Hoeven Helps Introduce Legislation to Improve Independent Worker Access to Portable Benefits

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven joined Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) in introducing legislation to test innovative portable benefits designs for the growing independent workforce. The Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act seeks to provide workers with access to insurance protections typically provided through traditional full-time employment. This legislation would establish a $20 million grant fund within the U.S. Department of Labor to incentivize states, localities and nonprofit organizations to experiment with portable benefits models. 

“As we experience a workforce shortage across the nation, offering more flexible benefits and support will help make it easier for workers across the country and in North Dakota to find the right job opportunity for them and their families,” said Senator Hoeven.

“Job opportunities in the gig economy provide workers with utmost flexibility,” said Senator Young. “Supporting portable benefit options helps uncover creative solutions to addressing the needs of our rapidly changing workforce. I am pleased to reintroduce this bill to make it easier for Hoosiers find the job opportunity that best suits their family situation.”

“Each year more and more Americans engage in part-time, contract or other alternative work arrangements to support themselves and their families. But despite these shifts, our retirement and savings programs aren’t keeping up to help these workers,” said Senator Warner. “This program will encourage experimentation at the state and local levels to support the realities of a 21st century workforce.”

The legislation is co-sponsored in the Senate by Senators Angus King (I-Maine), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). A copy of the bill text is available here.