Partnership Allows RIAs to Integrate HSAs Into Retirement Planning

Offering health savings account (HSA) services allows advisers to add value and help clients more holistically plan for retirement, Kristen Donovan, with BAM Retirement Solutions, tells PLANADVISER.

HealthSavings Administrators, a health savings account (HSA) provider, and Orion Advisor Services, LLC, a portfolio management solution provider for registered investment advisers (RIAs), announced a strategic partnership to empower RIAs to easily integrate HSAs into retirement planning services for their clients.

Kristen Donovan, retirement solutions manager and retirement adviser with BAM Retirement Solutions in St. Louis, Missouri, which offers advisers support and help, tells PLANADVISER, “We requested an Orion link so that our advisers can have a direct link with information from HSAs. The benefit to that is being able to include that in a client’s overall portfolio management.”

The HealthSavings and Orion integration allows RIAs to manage their clients’ HSAs in the same dashboard as other investment accounts—IRAs, 401(k)s and more.

According to Donovan, the primary reason it is so important is that advisers would like to take a look at all assets being invested for the goals of a client. “When advisers are looking at client accounts, they are looking at a number of different things, including whether an account is tax-advantaged versus taxable. They are considering the tax efficiency of the asset location,” she says.

“Advisers are seeing more and more plan sponsors offer HDHPs with HSAs, and it’s important that employees understand the opportunity to save for not only current medical expenses, but if able, for retirement medical expenses. It allows people to prepare more holistically for retirement,” Donovan adds.

While advisers can’t offer HSAs, Donovan says they can choose to work with an HSA vendor to offer a benefits lineup—with HSAs, employees don’t have to use the vendor the employer offers. “Providing more value means making sure you have a solution for the HSA piece of benefits,” she adds. “Providers could also offer better investments for HSAs.”

According to Donovan, if offering HSA services, an adviser would be expected to provide education. Advisers can choose to charge a fee based on services provided, but she says she would expect that advisers would add HSA services because it is the right thing to do. “It’s something advisers should have. It makes sense to have this tool in their quiver. If they don’t, someone else will,” she concludes.