Wagner Law Group is a nationally recognized practice in the areas of
ERISA and employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor and
human resources and investment management.
in 1996, The Wagner Law Group is dedicated to the highest standards
of integrity, excellence and thought leadership and is considered to
be amongst the nation's premier ERISA and employee benefits law
firms. The firm has six offices across the country, providing
unparalleled legal advice to its clients, including large, small and
nonprofit corporations as well as individuals and government entities
worldwide. The Wagner Law Group's 28 attorneys, senior benefits
consultant and three paralegals combine many years of experience in
their fields of practice with a variety of backgrounds. Seven of
the attorneys are AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and six are
Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, an
invitation-only organization of nationally recognized employee
benefits lawyers. Seven of the firm's attorneys have
been named to the prestigious Super Lawyers list for 2016, which
highlights outstanding lawyers based on a rigorous selection process.
Wagner Law Group
Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Fax: (561) 293-3591
7108 Fairway Drive
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
East Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33602
Francisco, CA 94104
25 W. Moody Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63119
July 13, 2017
Health and Welfare Law
Fiduciary Rule Applies to HSAs
Department of Labor ("DOL") has clarified that individuals
who provide advice on health savings accounts ("HSAs") may
be considered fiduciaries under its recently-released Fiduciary Rule
if their communications rise to the level of investment recommendations.
Background. The DOL's Fiduciary Rule, which was released
in 2016, expands the definition of who is considered a fiduciary as a
result of providing investment advice for a direct or indirect
fee. Fiduciary status means that the individual or entity must
act in their client's best interest and may be held personally liable
for breaches of fiduciary duties. In addition, fiduciaries are
prohibited from engaging in certain transactions where they may be in
a position to exercise improper influence.
Fiduciary Rule. The Fiduciary Rule generally defines
"investment advice" to include the following:
to buy, sell hold or exchange investments or how to invest
assets rolled over, transferred or distributed from a retirement
plan or IRA.
concerning the management of retirement plan or IRA assets or
rollovers, transfers, or distributions from a retirement plan or
Under the final rule, DOL
defines "IRA" to includes HSAs. DOL explained that it
determined that HSA account holders are entitled to receive the same
protection as IRA owners, and that HSAs have associated investment
accounts that can be used as long-term savings accounts for retiree
health care expenses.
Impact of Fiduciary Rule on Employers that offer HSAs. The
Fiduciary Rule does not necessarily increase the risk of liability
for employers that offer HSAs to their employees. However,
employers may be impacted by the final rule if they: (i) provide
investment advice to their employees concerning HSAs, or (ii) benefit
from such advice being given to their employees (i.e., revenue
sharing in connection with a specific HSA investment, or compensation
for directing employees towards a particular HSA vendor).
Finally, employers should review their arrangements with HSA vendors
to determine whether they qualify as fiduciaries under the Fiduciary
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