How to Use a PTO Conversion Program for Social Well-Being and Financial Wellness

PTO conversions programs are an innovative solution that can solve several problems facing organizations: the underutilization of PTO, the balance sheet liability PTO leaves behind, and a way to address demands for more personalized benefits.  

PTO conversion programs allow employees to convert their PTO into benefits they find valuable and can use immediately. This enables them to craft personalized benefits packages that meet their and their families' needs.   

Employers can offer PTO conversion programs that can help support their employee's financial wellness and social wellbeing goals. Here’s how.  

Financial wellness  

A 2022 Workplace Benefits Report showed that 97% of employers feel responsible for their employees' financial wellness, while 80% of employees also think their employers have a role in their financial wellness. A PTO conversion program can help employees meet their top financial goals and priorities 

  • Retirement planning and savings 
  • Investing 
  • Increasing emergency savings 
  • Paying off credit card debt 
  • Paying off a mortgage 
  • Buying a home 
  • Paying off student loans  
  • Paying healthcare expenses 
  • Financial planning and education 

Here are just a few ways employees can use PTO conversions to support their financial wellness 

  • Retirement: Employees can catch up or make additional contributions to their 401(k), 403(b), or 457 retirement plans. 
  • Education: Employees can convert unused PTO to help pay off their student loans, pay for tuition, or contribute to their 529 college plans. 
  • Cash Out: Employees can get emergency cash to help pay for unexpected expenses and reduce loans from retirement plans or predatory lenders. 
  • Healthcare: Employees can make additional pre-tax contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs) or flexible spending accounts (FSAs). 
  • Emergency relief funds: PTO conversions give companies another method for donating to emergency relief funds that can help employees cope with unexpected hardships that place financial stress on them or their families, such as natural disasters or personal difficulties. 

Social wellbeing  

In addition to financial wellness, employees can use PTO conversions to support social wellbeing through charitable contributions, donating days to co-workers in need, travel, and life planning accounts (LPAs).  

Charitable contributions  

Employees can donate the value of their unused PTO to over 1.7 million charitable causes and non-profits. Companies can also match these donations and offer employees volunteer time on behalf of community organizations.   

Leave sharing  

Another way employees can donate their unused PTO is through a leave-sharing program. A leave-sharing program allows employees to give their unused PTO to a fellow employee in need who may need extra time off. Employers can set up a shared pool or leave bank of donated PTO days from employees. Then, employees can request additional time off that is pulled from the share pool. Once approved, the hours are added to the employee's leave balance and reflected on the pay stub, eliminating the need to take unpaid leave.   


Employees can use their accrued unused PTO to help them save money and take the vacation of their dreams. They can use PTO to take their vacation and convert unused days to purchase discounted hotels, car rentals, and airfare.   

Life planning accounts (LPAs) 

PTO conversions can also support a third type of employee spending accounts, life planning accounts (LPAs). LPAs are a means for companies to help employees support their employees by offering benefits around the four pillars of wellbeing: physical, emotional, social, and financial. These accounts are funded by employers with money taxable as income to employees when they spend it, unlike HSAs and FSAs.  

Typically, companies use LPAs to provide additional health and wellness services, such as gym memberships, nutrition coaching, etc. Employers can decide how employees can spend their LPA funds with acceptable product and service categories. Still, these can be customized based on the company to include anything its employees might benefit from.  

Build a personalized benefits package with a PTO conversion program 

As employees continue to accumulate PTO days, companies are looking for unique solutions to combat the surplus that benefits both the company's bottom line and employee wellbeing. A PTO conversion program allows employees to build personalized benefits packages that address their financial wellness and social well-being goals.  

Download our ebook, “Balancing Sheets, Boosting Profits: A Guide to PTO Conversion Programs” to learn more about how to implement a PTO conversion program. 





Published on May 22, 2024 by Josh Reinhard

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