Portable Benefits: Creating an Infrastructure for Entrepreneurs to Thrive

Entrepreneurs are the forefront of a changing employment landscape where online retailers, freelancers and contractors are the new version of the 9-to-5 office worker. Despite the fact that independent workers now represent one in three working Americans, the U.S. has not updated policies to address the needs of this new workforce.

Meanwhile, our nation’s smallest businesses continue to struggle to access or provide benefits like healthcare, retirement plans or family medical leave, putting them on an unequal playing field with their larger counterparts in attracting and retaining talented employees.

To address the needs of our evolving workforce and small business community, some states are implementing programs to provide a way for private sector employees and the self-employed to save for retirement or access family medical leave. Many more states are considering legislation to establish these types of programs, which would make it easier for entrepreneurs to access these resources and allow small business employees to carry benefits from job to job.

This panel consisted of discussing policies and legislation that look to remedy the barriers facing freelancers and small employers and how portable benefit programs can support freelancers and small business employees.  


John Scott

Director of Retirement Savings
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Shilpa Phadke

Shilpa Phadke
Senior Director of the Women’s Initiative
Center for American Progress