According to research, some 768 million days of paid time off went unused in 2018. This happens for a variety of reasons, and for the vast majority of employees these unused days accrue and are available for use sometime in the future. PTO is, after all, part of employee compensation.
But it doesn’t always work out that way. Most companies have accrual caps - so when an employee reaches this limit, he or she stops accruing and adding to their PTO account. As they keep coming into work each day, their PTO compensation piece no longer goes to them - it gets captured back to the company. There are good reasons companies have these caps, but certainly the intent was not to prevent employees from enjoying the fruits of their earned PTO benefits.
This “forfeited” PTO represented over $65B in value in 2018.
To us, this just doesn’t seem right. This $65B is a form of compensation, earned by employees. But due to complications with IRS and other regulations, it has been nearly impossible for employees to convert this PTO into other valuable assets or currency.
We’ve worked on these challenges for a number of years, knowing this capability can potentially help millions of employees and workers, in both the public and private sectors. We’ve become experts on tax laws, rules and other regulations and have built that intelligence into an easy-to-use system that helps employees translate PTO into other things of value – retirement accounts, loan repayment programs, travel awards, charitable causes and more…
At the same time, this capability helps companies. The ability to exchange PTO is a differentiated benefit that helps attract and retain talent. By letting employees convert excess PTO, companies also can see a reduction in balance sheet liabilities. And with PTO Exchange, it’s easier than ever to contribute PTO value to over a million charitable and community organizations.
These are the reasons why we built PTO Exchange. And we’re committed to this mission each and every day - because it matters to real people, living and working in our communities across the country. In our own small way, we want to help them achieve more of their dreams and facilitate giving and sharing.
Rob Whalen and Todd Lucas