Episode 29: The Compensation of ‘Independents’: Designing Portable Benefits with the Aspen Institute’s Shelly Steward


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The independent workforce – a potent mixture of temp workers, contingent workers, “gig” workers and others – represents anywhere between 4 and 40% of the overall labor market and constitutes an interesting economic challenge: in a nation where employment is central to one’s health and retirement benefits, how do we provide financial security to those who do not have long-term, consistent employment? In recent years, the Council has grappled with this question, setting forth The Five “Cs”: Principles for Policymakers Regarding Benefits and Independent Workers. Others are approaching the issue from the other direction. Shelly Steward, research manager for Aspen Institute’s Future of Work Initiative, recently co-authored Designing Portable Benefits: A Resource Guide for Policymakers, a paper that defines and describes benefits that are “portable, prorated and universal.” In this episode, Steward talks to host Jason Hammersla about why large employers should entertain and embrace the notion of portable benefits.

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