Building Better Benefits | The Rise of Lifestyle Spending Accounts

Article Submitted by Allison Ebner

There is LOTS of debate right now about the state of our economy. Are we in a recession or aren’t we? When none of the well-known national economists or pundits can agree, that’s always fun for us average Joe’s to try and figure things out! And while we’re doing that, we also have our own workplace issues to manage and that includes making sure we are doing everything humanly possible to attract and retain the top talent for our businesses. Whether you have five employees or five hundred, the goal of HR and the leadership team is to find the best employees to help us maximize profitability while providing exceptional products and services. In order to do that, today’s savvy HR professionals are using every tool in the toolbox to create a compelling employee value proposition! Let’s take a deeper dive into one of those potential tools: Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSA’s).

Lifestyle Spending Accounts have been around for years, but have gained significant traction in recent years as a result of COVID’s impact on employee retention. These accounts provide a FLEXIBLE way for employers to offer assistance and financial resources to their employees around a variety of things. Many LSA’s can be used for health and wellness benefits (gym memberships, fitness apps, meditation apps, WW programs), childcare support, pet insurance, tuition reimbursement, learning & development options and much more. In short, these accounts can help employees pay for basically any expenses, up to the employer-determined limit. Some employers are opting to use these accounts to help assist with day-to-day expenses that have become difficult during these times of high inflation – whether it’s paying for gas, groceries, utilities or rent. Most LSA’s are not pre-tax benefits, so employers have much more freedom in determining the categories for post-tax reimbursements. And the beauty of these programs is that they can vary in amount by employee classifications (think tenure, job category) and they can be completely flexible and allow employees to choose where they would like to apply these funds. Providing those options is one of the keys to attracting and retaining talent in today’s complex recruiting landscape.

LSA’s can be administered directly by the employer or you can outsource the management of the program to a 3rd party, offering relief for busy HR professionals and privacy for your employees with regard to their choices. It’s a great time to think about whether a Lifestyle Spending Account program might be a great addition to your benefits offering for your team. If you’d like more information, feel free to reach out to us here at EANE and be sure to join us for our upcoming webinar where we’ll discuss LSA’s in more detail with our friends from The Difference Card. Not only do they provide 3rd party administration services around LSA’s – they also provide this benefit to their own team.

Come and hear more about this new benefit idea during our webinar on August 16th!  Building Better Benefits | Lifestyle Accounts