PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending January 18th, 2019

Happy Friday, readers! Surveys suggest more than 80% of employees see medical costs as being among their biggest financial challenges now and in the future. Yet only 25% rank contributing to a health savings account (HSA) as a top current financial priority, falling below saving for retirement in a 401(k), paying for essential day-to-day expenses and paying off debt. An increasing number of advisers and providers are working to address this discrepancy and to promote the use of HSAs as investment vehicles for anticipated retirement needs, seeing such accounts as a natural counterpart to the 401(k). Below, you will find a series of helpful articles detailing the rapidly shifting HSA landscape, with a focus on what role DC plan advisers can play. 

Editor's choice
R6 Shares in HSAs Are Just the Beginning
Advisers and providers in the defined contribution plan arena want to take a bite out of banks’ dominance in the health savings account marketplace, and they are building solutions to make it happen. Read more >
Investing HSA Assets Helps Savings Grow
Devenir estimates that $9.8 billion of HSA assets are invested as of June 30, 2018—an estimated 45% year-over-year increase. Read more >
Education and Better Investments Needed to Propel HSAs to Retirement Savings Vehicles
The frequency of withdrawals prevents HSA account holders from building a meaningful balance to use for health care expenses in retirement, and individuals are unlikely to allocate their assets to investment products if their primary goal is to fund short-term medical expenses, Cerulli says. Read more >
Beyond(k): HSAs, Pension Risk Transfer, Student Loan Debt Relief
A look at some of the products and services retirement plan sponsors are requesting outside of 401(k) plans. Read more >
Selecting the Optimal Investment Lineup for HSAs
Most HSAs do not even have an investment component, but this will change, as health care brokers have been driving plan sponsor adoption of HSAs, but in the future advisers will, Jamie Greenleaf, with Cafaro Greenleaf, told attendees of PLANSPONSOR’s 2018 HSA Conference. Read more >
Finding Money for Both HSAs and Retirement Plans Can Be a Challenge for Employees
Willis Towers Watson suggests portals integrated with financial planning tools can help employees make strategic decisions about where to best save their money based on their unique financial situation. Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
$300 Million Plan Faces ERISA Fiduciary Breach Lawsuit

The plan being challenged in the latest fiduciary breach lawsuit held less than $300 million as of the start of last year, making it one of the smallest to become the target of an ERISA complaint.

DOL Aims to Quickly Simplify Conflict of Interest Framework

The main theme of the new fiduciary rule proposal is alignment with other regulators—the SEC and FINRA in particular—but the agency is by no means surrendering its jurisdiction over tax-qualified retirement plans.

Warn Your Clients: Don’t Abuse Coronavirus Hardship Withdrawals
Though retirement plans can allow individuals to self-certify that they qualify for a penalty-free coronavirus-related distribution, should the IRS discover otherwise during a future audit, a participant can be subject to substantial penalties.
Wawa ERISA Settlement Valued at Nearly $22M

The basic contention of the lawsuit was that the company acted in a manner contrary to ERISA’s fiduciary requirements when it forced terminated employees to liquidate company stock holdings at an unfair price.

How Advisers Serving MEPs and PEPs Can Be Conflicted

The most obvious potential conflict of interest for advisers setting up or serving pooled employer plans is if their practice is affiliated with the investments being selected—but there are other potential pitfalls to acknowledge.

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