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The Right Employer-Sponsored HSA Program is a Powerful Recruitment and Retention Tool

Feb 24, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Now more than ever, the benefits you offer—or don’t offer—your employees play an increasingly critical role in the bigger picture of your total compensation package. And the direct influence your employee benefits have on your ability to recruit and retain top talent is greater than ever.

When evaluating your current employee benefit offerings, you can’t overlook the importance of your employer-sponsored health savings account (HSA) program. You may be selling yourself and your current and prospective employees short.

If you’re not currently offering an employer HSA program, you’re missing out on substantial FICA tax savings for your business and exposing yourself to mounting employee recruitment and retention issues. And even if you are sponsoring an employer HSA program for your employees, not offering the right HSA program can still end up costing you across the board—not to mention leave you with headaches and lost time from administrative burdens and employee confusion.

Offering your current and prospective employees the best employer HSA program is a win-win for your business and your workforce, and a powerful recruitment and retention tool you can leverage to edge out your competition.

Simply Offering an HDHP is Not Enough

In order to provide your employees an employer-sponsored HSA program, you must first offer an HSA-eligible high-deductible health plan (HDHP). But that’s only the first step and the first piece of the puzzle.

If you need a refresher on HDHP deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums that qualify for HSA eligibility, we’ve got you covered.

The second step is choosing the right HSA partner and setting up an employer HSA program structured upfront to maximize win-win benefits and be a success for your business and your employees. You’ll want to make sure the HSA provider you choose follows three key principles to drive your HSA program’s results.

If you simply stop after step one and offer an HSA-eligible HDHP but no employer HSA program, you’re leaving the puzzle incomplete and your employees to fend for themselves in often unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory.

Let’s face it—most people aren’t HSA experts. And asking your current and prospective employees to take on the task of finding their own HSA provider can be a sticking point—and even a breaking point—when it comes to recruitment and retention. Research shows that employers who offer an HSA-eligible HDHP with no employer-sponsored HSA program see markedly low employee buy-in and even lower HSA enrollment numbers compared to employers who complete the puzzle by offering an employer HSA program.

Bottom line—going halfway simply isn’t good enough. Your business and your employees miss out on critical tax savings and other benefits, and your recruitment and retention efforts stand to suffer sizeable setbacks.

The Many Ways an Employer HSA Program Benefits Employees—and Employers

When you partner with the right HSA provider, your employer HSA program will be mutually beneficial. By allowing your employees the ability to make pretax contributions through payroll deductions via your employer-sponsored HSA program, you provide them with a valuable benefit to save money and better control their healthcare costs both short and long-term, while also providing your business with a critical recruitment and retention tool, not to mention the substantial FICA tax savings that comes along with your employees’ pretax contributions.

The importance and mutual benefit of administering your own HSA program and making it as easy as possible to empower your employees to set up pretax payroll deduction contributions to their HSAs can’t be understated. Providing your employees with the most streamlined way to make pretax HSA contributions not only saves them money in taxes by lowering their overall taxable income, but also reduces the amount of income that applies to FICA taxes on the

Check out this quick example to illustrate how much you could stand to save.

  • If you have 50 employees who each contribute $3,000 a year pretax to their HSA through your employer HSA program via payroll deduction, you can save $11,475 in FICA taxes. More often than not, your FICA savings alone more than covers any cost associated with offering an employer-sponsored HSA program—you still end up saving more than you may have to spend to implement and administer your employer HSA program.

Back to the employee side, individuals and families of all kinds stand to benefit from your employer HSA program, because an HDHP/HSA combination works for everyone.

Here are four quick highlights to consider when tying your employer HSA program to your recruitment and retention efforts:

  1. Your employees save money upfront on insurance premiums, since HSA-eligible HDHPs generally offer considerable premium savings stacked up against traditional insurance plans
  2. Your employees save money on taxes in multiple ways, thanks to an HSA’s unique “triple tax advantage”
  3. Your employees get the flexibility and portability they need now more than ever, since they own their HSA and can keep and use it no matter what—plus there’s no use-it-or-lose-it scenario with HSA funds, as they can be rolled over year to year without penalty and also be used for a wide variety of healthcare expenses
  4. Your employees are able to invest their HSA funds tax-free to boost their long-term financial wellness, since with an industry-leading HSA provider like Bend, they can take advantage of the ability to invest their HSA dollars in best-in-class mutual funds and set themselves up for a bright financial future

Not an Option, an Expectation

In today’s modern world, the trend toward consumer-driven healthcare has been greatly impacted by employees facing a sizeable shift in cost-sharing—an issue that’s only been amplified as we all continue to navigate our way through the COVID-19 landscape. To put it simply, employers and employees alike are all trying to find ways to make their money work smarter for them and to make better overall financial decisions.

As the awareness of and demand for high-deductible health plans and health savings accounts skyrocket in response to continued rising healthcare costs, an ever-increasing percentage of the workforce has come to expect an HDHP option from their employer accompanied by an employer HSA program. Many also expect to see some form of employer contribution to their HSA.

As an employer, you can’t overlook the numbers:

  • HSA-eligible health plan enrollment is projected to continue to grow by more than 25% in the next year
  • HSA accounts in the U.S. are on pace to exceed 30 million by 2022

To stay competitive, you need to integrate your employer HSA program into what’s consider your “standard” benefits—no different than 401(k) or other traditional financial wellness offerings.

The Right HSA Program Boosts Recruitment and Retention

Your employer HSA program is only as good as the HSA provider you partner with to offer it. And not all HSA providers are created equal. Even with the best intentions, a mediocre employer HSA program will likely yield mediocre recruitment and retention results.

So, be sure to do your homework and choose an HSA provider that specializes in HSAs—not one that’s added HSAs into their mix as an afterthought.

The Bend Difference is real. The Bend HSA platform is easy to use, with seamless enrollment and administration for employers and employees. Not to mention comprehensive resources, like an employer communication kit, complete with videos, emails, handouts, quarterly webinars and monthly newsletters for your employees. And Bend is the only HSA provider that leverages leading-edge technologies to provide your employees proactive, real-time guidance and education guaranteed to eliminate confusion and make them more engaged in their HSA. Because the more they understand how their HSA benefits them, the more they contribute. And the more they contribute to their HSA, the more money you save in FICA taxes. And the better you can leverage your employer HSA program for recruiting and retention.

When purposefully designed and optimized through a partnership with the right HSA provider, your employer HSA program truly becomes a powerful tool for recruitment and retention. You’ll be able to promote your leading-edge benefits to attract the top talent you need and keep them as employees for the long term.

And ultimately, your employer HSA program can serve as a vehicle to create more motivated, productive, happier employees, since they’ll be less stressed over financial and healthcare concerns. And with more than 50% of employers expressing agreement that employee productivity and moral suffers when they’re worried about personal financial issues, you can’t overlook the important role your employer HSA program plays into the bigger picture and your bottom line.

Improve Your Recruitment and Retention Efforts by Partnering with Bend

When you choose the best HSA for you and your employees by partnering with Bend, you get a streamlined solution to a real market need through simplification, guidance and consistency. You’ll enjoy hassle-free HSA program administration with feature-rich dashboards, time and money-saving automations and a superior experience proven to deliver optimal FICA tax savings and recruitment and retention benefits. And your employees will easily and painlessly make the most of their HSA, regardless of their level of HSA knowledge—even if they have none at all.

Because at Bend, we make HSAs easy for everyone.

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