PLANSPONSOR Weekend Newsdash
Week ending August 17th, 2018

Like the retirement plan, health care programs and other types of benefits play an important role in promoting employee loyalty and engagement. Numerous studies demonstrate just how much employees value access to health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) and student loan debt repayment programs, for example. Yet, there is also a clear disconnect between what plan sponsors believe their workers need to be financially and physically well, and what participants hope to receive from their employers. The articles below pinpoint these substantial features, while guiding plan sponsors as they implement best practices. Have a wonderful weekend!

Editor's choice
Mercer Offers Framework and Scorecard for Improving Employer Health Benefits
Mercer’s Vitals for Change framework calls on employer health plan sponsors to demand more for their employees and their families in four key areas that target systemic problems in the health care system and drive positive disruption and innovation. Read more >
Helping Employees Select the Best Health Plan Can Benefit Employers
Selecting the “wrong plan” may cause employees to pay more without getting more coverage or benefits in return, HSA Bank says, and Chad Wilkins, president of HSA Bank, points out it could cost employers as well. Read more >
Meaningful Education Needed Before Open Enrollment
Education about benefits should be simple and personalized, and with the recent focus on HSAs as a way to save for retirement health care costs, special attention should be paid to education about them. 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 HRAs. Read more >
Program Allows Participants to Move Matches to Student Loan Debt
With a new service from BenefitEd, workers can move the entire match over to pay down their student loan debt or just a portion of it. 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.

Social Security Administration Announced COLA for 2020

Employees not only need basic education, but they need to know how to include Social Security in their retirement income strategy.

Could GE Have Continued Its DB Benefits?

GE is freezing pension plans and offering a lump-sum window to certain former employees, but John Lowell, with October Three, questions whether a design-based solution would have helped the company continue to offer DB benefits to employees.

Millennium Trust Helps Small Businesses Select a Retirement Plan

The Retirement Savings Selector Tool for Small Businesses was created to help small businesses identify a retirement savings option that may be a fit for their business by answering a few quick and easy questions.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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