PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending March 23rd, 2018

Happy Friday, readers! This weekend’s mailing steps away from the rush of fiduciary rule news and coverage of complex retirement plan litigation to offer a closer look at the topic of Health Care and Other Benefits. Academic research and industry analyses clearly show there is strong and growing demand for advice about how to best manage health savings account assets—and that retirement plan participants consistently rank concerns about future health care expenses among their foremost concerns. There is also the widespread challenge of student loan, mortgage and consumer debt derailing optimal retirement plan behaviors. We hope you will share some of what you read with a client or colleague.

Health Care and Other Benefits
HSA Knowledge Gap Offers Clear Adviser Service Role
Health savings accounts are often described as the 401(k) of health care—so it is only natural that retirement specialist advisers can play an important role in educating the public about these important savings vehicles; survey data shows more education and advice is desperately needed.  Read more >
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 (HSA) 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 >
Equity Compensation Plan Participants Want Advice
Among those who have never exercised or sold their equity compensation or ESPP, 34% admit to being worried about selling under the wrong market conditions and 34% say they are afraid of potential tax implications of making a wrong decision. Read more >
Negative Tax Consequences Often Result from Poor Rollover Knowledge
Unforeseen negative tax consequences often hit job changers when they decide to move money from their previous employers’ retirement plans without sufficient know-how; in an extensive new report, the GAO recommends employers and regulators provide far more support for plan participants. Read more >
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. Read more >
Debt Causing Financial Vulnerability for Pre-Retirees
Researchers suggest debt management should be a factor in retirement security policy. Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
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.
A New World and New Opportunities for Alpha
Pandemic-driven volatility has once again highlighted the relative virtues of active and passive management.
2020 PLANADVISER National Conference
More Sutter Health 403(b) Plan Participants Challenge Plan Investments

As in a lawsuit filed in July, the plaintiffs in the recent case challenge the use of an actively managed TDF suite over an index suite.

$10M NRECA Settlement Agreement Includes Administrative Changes

In addition to a $10 million payment to a settlement fund, the agreement calls for fee reviews and analyses to occur on at least a triannual basis.

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