Fidelity rolls out benefits suite tailored to small businesses

Fidelity Investments on Thursday rolled out a benefits management suite tailored to small and medium-sized employers — a market that typically has a harder time administering and offering perks for their employees.

The financial services firm’s new suite, called Fidelity Works, gives small and midsize businesses a single, integrated portal to help manage benefits services including payroll services, HR and benefits administration, HSAs and retirement savings plans. It also will give those employers access to emerging benefits like student debt repayment programs and charitable giving programs — a program Fidelity rolled out earlier this year.

It will be offered to both Fidelity’s roughly 20,000 current small and medium sized employer clients, as well as new customers, and expands the company’s footprint, as Fidelity typically works with larger employers.

The goal is to both help smaller employers manage administrative complexities and also encourage them to add benefits to help them better attract and retain talent.

“There are significant challenges understanding regulations, setting up an efficient infrastructure and monitoring providers who administer outsourced activities,” says Chris Hock, head of Fidelity Benefits Marketplace. “And while the average employer wants to focus on employee wellbeing, they just don’t have the time or resources to do so at the level that is required.”

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Small businesses typically do not have the resources to continually scan for the most progressive benefit offerings, nor do they have the resources to align the data, tools and technology to bring to life for their employees in a seamless fashion, Hock explains.

“This results in suboptimal benefits design,” he says.

But Fidelity’s new offering, he contends, can help “simplify the administration of benefits, reduce the cost of administration and provide information that helps employees make the most appropriate decisions.”

Hock says that through the consolidated benefits platform, companies will be able to better focus on their business and less on benefits administration. “It also will allow companies to reduce employee-related expenses as employees make better individual decisions which should carry through to the bottom line of the company,” he adds.

“The war for talent is real,” he says. “The benefit plans offered to employees need to be progressive in order to attract and retain the best employees. Without an effective benefits package, [small and medium-sized businesses are] at a disadvantage.”

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