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
Administration
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 >
Benefits
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 >
Products
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 >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
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.

New Lawsuit Highlights Importance of Cybersecurity for Retirement Plans

A former 401(k) plan participant is suing the plan sponsor and plan providers after unauthorized distributions were made from her account.

IRS Releases 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan

The IRS invites public comments and suggestions about guidance.

DC Plans 3.0 Will Really be Tailored to Individual Situations

Bob Collie, head of research at the Thinking Ahead Institute, tells PLANSPONSOR version 3.0 will be customized by “hyper-customization and integrated whole-of-life wealth management” that takes into account all of a person’s savings.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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