Employment and Jobs

Portable Benefits in Action: A Roadmap for a Renewed Work-Related Safety Net

October 13, 2021  • Alexandra Gervis, Shelly Steward, Camryn Banks & Mohona Siddique

Cover page for the publication "Portable Benefits in Action: A Roadmap for a Renewed Work-Related Safety Net"

Millions of people in the U.S. work without access to basic benefits, like health insurance, retirement savings, and paid time off. Most benefits today are attached to a single job—and most too often only to full-time, long-term employment. Portable, universal benefits that are attached to workers rather than to specific jobs offer a promising solution to this benefits access crisis. Portable benefits are not connected to one specific job; a worker remains covered without interruption while working multiple jobs or when moving from one job to another. Universal benefits are accessible by everyone who works, regardless of work arrangement or sector. A universal, portable safety net could better deliver benefits to individual workers, encourage a dynamic labor market, and promote economic security across communities. This report:

  • Explains how universal, portable benefits can contribute to a more accessible, equitable safety net and more dynamic economy.
  • Summarizes the current conversation around portable benefits, and
  • Offers actionable steps toward more portable, universal benefits.

This publication will be available soon. Sign up for the Future of Work Initiative mailing list below to be notified when it’s available.