Portable benefits

Portable Benefits

Benefits that one has accumulated on an employer-sponsored plan, usually but not always a retirement plan, that one may take with him/her to a new employer. For example, if an employee has a 401(k) with portable benefits and quits his job, he may roll over the benefits into his new employer's 401(k) plan. Most 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs, and health savings accounts have portable benefits.

Portable benefits.

Benefits or accumulated assets that you can take with you when you leave your employer or switch jobs are described as portable.

For instance, if you contribute to a 401(k), 403(b), 457, or other defined contribution plan at your current job, you can roll over your assets to an individual retirement account (IRA) or to a new employer's plan if the plan accepts rollovers.

In contrast, credits accumulated toward benefits from a pension -- otherwise known as a defined benefit plan -- usually aren't portable.

Insurance benefits under an employer sponsored group health plan may also be portable as the result of The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). If you have had group coverage and move to a new employer who offers health insurance, your new group health plan can't impose exclusions for preexisting conditions.

HIPAA may also give you a right to purchase individual coverage if you are not eligible for group health plan coverage and have exhausted the 18-month extension of your previous coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) or similar coverage.

Other job benefits, such as health savings accounts (HSAs), are also be portable, but flexible spending plans (FSAs) are not.

References in periodicals archive ?
Two recent proposals incorporating these conditions call for the creation of "individual security accounts" analogous to US Social Security accounts, but encompassing portable benefits that would be available to all workers, regardless of employment status, and would accrue via pro-rated automatic payroll contributions.
Unlike traditional trade unions, which are limited by law to employees of workplace-based organizations, Freelancers Union delivers flexible and portable benefits to an increasingly mobile and decentralized workforce adjusting to the changing contours of the U.
Multiemployer plans provide portable benefits to workers who change employers, distribute risk among participating employers and participants, and continue to operate long after an individual employer, or sponsor, goes out of business, because their framework makes remaining employers jointly liable for funding benefits for all vested participants.
When you combine a desire for heightened financial security with high unemployment, the result is heightened interest on the part of employees for access to portable benefits.
The following are some common practices and product designs of portable benefits, as well as some easily overlooked underwriting risks.
When a multinational manager is transferred from one country to another, that person's health insurance and other benefits should follow along," says Hancock, "For Latin American companies--including family-owned enterprises-- being able to offer portable benefits is an important aspect of attracting and keeping skilled managers.
Whenever Nick wants to sit down and negotiate a contract with wage minimums, overtime and portable benefits, we're ready and willing.
Noting the power in numbers when people group together, she poses the question, What better vehicle for portable benefits than a professional organization?
Heckscher noted a number of steps taken by dynamic companies, including: clarifying the company mission and organizing around it, encouraging the development of general skills and business knowledge, developing flexible approaches to personal needs of employees, establishing a regular dialogue around career prospects and offering portable benefits.
Important, though rather commonplace, objectives guided both groups: The company wanted to accommodate different career patterns and the need for staffing flexibility, provide competitive benefits, be easy to understand and communicate, provide portable benefits (like Nabisco's plan), provide benefits after retirement that are related to pay just before retirement (like Tobacco's plan), comply with complex IRS requirements and be cost neutral.
Through the Portable Benefits Network, Freelancers Union has successfully provided benefits attached to the individual, rather than the employer, to thousands of previously uninsured workers, for the past eight years," said Sara Horowitz, executive director of Freelancers Union.
Others, however, might opt for hybrids, given the combination of reduced volatility for employers and secure, portable benefits for employees.
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