Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
August 2nd, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Employees Overestimate Knowledge About HSAs
According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s 2018 Workplace Benefits Report, health care costs are a huge blind spot for employees when it comes to increasing financial wellness. The newly published report suggests that employees understand most of the inputs that directly affect their financial wellness, and yet the majority ignore one of the biggest factors when they are setting long-term goals and savings priorities—health care costs. In fact, just 7% of employees surveyed identified health care as “an important building block of financial wellness.” The report also finds men and women show different levels of financial stress. Read more >
Industry Voices
Maximizing HRA Engagement on the Path to Consumerism
Jen Irwin, senior vice president, Marketing & Strategy at Alegeus, offers suggestions for the optimal design of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Read more >
From the Magazine
Insights: On Our Watch List
Medical decisions are rarely, if ever, made in a vacuum, and they loom large when one thinks about retirement planning and saving. After all, health and wealth are clearly connected, and, over the years, with the rising cost of insurance, company health programs have required major discussions between the finance and human resources (HR) groups. It’s partly why, over the past decade and a half, health savings accounts (HSAs) have taken the country by storm. Their growth—in number, assets and usage—has been incredible, and rightly so. Read more >
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Economic Events

Construction spending during June was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,317.2 billion, 1.1% below the revised May estimate of $1,332.2 billion, the Census Bureau reported. The June figure is 6.1% above the June 2017 estimate of $1,241.3 billion. During the first six months of this year, construction spending amounted to $619.9 billion, 5.1% above the $589.6 billion for the same period in 2017.

Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow lost 81.37 points (0.32%) to finish at 25,333.82, the NASDAQ closed 35.50 points (0.46%) higher at 7,707.29, and the S&P 500 decreased 2.93 points (0.10%) to 2,813.36. The Russell 2000 was down 1.54 points (0.09%) at 1,669.26, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 32.84 points (0.11%) lower at 29,262.92.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 9/32, increasing its yield to 2.996%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 26/32, bringing its yield up to 3.123%.

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Compliance
NYU Claims Victory in 403(b) Plans Lawsuit
“While the Court finds the level of involvement and seriousness with which several Committee members treated their fiduciary duty troubling, it does not find that this rose to a level of failure to fulfill fiduciary obligations. Between Cammack’s advice and the guidance of the more well-equipped Committee members (such as Surh), the Court is persuaded that the Committee performed its role adequately,” a federal just wrote in her opinion. She also found that the evidence does not support a failure or loss with regard to recordkeeping fees, or with regard to the two plan investment options at issue in the case. Read more >
ERIC Tries to Reroute New York City Private-Sector Retirement Plan Proposal
The ERISA Industry Committee asks that employers with Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plans be exempt from the city program—also that the city council change the program’s eligibility criteria. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1776, members of the Continental Congress began adding their signatures to the Declaration of Independence. In 1824, in New York City, Fifth Avenue was opened. In 1858, in Boston and New York City the first mailboxes were installed along streets. In 1861, Congress passed the first income tax. The revenues were intended for the war effort against the South. The tax was never enacted. In 1887, Rowell Hodge patented barbed wire. In 1892, Charles A. Wheeler patented the first escalator. In 1945, the Allied conference at Potsdam was concluded. In 1964, the Pentagon reported the first of two North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. In 1983, the House of Representatives approved a law that designated the third Monday of January would be a federal holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

SURVEY SAYS: We covered a survey that revealed what bugs employees and managers about work meetings. This week, I’d like to know, what, if anything, bugs you about work meetings? You may respond to this survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today. Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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