According to a recent survey by Willis Towers Watson, 61% of companies plan to change (or have already changed) their benefits program as a result of COVID-19. Despite facing unprecedented challenges, companies are stepping up to support their employees during a critical period. A well-built benefits package shows employees that you’re invested in not only in their health, but also their overall wellbeing.
But even when you have a generous benefits package, getting employees engaged in their benefits can still be a problem. Benefits are often complex, and let’s face it — people don’t always read their emails. In addition, there are issues of attention span: if you introduce a benefit in January, there’s every chance employees will forget about it by February. The harder it is for employees to understand or access their benefits, the less likely they are to take advantage of them.
Corporate Spotlight: Benepass
Having felt firsthand the frustration of trying (and failing) to easily navigate their benefits at other companies, the Benepass team decided it was time for a change. And so Benepass — a benefits card for modern companies — was born.
By combining tax-advantaged benefits (e.g. health FSA, dependent care, commuter) and company-funded stipends (e.g. WFH, wellness, professional development) on a single card + mobile app, Benepass is easy and intuitive to use. They centralize all of your ancillary benefits and perks in the same place and make it a no-brainer for your employees.
Of course, ease-of-use is priority #1, especially for overworked HR departments. Benepass takes care of all employee communications and reminders regarding the benefits offered on its platform, and provides end-to-end employee support. No more intranet pages with a bunch of logos, and no more 1-800 numbers or faxing to get support. But Benepass’s philosophy runs deeper than that.
As founder Jaclyn Chen says, “We started Benepass because we believe a company is defined by how it treats its employees during the major moments that matter. That could be a personal milestone for someone or today’s pandemic and civil rights movement that are sweeping across the entire nation. To support their employees during these key moments, companies need benefit options that are easy to use and flexible for individual employee preferences.”
As mentioned above, in order to ensure employees are benefiting from their benefits, it’s essential that they are engaging in those benefits in the first place. Utilization for the average benefit is surprisingly low: anywhere from low single digits (e.g. EAPs) to 20%. Benepass engagement averages 60-70%+ month to month due to its flexibility and ease-of-use. Some key features include:
- Flexibility: custom stipends based on your company needs today; for example, work-from-home stipends or mental health sessions
- Benefits on the go: virtual + physical cards (for dependents too); works on Apple and Google Pay
- Employee support: Benepass sends out email reminders to use benefits; push notifications on mobile when the card is used and/or when receipts are required. Customers find 90% of employee inquiries are redirected to Benepass instead of the HR team
- Automated compliance: Benepass automates eligibility feeds and payroll adjustments for tax compliance of benefits, so companies don’t have to
Let’s look at the numbers. Using the full tax-advantaged benefit suite, employees can elect up to $14,000 per year for these benefits and thereby save up to $5,000 in income taxes. Accordingly, companies can save $1,000 per employee per year in payroll taxes. Today, the average employee deducts only 3% of the available total, leaving thousands of dollars of potential savings on the table.
Here’s how you can calculate your potential savings for yourself:
Company payroll tax savings for each 100 employees:
 employees × 65% engagement × $[2,000] avg. election × 7.65% payroll taxes = $[9,945] payroll tax savings
Individual income tax savings:
% marginal tax rate * $[2,000] election = $ income tax savings
Benepass works hard (and smart!) to improve employee benefits and maximize savings on essential expenses. But it’s not just about saving money — It’s also about easing pain points for hardworking HR teams, from controlling communication with employees to handling complex tax paperwork. That way, Benepass really is to everyone’s benefit.