Canadians live and work very differently today than they did 50 years ago. The emerging gig economy and changing business practices are diminishing stable, full-time work and, as a consequence, more workers are finding themselves without adequate pension or benefit coverage. The solution may be to explore a nimbler, targeted model for providing benefits called portable benefits.
To move forward on this key employment issue, more information and analysis are needed on the potential costs and advantages of a portable benefits plan, as well as the impact that such plans would have on under-represented groups. Federal, provincial and territorial governments should, at a minimum:
- Conduct detailed analysis of the costs and benefits as well as the feasibility (economic, operational, technological, political, legal) of a portable benefits model
- Consult extensively with stakeholders to understand their diverse interests and needs
- Evaluate existing models of portable benefits, beginning with the Washington State case study referenced within this policy brief