Top trending benefits stories of 2018

New technologies and outlooks are changing how decision-makers are strategizing benefit programs. From keeping compliant on HSA contribution limits, to learning how top employers like Facebook are fighting to attract and retain talent, 2018 had a number of breaking headlines. Take a look back and make sure your own policies are up to date, based on EBN’s news analysis from throughout the year.

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Ted Benna, photographed May 29, 2018 at his farm near Jersey Shore, Penn. (M. Scott Mahaskey/Politico)
10. 401(k) co-creator: Next financial crisis may be worse
Ted Benna, known for his work with early planning on the retirement vehicle, sounds the alarm about economic landmines that remain — four decades since the advent of the 401(k).

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9. This is the most popular employee benefit
Forget onsite gyms, health coaching and pet-friendly offices. The most coveted employee benefits have to do with time away from the workplace.

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open enrollment
Maryland Health Connection health insurance marketplace pamphlets sit at a Community Clinic Inc. health center in Takoma Park, Maryland, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. Government-run health insurance exchanges, the cornerstone of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, opened their doors today for sales of subsidized bronze, silver, gold or platinum policies, with correspondingly higher costs. Coverage begins in January and enrollment lasts through March 2014. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
8. Benefits in the bathroom stall: Outside-the-box tips for getting employees engaged during enrollment
Benefits in the bathroom stall: Outside-the-box tips for getting employees engaged during enrollment

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7. Amazon looking to fill 250 work-from-home jobs
The retail giant is among a growing number of companies offering remote jobs as more employees clamor for the perk.

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Traffic and pedestrians move outside a Fidelity Investments office in Boston, Massachusetts Monday, July 30, 2007. Photographer: JB Reed/ Bloomberg News
6. Fidelity, Vanguard fee arrangement causes stir in the 401(k) industry
Plan sponsors worry record keepers will follow suit, limiting the investment options employers are able to offer employees through their workplace 401(k) plans.

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5. ‘Ghosting’ hits the workplace as latest headache for HR managers
“Downright rude and unprofessional.” The popular dating trend has entered the workforce as hiring managers grapple with fresh prospects who seemingly vanish.

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Renee Albert
4. Facebook raised the bar on employee benefits. Now it’s hoping to start a workplace revolution
EBN’s 2018 Benefits Professional of the Year, Renee Albert, has led the social media giant in ramping up paid parental, bereavement and caregiving leave — along with a slew of other enviable benefits. But her most game-changing initiative is calling on other employers to do the same.

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Close up photo of a stethoscope on top of a stack of United States cash.
3. IRS announces 2019 HSA limits
The annual limit on deductible contributions to a health savings account will jump by $50 for individuals and $100 for families.

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2. IRS clears way for student loan benefit tied to 401(k)
A private letter ruling allowed an unnamed employer’s plan to tie retirement contributions to student loan repayment contributions.

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1. House passes bills expanding health savings accounts
The measures would increase plan design flexibility for high-deductible plans and could have a large impact on employee enrollment if they become law.

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