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written by Khatabook | December 21, 2021

What is a Flexible Benefit Plan?

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FBP full form is Flexible Benefits Plan. It is a compensation structure in India that allows employees to change components of CTC (Cost to Company) such as medical expenditures and transportation. HRA (House Rent Allowance), Medical Expenses, Basic Compensation, DA (Dearness Allowance), and other salary components are included in the CTC. Therefore, let’s learn more about Flexible Benefits Plan in this article.

What is a Flexible Benefits Plan?

 The Flexi Benefit Plan's main goal is to allow employees to make their own decisions. A Flexi or Flexible Benefits plan is a tax-saving strategy that incorporates the following elements: 

  • HRA
  • LTA
  • Medical Expenses
  • Food Conveyance
  • Telephone Bills

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Flexible Benefits Plan:

 Employee expectations are becoming one of the most important aspects of both small and large businesses. Recognising that each employee has different needs, a benefits plan that covers everyone might not be as effective as it was deemed once. Because every employee is different, more companies are opting for a flexible benefits plan.

Flexible benefit plans, or Flexi allowances, are benefit plans that give employees more control over their benefits in an organisation. Because these plans provide employees greater power, there are some advantages and disadvantages for both the company and the individual, which will be covered in this blog.

   Employer Advantages:

  • Meeting the Needs of Employees: Having a diverse workforce in terms of culture, age, and personality is fast becoming the norm in the workplace. Because of the diversity of their workforce, employers must accommodate a wide range of needs. Each employee is unique, as are their requirements both inside and outside of the office. When an employer goes above and beyond to meet the needs of their employees, it can lead to better productivity, improved morale, and less absenteeism. Additionally, if employees' requirements are met, they will be healthier, resulting in fewer sick leaves.

  • Retention and Recruitment: Small businesses, in particular, must find a way to stand out from the crowd and convince potential employees to join the company. Currently, potential employees are looking for flexible benefits since it allows them to control the issues they face in their lives. Offering Flexi pay in salary could be one way for companies to set themselves apart from the competition and attract top talent. After they've found outstanding talent, Flexi plans can help companies keep it. 

  • Financial Management: Flexi allowances allow employers to set a monthly spending cap to know exactly how much they will pay each year on their plan. This control helps employers plan for the end of the year and becomes a predictable and expected expense. These benefits can also be deducted from your taxes. As a result of this method, your organisation will save money, proving that there are both physical and intangible benefits to report.

Also Read: 10 Crucial HR Policies That Companies Should Implement

Employer Disadvantages:

  • Setup Costs: If your firm already offers a traditional benefits plan, there are a few things to consider before making the switch to a Flexi benefit plan. Examine your present strategy with your personnel to see if it meets their requirements. Changing plans is costly, and if it does not provide value to your business, the return on investment may be minimal. The design and execution process takes time, which is costly to a corporation. To implement and track your Flexi benefit plan, you may need to adopt new technology.

  • Information Sharing: It's difficult enough for a firm to make changes to a benefits plan in terms of time and money, but it also requires employee acceptance. Employees must be aware of why the strategy is changing and how it will affect them. Businesses that take the time to explain the benefits to their employees will find that their strategy is well received, whereas those that implement the change without explaining why may face employee backlash. If employees do not accept the changes to their plan, businesses will not obtain the benefits mentioned above.

Employee Advantages:

  • Benefits and Expenses Management: Flexi plan employees have greater control over their schedules, allowing them to meet their own or their family's needs. For example, a single employee may not profit from a good family health plan, although another employee may greatly benefit from one. The first employee would be offered a family plan, which they would most likely decline to save money because most employees' benefits plans don't allow for this kind of flexibility.

  • Extra Cash In-Hand Flex: With Extra Cash In-Hand Flex programs, employees can pay for their benefits before taxing. This means that they will save money on taxes both at the end of each pay period and throughout tax season. Employees will save more money and have more of their personal needs met, which is a rare win-win situation in the workplace.

  • A better strategy equals a better life: While a healthy and happy staff is beneficial to businesses, being happy and healthy as an employee has its own set of advantages. Supporting and caring for a family can be difficult and stressful, so having a plan to help them meet their requirements may alleviate a lot of stress. They may have had to save money in the past for an unanticipated calamity, but with a flexible benefits plan, they can protect themselves and plan for the future. When stress is decreased, employees can feel good both within and outside of the workplace, which benefits their mental and physical health.

Employee Disadvantages:

  • The Risk of Losing Money: Some Flexi-plan employees cannot save money that they do not use throughout the year. Employees would be compelled to pay a specific amount to their plan each month and would not be allowed to reclaim that money if they did not use their benefits. While this may appear to be a disadvantage for employees, the ability to plan for the worst-case scenario is still advantageous, especially since some Flexi benefit plans include life, dental, or vision insurance.

  • Inability to relocate: Some Flexible benefit plans are transferable, while others are not. If an employee has a transferable health plan, they may move their account to a new employer if they change jobs. Employees who do not have mobility may stay in a job even if they do not enjoy it because of the benefits. In the worst-case situation, this could lead to disgruntled employees and higher absenteeism. To avoid a situation like this, employers should ensure that their employees are satisfied with their benefits and their jobs.

Components of FBP In Salary:

 Every company provides some components through which employees are paid. These components are known as Flexible Benefits Plan or FBP Components. 

The two subcategories of these components are the Annual and Monthly components.

  • Monthly Component: Each employee receives a default percentage of their salary each month. The monthly component is the name given to this amount. As part of the monthly component, employees get compensated for transportation, vehicle leases, and other such expenses.

  • Annual Component: Included in this part are expenses that employees claim in addition to their basic salary. This money is entirely credited to the employee when they produce the required claim, along with additional information about the charge. The company holds the funds until the claim is filed. Travel expenses, mobile phone bills, and other expenses related to the company's operations are covered by the Annual Component category and can be reimbursed through claims.

Policies Of Flexi Pay In Salary:

Every business has a limit on how much an employee can get in allowances in a given year. This total is referred to as the entire FBP. The FBP plan is the framework that an employee chooses for their compensation's monthly and annual components.

At the start of the financial year or when they first join, several companies give their employees a Flexi benefit plan. The Flexible Benefit Plan includes predefined policies. Some of the policies are as follows:

  • Mutual Exclusion Policy: A "mutual exclusion policy" in which the employee and the employer agree on which components are excluded. This stage is when all related components that can't be declared are expected to be defined. Depending on the mutual exclusion rules, the employee can declare any of the components mutually exclusive.

  • Quantity Based Policy: A component is subject to the quantity-based regulation if an admin states its precise base value while declaring it. Based on the manager's chosen base value, the employee can choose the quantity. Both the manager's declaration and the employee's option are considered when calculating the final declaration amount.

  • Opt-In Policy: An Opt-In Policy is established when management recognises a component as Opt-In. The amount specified for a component is automatically declared when an employee selects it. Because the amount is determined by the administrator, the employee does not have the authority to adjust it.

  • Dependent Policy: This policy takes effect when management determines that one component is dependent on another. The business establishes a relationship between the two elements. When one of the dependent components is mentioned, the other connected components must also be mentioned.

Also Read: 7 Best Relieving Letter Templates

Conclusion:

Employers can use the flexible benefits plan to create a pay structure that includes various components that would otherwise be classified as reimbursements. Allowing employees to access money ahead of time as part of their remuneration structure improves trust and productivity. Companies can also set pay thresholds for each aspect based on an employee's position within the company. Companies can establish a healthy employee-employer connection and enable a productive work environment by using FBP. We hope that this article has clarified all your doubts regarding the flexible benefits plan. 

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FAQs

Q: Is my premium payroll deduction deducted before or after taxes?

Ans:

Your premium payroll deduction is done before taxes

Q: How can someone enrol for the FBP?

Ans:

There are no forms to fill out on paper. When you are first eligible, within 30 days of a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), such as a loss of coverage, the birth of a child, or legal adoption, and during MCC's annual Open Enrolment period, you can enrol in the FBP.

Q: I'm a new employee. When will I be able to start participating in the plan?

Ans:

As a new hire, you can start participating in the plan on the first of the month after your start date. If your start date is the first of the month, you can start participating right away.

Q: Who is eligible to take part in the FBP?

Ans:

FBP is open to all full-time employees who are scheduled to work 20 hours or more each week. Employees who work fewer than 20 hours per week and seasonal and temporary workers are not eligible. This benefit must be offered to you by your employer.

Q: What do you mean by "flexible benefits"?

Ans:

Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code permits you to deposit pre-tax earnings into an account to pay for a licenced daycare provider or qualifying health expenditures. An essentially tax-saving strategy, a Flexi or flexible benefits plan provides benefits in respect to HRA, LTA, medical expenses, food conveyance and telephone bills.

Disclaimer :
The information, product and services provided on this website are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied. Khatabook Blogs are meant purely for educational discussion of financial products and services. Khatabook does not make a guarantee that the service will meet your requirements, or that it will be uninterrupted, timely and secure, and that errors, if any, will be corrected. The material and information contained herein is for general information purposes only. Consult a professional before relying on the information to make any legal, financial or business decisions. Use this information strictly at your own risk. Khatabook will not be liable for any false, inaccurate or incomplete information present on the website. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this website is updated, relevant and accurate, Khatabook makes no guarantees about the completeness, reliability, accuracy, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, product, services or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Khatabook will not be liable for the website being temporarily unavailable, due to any technical issues or otherwise, beyond its control and for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or access to, or inability to use or access to this website whatsoever.
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Disclaimer :
The information, product and services provided on this website are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied. Khatabook Blogs are meant purely for educational discussion of financial products and services. Khatabook does not make a guarantee that the service will meet your requirements, or that it will be uninterrupted, timely and secure, and that errors, if any, will be corrected. The material and information contained herein is for general information purposes only. Consult a professional before relying on the information to make any legal, financial or business decisions. Use this information strictly at your own risk. Khatabook will not be liable for any false, inaccurate or incomplete information present on the website. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this website is updated, relevant and accurate, Khatabook makes no guarantees about the completeness, reliability, accuracy, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, product, services or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Khatabook will not be liable for the website being temporarily unavailable, due to any technical issues or otherwise, beyond its control and for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or access to, or inability to use or access to this website whatsoever.