“We define flexible benefit plans as those that offer employees a choice between qualified (nontaxable) benefits and cash (Beam & McFadden, 1996). A plan that does not offer a cash option- for example, a plan that simply offers a choice of medical plans- is not considered a flexible benefit plan under this definition, whereas a plan that offers the option of paying for a (qualified, nontaxable) benefit with pretax wages (cash) is (Borleis, 1996)” (Barringer & Milkovich, 1998).

Barringer, M.W., & Milkovich, G.T. (1998). A theoretical exploration of the adoption and design of flexible benefit plans: A case of human resource innovation.  Academy of Management Review, 23(2), 305-325. Beam, B.T., & McFadden, J.J. (1996). Employee benefits. Chicago: Dearborn Financial Publishing. Borleis, M.W. (1996). Cafeteria plans in operation. In J.S. Rosenbloom (Ed.), The handbook of employee benefits (pp. 505-540). Chicago, Irwin.