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Retirement Plans Should Marry HSAs: HealthEquity Execs

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Executives at a company that helps employers and financial services companies offer health savings account (HSA) programs say the HSA market looks great, partly because of strong demand from retirement services providers.

The HealthEquity Inc. executives talked about the retirement plan provider opportunity earlier this week, during a conference call with securities analysts.

HealthEquity held the call to go over its earnings for the third quarter. During that quarter, the company announced major HSA alliances with Nationwide and Vanguard, to offer programs that will connect HSA programs more fully with retirement plan programs.

Steve Neeleman, HealthEquity’s founder and vice chair, said employers are now asking for a “marriage of health savings accounts and other retirement plans.”

(Related: Nationwide Aims for Slice of $54B HSA Market)

The same kinds of employers that jumped to offer HSA programs 14 years ago, when HSAs came to life, are now going to jump to offer better HSAs, Neeleman said.

“They’re going to say, ‘Hey, great, I know what I used to have, but now I know what I want to have going forward,’” Neeleman said.

Neeleman said HealthEquity’s system should make HSA programs much more appealing, because the company’s system lets participants see HSA and 401(k) plan account balances on the same website.

“In certain cases, the retirement folks say they don’t get the mind share that maybe we get because people aren’t paying claims out of their 401(k),” Neeleman said. “People will have a claim come in and they’ll need to pay it, they come to the website.”


HealthEquity is reporting $16 million in net income for its latest quarter, which ended Oct. 31, on $70 million in revenue, compared with $10 million in net income on $57 million in revenue for the third quarter of 2017.

What This Could Mean for Agents

Integrated retirement plan-HSA systems could make it easier for employee clients to pull the records they need to have comprehensive discussions of their finances with their advisors.

Increased integration could also make it easier for financial professionals who offer HSA services to attract assets, because workers always own their HSAs. Workers who want to move their HSAs to new custodians, and have professional help with doing so, can easily do so.

If integration does lead to increased 401(k) plan account values, that could lead to clients having bigger 401(k) plan asset totals if and when they want to roll over the assets.

If an HSA-401(k) integration effort goes poorly, and leads to glitches, or messaging that irritates the participants, that could increase the participants’ level of interest in the services of independent financial professionals.


Links to resources aimed at investors, including a recording of the analyst call, are available here.

— Read Carrier To Add Vanguard HSA Optionson ThinkAdvisor.

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