The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has issued an Investor Bulletin regarding investors information about HSAs. Here is a debrief of the new SEC HSA investment advice.
SEC HSA Investment Bulletin Highlights
- Shop Around – Individuals and families can choose their HSA financial institution, so find the best HSA that works for you!
- Don’t Settle for What is Offered – If you employer providers your HSA, you still might be able to choose your own provider, check with your HR representative. If not, when you leave your employer, you can take any HSA funds with you. You have your HSA funds for life!
- HSA Use Case – Are you an HSA spender, saver or investor? HSA features can greatly differ from provider to provider (and the fees associated with them). Understand your most likely HSA use case so you can compare the features that will enable you to take advantage of all your HSA funds.
While HSA IRS regulations are uniform for all HSA providers, HSA features and fees may not be. The SEC has broken down their considerations into two categories: HSA spending and investing.
HSA Spending Considerations
- Ease of Access – you need to access to your HSA funds when you need them most, like in the case of a medical emergency. HSA debit cards or receipt reimbursement will ensure that is the case.
- HSA Account Maintenance Fee – Don’t get stuck being nickeled and dimed by your HSA provider. HSA account maintenance fees are stealing funds from your health savings. Find a free HSA provider and remove this concern.
- Interest – Some HSA accounts have guaranteed interest. Make sure you select an interest bearing HSA. This way the more you save, the more your money will grow.
HSA Investing Considerations
- Opportunity to Invest – Simply put, you can invest your HSA funds. Make sure HSA investments are an option with your provider (and that they don’t require a minimum account balance to invest).
- Investment Choices – How you invest your HSA funds is another important choice. You can decide from stocks to bonds, mutuals funds and ETFs. Review the investment products offered when considering your HSA provider.
- Investment Fees – On top of HSA account maintenance fees, understand HSA investments fees (often monthly or yearly costs or basis points).
What is clear from this recent SEC investor bulletin is the value (and tax savings) that an HSA can provide; no matter if you categorize yourself as an HSA spender, saver or investor. HSA benefits helps you save tax-free dollars to pay for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses this year or well into retirement. How you choose to use your HSA funds is completely up to you.
What was not included in the latest SEC HSA investment advice was how to compare, review and select the best HSA provider. The HSA Report Card is a great resource for the best HSA for spending and investing. You can also check out HSASearch.com for the top user reviewed HSA providers.
Disclaimer: the content presented in this article are for informational purposes only, and is not, and must not be considered tax, investment, legal, accounting or financial planning advice, nor a recommendation as to a specific course of action. Investors should consult all available information, including fund prospectuses, and consult with appropriate tax, investment, accounting, legal, and accounting professionals, as appropriate, before making any investment or utilizing any financial planning strategy.