PLANSPONSOR Weekend Newsdash
Week ending April 12th, 2019

This week we’re highlighting health savings accounts (HSAs) and health benefits. Read about why plan sponsors should understand medical flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and HSAs, and how they can educate their participants on the two. Next, find out what the three highest health care cost-management challenges are, according to Gallagher’s latest Best-in-Class Benchmarking Analysis, and how employers can control these costs. Plus, a Fidelity survey explores how retirees can save for rising health care expenses; HSA Bank recommends features to increase engagement with health care planning; and we survey industry workers on the feasibility of HSAs. All this and more, on this edition of PLANSPONSOR Weekend. There will be no weekend newsletter next Friday. 

Editor's choice
Communicating the Difference Between FSAs and HSAs to Participants
Employers need to understand the basics of each in order to communicate to participants accurately, and they can use the differences to help employees view HSAs as long-term savings accounts, Sara Caddy, with Dimensional Fund Advisers told webinar attendees. Read more >
Health Benefit Employee Cost-Sharing Can Bring Unexpected Consequences
An analysis from Gallagher identifies ways “best-in-class” employers are controlling health care costs. Read more >
Data and Research
Estimates for Health Care Costs in Retirement Continue to Rise
A 65-year old couple retiring in 2019 can expect to spend $285,000 in health care and medical expenses throughout retirement, Fidelity estimates, but it says it is possible to save for retirement health costs via health savings accounts. Read more >
Education Can Help Employees Engage in Managing Health Care Costs
HSA Bank recommends employers offer a guide about health plans, their costs and what they cover; a health plan comparison tool; and a tax-advantaged savings account to help employees become better health care consumers. Read more >
Industry Voices
SURVEY SAYS: Feasibility of HSAs for Retirement Savings
Health savings accounts (HSAs) are now being touted as a way for saving for health care expenses in retirement, but is this feasible? A recent report found employees spend 90% of their HSA assets on current medical expenses, leaving little to save/invest for the long term. Read more >
AT&T Sued Over Calculation of Early Retirement Benefits

The plaintiffs say the plan’s terms reduce benefits using “Early Retirement Factors” and “Joint and Survivor Annuity Factors” which result in plan participants receiving less than the actuarial equivalent of their vested accrued benefit, as required by ERISA.

Congressional Leaders Want SECURE Act Passage in 2019

Based on the conversations industry advocates are having in Washington, none of the leadership in the Senate or the House opposes passage of the SECURE Act.

Mechanics of Implementing a Sidecar Savings Account
Keeping retirement plan contributions rolling in while also allowing employees to save for emergencies.
Breaking Free From Interest Rate Bind on DB Funding
The long-running low interest rate environment has created DB plan funding challenges, but plan sponsors can take steps to mitigate them.
Principal Announces Key Platform Decisions in Wells Fargo Integration

Principal and Wells Fargo leadership have revealed their technology plans for serving the nonqualified and employee stock ownership plan sides of the combined business.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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