Researching Lifestyle Spending Account vendors
The world is changing faster than ever. From pandemic-related health concerns to seismic shifts in workforce location (from on-site to remote or hybrid), employee well-being has come into focus as a central strategy for companies that wish to remain competitive. The need to respond to rapid change has accelerated the trend toward employee-centered benefits. Many businesses have begun the transformation to better meet people where they are, including how they work, where they work, and also, very importantly, what they need and desire from their employer-sponsored benefits. Employers understand that they need to assess different Lifestyle Spending Account vendors to stay competitive in today’s marketplace.
Innovative companies are realizing the impact of shifting resources toward a benefits strategy that prioritizes choice and flexibility. Employees are seeking positions with rich employer-sponsored benefits that support their individual needs, demonstrate they are valued, and enhance their experience at work and home. As such, a personalized, flexible benefits strategy is key.
- A 2021 Gartner study on retention on retention planning found that 74 percent of human resource leaders plan to offer more flexible options in their strategy.
- A Glassdoor survey found that 94 percent of employees want benefits that meaningfully impact their quality of life, health, and well-being.
- Metlife's 2022 U.S Employee Benefit Trends Study found that 60 percent of people are interested in a wider mix of/non-medical benefits that they can choose to purchase.
A Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) allows employers to provide employees with additional funds for lifestyle expenses like gym memberships, exercise equipment, professional development, and family support. While Lifestyle Spending Accounts do have many benefits for both employers and employees, researching Lifestyle Spending Account vendors can be tricky. Below, we’ve outlined different considerations as you evaluate LSA vendors.
What LSA categories do they offer?
Consider the categories offered by different Lifestyle Spending Account vendors. Some Lifestyle Spending Accounts offer more categories than others. Categories to keep in mind should include physical wellness, mental wellness, financial wellness, work-from-home support, and family support. A “catch-all” or “define your own” category is also important to give employees the ability to articulate an option that they may not have considered.
According to Forma’s Lifestyle Spending Account Benchmark Report 2022, the top account categories employers offered were:
- Fitness activities
- Home office
- Fitness equipment
- Well-being services
- Digital health
- Skills development
- Financial well-being
- Fitness accessories
- Lifestyle services
What type of customer service and support do they offer?
Look for Lifestyle Spending Account vendors with reliable customer service and support. Having a Lifestyle Spending Account that you can rely on is important, so make sure to select a vendor whose customer service and support are both reliable and highly rated. One place to evaluate the support of a vendor is on G2. This third-party review software allows users to evaluate Lifestyle Spending Account vendors and their customer support.
Forma is designed for a delightful experience. Activation and reimbursements are made fast and easy with pre-programmed debit cards and rapid, automated claims processing. All of it is supported by engagement tools and our 24/7 Member Experience Team. We work with more than 200 customers and 330,000 members in over 80 countries.
Researching the LSA administration method
Research the Lifestyle Spending Account vendor’s administration method. Be sure to ask how the program is managed and controlled. It’s also important to see how expenditures are evaluated, confirmed, and contained. See if HR insights will be provided and what other data and information will be gathered to determine the program’s impact. The four commonly used methods to administer Lifestyle Spending Accounts are payroll deposit, expense software, traditional third-party administrator, and new-generation TPAs.
Forma provides real-time insights to help your team continually track, adapt and optimize your programs. We make sure you're set up for success with data on employee and location utilization, spending trends, engagement levels, and claims approvals.
Does the LSA cover all international employees?
Enterprises of all sizes take steps to provide competitive benefits and funds to support employees–with HR leaders tasked to ensure programs fit what employees need and are utilized properly. Given the complexities of diverse, personal workforce needs, the effort to disseminate employee benefits and funds has its challenges–especially on a global scale.
Not surprisingly, the cost of living varies from state to state, country to country. As such, a common difficulty international businesses face is a lack of effective methodology to allocate a reasonable stipend amount for benefits programs in an equitable manner for a worldwide workforce. Adding on to that, developing such methods requires a substantial investment in resources, research, and time.
Offering employee benefits programs internationally may seem complicated at first due to the various currencies and cost-of-living indexes. Ensure you find a vendor that has a global reach, supporting every country in the world and its local currencies.
Final considerations when choosing an LSA vendor
By doing your research and considering all these factors, you should be able to find a Lifestyle Spending Account vendor that best suits your needs. Ultimately, Lifestyle Spending Accounts are an excellent way to save money on everyday expenses and can be a great asset for any business or individual. With the right Lifestyle Spending Account vendor, you can get the most out of your Lifestyle Spending Account and make sure it is working for you.
For more information about Lifestyle Spending Accounts and how to choose the right Lifestyle Spending Account vendor, <span class="text-style-link text-color-blue" fs-mirrorclick-element="trigger" role="button">schedule a consultation</span> with one of our experts. We’d be happy to help you find the perfect Lifestyle Spending Account solution for your unique needs.