Invested assets in Health Savings Accounts jumped last year, fueled by market returns, and now account for a bigger overall chunk of the business.
The invested money reached $23.8 billion at the end of 2020, up more than 51% from the $15.7 billion seen at the end of 2019, according to a report Monday from HSA research and consulting firm Devenir. Meanwhile, non-invested assets held in HSAs steadily increased from $50.2 billion to $58.5 billion, the group found.
The invested money now represents 29% of the $82.2 billion HSA market, up from 24% a year earlier, when total assets were $65.9 billion.
“Several factors driving this trend include increasing awareness of the ability to invest HSA dollars, greater adoption of investment-first HSA plan design, and continued saving by existing investors,” Devenir’s report stated. “We believe this trend may continue as an increase in saving coupled with a decrease in spending has pushed deposit balances higher in 2020, resulting in potential for excess balances to be invested.”
Low deposit interest rates also likely encouraged HSA participants to invest more of their contributions, seeking higher return potential, the report noted.
Although HSAs are one of advisers’ favorite retirement-savings vehicles, the accounts are underused by savers. HSAs have the benefits of pre-tax contributions, tax-free growth and can be used tax-free for eligible expenses in retirement. Most often, people use HSAs like checking accounts for medical bills when they arise, although financial professionals encourage clients to pay costs out of pocket in order to allow HSA balances to compound.
Today, TIAA launched a new site specific to HSAs, including a “personality quiz” to help people gauge what type of account user they are — saver, spender or investor.
The site has basic infographics showcasing the features and benefits of HSAs. The company hopes to educate people about “HSA use as a component of a retirement savings strategy and helpful tips to optimize account contributions,” it stated in its announcement.
The site explains the differences between HSAs, Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Reimbursement Accounts and includes a calculator that can show the tax benefits of using HSAs.
As our second lead editor, Cindy Hamilton covers health, fitness and other wellness topics. She is also instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. Cindy received a BA and an MA from NYU.