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February 2008 return to the table of contents

HSA Retirement Plans Hit Less By Market Meltdown, Survey Shows

Individuals who have put money into their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have not suffered as much as other retirement plans, according to a survey of 1,000+ users.

According to Information Strategies, Inc., parent of, the recent economic downturn has not hit their HSA accounts as much as other retirement savings plans.

Perhaps because most HSA accounts are in bank deposits, they are less affected than plans invested more heavily in stocks and other market-based vehicles.

The survey of 1024 interviews done during November and December showed that for 341 HSA Account Holders with accounts opened more than 3 years YTD gains averaged -13%.

Overall, a significant majority, 61% said these losses were less than other self-directed retirement programs. Of this group, a majority said they had such other offerings as IRAs or 401(k).

Respondents in this group said their prior year gains (losses) averaged +6.5%.

For 569 HSA Account Holders with accounts opened 2 years or less YTD gains were +1.3%. Prior Year gains averaged +2.4%

A bit more than one in 10, 13% in this group had other self-directed programs that included stock purchase/sales

123 HSA Account Holders less than one year did not report gains or losses.

Of all respondents, 11% said they had no other retirement account

The remainder did not answer while 27% reported their HSA Account was down about equally with other investments.

11% of 569 HSA Account Holders opened 2 years or less said they had other retirement accounts.

21% said they had no other retirement accounts while the remainder did not answer question.

Of those in this group who said they had other retirement account less than half (42%) said these accounts were down at a rate greater than their HSAs. Only 12% said their HSA account was down greater than their other retirement account.

Note: The question was asked: Overall, what was the increase or decrease in your HSA account taking into consideration any dispersal of funds for medical bills? In other words, how much interest and other additions to your account was collected by you during the year?

Note also that a majority (87%) of respondents said they used other, after tax funds to pay eligible medical charges and kept their HSA funds totally invested. This sample was drawn from other respondents of ISI surveys which now total more than 45K since the inception of HSAs.

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