PLANSPONSOR Weekend Newsdash
Week ending February 23rd, 2018

Happy Friday, readers! This weekend’s mailing offers a deep dive into the evolving health savings account (HSA) marketplace, with a particular focus on identifying adviser opportunities in the space. As the data show, growing contributions and a strong equity market helped propel HSA investment assets up 53% year over year during 2017—and employees increasingly want advice on how to invest and eventually spend HSA dollars. Even if it is not the most lucrative business line to get into on its own, offering education about HSAs and health care costs in general, experts agree, can be a tremendous value-add that boosts client loyalty and lifetime wealth outcomes.

Health Care and Other Benefits
Adviser Opportunities Abound in HSA Market
Devenir finds HSA assets grew to an estimated $45.2 billion, spread across some 22 million accounts, at the end of 2017; as more account owners are investing their HSA dollars, the demand for advice is clear.  Read more >
Concerns About Retirement Health Care Costs Increasing Interest in HSAs
ConnectYourCare’s 2018 report on consumer-driven health care account trends finds 44.9% of respondents chose to enroll in a health savings account as a savings vehicle for future health care needs, over more immediate benefits like tax savings and lower premiums, up from 40.5% in its 2017 report. Read more >
Help DB Clients Stay Realistic About Mortality Assumptions
“It is important for actuaries for all types of pension plans, including those who work with multiemployer and public-sector plans, not to reverse expectations for mortality improvement in response to the latest data,” says Eli Greenblum, chief actuary for The Segal Group. Read more >
Advisers Beware and Be Cautious When Talking Taxes in 2018
During a webinar called to discuss the advisory industry impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, experts warned advisers to be ready to decline to offer tax advice during 2018—over and over again. Read more >
With Participation Rates Flat, Some NQDC Plan Sponsors to Make Changes
The overall rate of companies offering nonqualified deferred compensation plans increased to 85% in 2017 from a survey low of 77.2% in 2015, according to the annual Prudential/PLANSPONSOR Executive Benefit Survey. Read more >
Nearly Three-Quarters of Boomers Want to Delay Retirement

More than three in 10 have no retirement budget.

Will SCOTUS Decide the Fate of the DOL Fiduciary Rule?

Some ERISA attorneys argue the Fifth Circuit decision last week to vacate entirely the DOL’s fiduciary rule expansion makes a Supreme Court decision on the matter inevitable; others are less sure that a decisive SCOTUS decision could be forthcoming, instead expecting the SEC to take the lead; still others admit they have little idea how the regulatory picture will shake out, recommending patience and ongoing compliance.

Confusion Abounds After Fifth Circuit Decision Vacates DOL Fiduciary Rule

The latest decision out of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throws a dramatic new element of confusion into the epic regulatory saga that has been the rollout of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule.

Many Americans Would Forego Social Security Payments for Student Loan Debt Forgiveness

The Student Security Act of 2017​ would grant $550 in student loan forgiveness for each month a student debtor was willing to raise his or her full retirement age, or $6,600 per year.

Retirement Programs Must Continue to Evolve to Address Participant Needs
Chuck Coldwell, vice president - national director, Consulting and BOLI Services at Pentegra, believes as an industry, we still have not reached the goal of getting the majority of participants in a good place for retirement—even with auto enroll and escalate.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer

Advertising: Paul Zampitella

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