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Utah’s innovative portable benefits legislation paves the way for Stride’s launch of first-ever portable benefits contributions program

Salt Lake City—Today, Stride, a portable benefits provider, announced it is choosing to debut its first-ever independent worker contributions program in Utah. The program will allow independent workers to receive health coverage, paid time off, long-term savings and other benefits typically extended to traditional employment.

The independent contract workforce, sometimes referred to as the “gig economy,” has been on the rise in recent years. With over 80,000 Utahns now working independent jobs such as ride-share and food delivery driving, the Legislature passed S.B. 233 Portable Benefit Plan in 2023 to establish a framework for government and private entities to offer flexible benefits services to independent contractors.

“Over the past decade, Utah has continued to thrive due to dynamic and innovative policies that enable us to adapt to an ever-evolving economy,” said Sen. John D. Johnson, sponsor of S.B. 233. “The goal of S.B. 233 is to help individuals capitalize on the flexibility and work-life balance that ‘gig’ jobs offer. Stride’s portable benefits program will empower Utah’s independent workforce with the necessary support to pursue their chosen career path with confidence.”

While independent work offers more flexibility than traditional professions, individuals might be wary of pursuing this career path due to the potential risks and uncertainty. Allowing contractors to opt into health and savings benefits provides them with greater security as they navigate a less conventional line of work.

“From gig employees to traditional entrepreneurs, Utah workers and companies will have newfound flexibility with this portable benefits tool,” said Gov. Cox. “I’m pleased that Utah will be the first state in the nation to implement this inventive legislative approach to employee benefits.” 

“S.B. 233 is landmark legislation that once again demonstrates Utah’s worker-friendly outlook and represents the future of work in the gig economy,” said Rep. Ryan D. Wilcox, House sponsor of S.B. 233. “Utah’s independent workers play a key role in Utah’s dynamic and growing economy. Stride’s partnership and foresight will have lasting benefits for independent workers, Utah’s tech sector, and eventually increasing economic freedom and mobility for us all.” 

The first Utah workforce client to use the Stride’s Contributions program will launch in Utah this month. The new Stride Contributions program is designed to help companies provide tailored benefits programs to Utah independent contractors while putting the power in the hands of individual workers to allocate those funds towards their own unique set of benefits.

“It’s time for our benefits system to catch up to the way Americans work today. Utah Sen. Johnson, Rep. Wilcox and Governor Cox recognized that and created new regulatory clarity, enabling companies to do more to contribute to their workers’ financial security,” said Noah Lang, CEO and co-founder of Stride. “With Stride Contributions, we’ve made it easy for independent workers to save and for companies to contribute to workers’ benefits—no matter how they choose to work. The future of work isn’t in the future: it’s here now.”

Learn more about Stride Contributions here.