On its Web site, the Incentive Federation Inc. calls itself “quite possibly the best-kept secret in the incentive marketplace.” Now, the umbrella group for the incentive industry's associations, is making headlines as its leaders advance on Washington to convince Congress that wellness incentives should be a part of the healthcare reform bill.
This is theFederation’s first concerted lobbying effort on a national level in several years and “represents an increase in focus on legislative developments” for the Falls Church, Va., organization, said George B. Delta, executive director.
Members including Michelle Smith, vice president of employee recognition consultancy O.C. Tanner; John Risberg, general counsel for incentive giant Maritz; and Michael Dermer, president and CEO of IncentOne, which focuses on health-oriented incentives, will hold a symposium on Tuesday, October 20, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, entitled “The Power of Incentives, Rewards, and Recognition in Driving American Business and Creating a Healthier Workforce.” The session is intended to educate Congressional staff on how wellness incentives can help improve the health of the American workforce.
“One of the best ways to encourage wellness incentives is to make them nontaxable to employees and deductible to employers, so the Federation is supporting a measure allowing tangible personal property wellness awards valued at up to $400 for each employee that would be nontaxable to the employee and deductible to the employer,” said Delta.
The group also plans to educate Congress on the various facets of the industry, such as individual incentives, and to clear the air about the validity of these rewards. “As companies start to look at 2010, we want to make it clear that incentives are a valid business tool; they’re not boondoggles,” said Stephen Maselko, vice president, Marriott International Fulfillment Services, another member of the lobbying group. “They need to realize that when people are attending these trips, it’s a reward for having achieved a goal, and it’s already been paid for by increased sales and profits.”