PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending July 27th, 2018

Happy Friday, readers! This weekend’s newsletter notes the passage in the House of Representatives of two bills that would, according to sponsors, reduce employer costs for health benefits coverage and expand the use of health savings accounts. One expert tells PLANADVISER budget pressures have put limits on some reforms and the Senate outlook this year is “dim,” but the proposed changes do indicate the direction that many Republicans and more than a few Democrats would like to take. Below, you will find comprehensive coverage of the House legislation, as well as helpful contextualizing stories and research on the topic of health care costs and HSAs.

Health Savings Accounts
Will the More Evenly Divided Senate Tackle HSAs This Year?
“Although budget pressures have put limits on some reforms and the Senate outlook this year is dim, the proposed changes indicate the direction that many Republicans and more than a few Democrats would like to take,” writes Tracy Watts, Mercer’s leader on health care reform.    Read more >
Helping Employers Sort HSA Facts from Fictions
The health care plan and the health savings account are not the same thing; while the employer has some administrative responsibilities, the HSA belongs wholly to the employee and is portable. Read more >
HSA Opportunities Abound
Assets topped an estimated $45 billion at the close of last year. Read more >
HSA Myths and Misconceptions
An interview with Steve Christenson, EVP at Ascensus. Read more >
SEC Lays Out Valuable Features of HSAs
Although an SEC bulletin is directed at employees invested in HSAs, its description of useful HSA features depending on how investors use HSAs can be informative to plan sponsor clients. Read more >
Concerns About Retirement Health Care Costs Increasing Interest in HSAs
However, only 8% of respondent to a ConnectYourCare survey are seeking advice about how much to contribute to a tax-advantaged health savings account. Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
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It also provides a way for retirement plan sponsors to avoid a partial plan termination.

Coronavirus Hardship Withdrawals, Taxes and Your Retirement Plan Clients
Coronavirus-related withdrawals made in 2020 were a financial lifeline for some, but they could also turn into a major tax headache for others.
Many Near-Retirees Don't Understand Social Security Benefits

More than one-third failed a basic Social Security quiz administered by MassMutual.

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.
The Most Common Retirement Plan Testing Mistakes

By alerting plan sponsors to the issues they see most often, advisers can help their clients navigate IRS testing rules.

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