The benefit world was already changing before COVID, says TASC’s Christian Rosenstock, whose role as the company’s executive vice president of business development requires him to keep one eye on the future. What the pandemic did was turn the ability to quickly offer benefits that meet changing needs from a competitive advantage to an essential survival skill.
New Benefits Shouldn’t Take 6 Months to Launch
Prior to the pandemic, TASC noticed an increased demand for new and different benefits. The demand came largely from companies looking for a competitive advantage in recruiting—and especially in recruiting younger workers who want benefits that align with their life goals and values. “Employers were starting to get really creative with their benefits because that was one way to differentiate yourself and attract good talent,” Rosenstock says. But organizations that continued to offer employee benefits through multiple providers and multiple platforms with cumbersome, outdated technology lacked the flexibility to add or switch out benefits in a timely manner. For them, standing up a new benefit could take six months. By solving the technology challenge, TASC’s single-platform Universal Benefit Account® eliminated the long wait. “Now, with our program as configurable as it is,” Rosenstock says, “I literally can create a new account offering in twenty minutes.”
When the Pandemic Hit, TASC was Ready
When COVID-19 shut down offices, companies found themselves needing new pandemic-related benefits, and fast. TASC’s technological know-how made it possible to respond in real time. Rosenstock says the company more than doubled its offerings in a matter of weeks, and that a third of those accounts were designed specifically to answer the challenges created by the sudden shift to remote work. Those pandemic-specific accounts offered a wide variety of benefits including support for emergency child and dependent care, and for mental and emotional wellbeing.
But for many companies, the first and most urgent need was to get remote employees the technology, equipment and furniture they needed to do their jobs (at home). TASC responded by helping companies quickly create a Home Office Account. “Right when employers were telling people they had to go work from home,” Rosenstock says, “we were on the scene saying, ‘and here’s a way to make it easy to pay for it.’” For employees, utilizing the account was easy. They used their TASC Card to buy the equipment and supplies approved for purchase by the employer and the funds were automatically withdrawn from their Home Office Account.
Post-Pandemic, there’s a New Benefits Paradigm
As the pandemic made clear, organizations can’t afford to settle for limited benefit offerings purchased “off the shelf” from multiple TPA providers or to wait months to stand up a new customized benefit. TASC gives companies and their employees an “endless aisle” of benefit options, including standard offerings such as Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), and more innovative accounts geared to wellness, lifestyle changes, pet care, education expenses, spousal coverage reimbursement, Medicare coverage reimbursement, bicycle use, disaster relief giving, and more. Plus, companies have the flexibility to invent or customize a benefit for their needs.
A More Creative Approach to Benefits
There’s an enormous opportunity when it comes to creating benefits. “Every company is different and every market and geography are different,” Rosenstock points out. “You might need to attract employees by having benefits connected to student loans. You might need to attract them in by offering them pet care reimbursement accounts.” With Universal Benefit Account, the company can configure a creative, customized benefits solution. Rosenstock offers the example of a customer who wanted to promote warehouse safety by offering a cash bonus to employees who practiced designated safety measures such as wearing a back harness or a hardhat: “I said, yeah, we can build an account for that. We can solve whatever need the employer has.”
Benefits Should Feel Like Benefits
Rosenstock believes more companies would move to a single-platform solution like Universal Benefit Account if they understood not only its flexibility and versatility, but also how much easier it is for manage. Companies offering a new benefit only need to decide who’s included in the benefit, how much to fund it, and which expenses are eligible. TASC does the rest.”
The flexibility built into Universal Benefit Account means more and better benefit options, more cost-and-time-efficiency, and a better employee end user experience, since employees can access all of their benefits from one website with one password. “It’s nice to get ahead of your competition,” says Rosenstock. “But also it helps us help customers. We like to say that benefits should feel like benefits. And we like to think that our participant experience is better than the competition.”
You don’t have to be a current TASC customer to take advantage of that speed, flexibility, and efficiency. Your company can come on board and launch a suite of Universal Benefit Account offerings from a single platform quickly. Contact TASC for more information.