PLANSPONSOR Weekend Newsdash
Week ending January 25th, 2019

Benefit communications to employees are very important in improving engagement. Often, we in the industry forget that the jargon we use daily is not well-known to the average person, so plan sponsors and providers need to keep this in mind when crafting communications. Also, knowing what employees need and want can help in developing the most appropriate communications for them. Aside from communications about retirement and other benefits, plan sponsors are realizing that financial wellness education is a valuable addition to communication efforts to help employees manage finances and free up money for saving for retirement or health care costs. In this edition of PLANSPONSOR Weekend, we focus on employee communications and financial wellness.

Editor's choice
Effective Retirement Plan Communications Are Understandable and Accessible
A survey from the Empower Institute reveals retirement industry terms employees prefer, what they want communications look like, and how they prefer to receive them. Read more >
Data and Research
Sponsors and Providers Use Too Much DC Plan Jargon
Invesco has published a new white paper on the subject of jargon and participant communication challenges in the retirement plan industry. Findings of a national survey of more than 800 large-plan participants across genders, income levels and generations show plan participants tend to highly value their employer-sponsored retirement benefits—but at the same time there are common points of confusion and sub-optimal behavior patterns that stem from the serious amount of jargon that pervades the defined contribution (DC) plan domain. Read more >
Data and Research
More Local Governments Should Adopt Financial Wellness Programs for Employees
Among those that do offer financial literacy programs, 51% say workers increase their contributions to supplemental savings plans, 43% say workers become more engaged with compensation issues, and 41% say they see cost savings for the jurisdiction that at least partially offset the expense of offering the program. Read more >
Data and Research
Female Gen Xers Face Greater Retirement Savings Shortfall Than Males
A cut of data about Generation X from the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s (EBRI)’s Retirement Security Projection Model (RSPM), which can assess the size of households’ retirement deficit by modeling Retirement Savings Shortfalls (RSS), found the retirement deficit—or additional savings required to meet basic needs in retirement—is higher for both widows and single females than for widowers and single males. Read more >
Lack of Education Could Result in Greater Long-Term Health Costs
Only 33% of employees surveyed by Maestro Health say they completely understand the health coverage offered through their employers, and 62% indicated they feel their employer does not serve as a resource for their health care-related questions. Read more >
ADP Adds SmartDollar to its Stable of Financial Wellness Programs
It is in addition to a number of other financial wellness programs that ADP already makes available. Read more >
J.P. Morgan Agrees to Settle Stable Value Funds Suit

The firm has agreed to pay $75 million to settle litigation brought by multiple retirement plan participants alleging J.P. Morgan invested its stable value funds in risky assets.

SECURE Act Passes House, Bringing Calls for Senate Collaboration

Reflecting on the much-anticipated House vote, Kevin Walsh, principal with Groom Law Group, said today is an important day for the retirement industry, but it’s not the end of the story.

Individuals, Employers and Government All Play a Part in Retirement Readiness

A new research report and Catherine Collinson, with Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, lay out steps all three can take to improve retirement confidence and readiness in America.

Participant Loans: A Fiduciary Storm Brewing?
Bruce Ashton, with Drinker Biddle & Reath, discusses the fiduciary risk defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors could face when participants default on plan loans.
What to Know About Financial Audits Filed with Form 5500s
Plan sponsors required to file a financial audit along with their Form 5500 should know how regulators use the information and how to pick the best auditor.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer

Advertising: Paul Zampitella

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