevalent public and private benefits in supporting worker financial security. Aspen FSP’s new scorecard indicates which benefits are performing well for workers and how policymakers, employers and benefit providers can close critical benefit gaps to increase financial security outcomes and modernize the U.S. benefits system to inclusively and equitably support all workers and their families. The landscape analysis that shaped the Scorecard was one of the research activities informing the findings in Financial Security at the Core.

Funder Acknowledgement

This report was developed with support from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Prudential Financial, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Family Finances
2022 Benefits Scorecard
July 11, 2022 •