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COLLECTED WISDOM™ on Multiple Employer Plans (MEP)

This page gathers relevant information related to DOL's proposed regulations on Multiple Employer Plans (MEP). Other items related to MEPs may also be covered.

This archive contains not only the most current material on the topic, but also older items that are still relevant, provide background, perspective or are germane to the topic.

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Will the DOL's MEP Proposal Make Meps Available to You?

Abstract: The key legal issue here is that plans, including MEPs, must be adopted by an employer of employees covered under the plan. Up to now, the Department of Labor defined "employer" narrowly to preclude unrelated employers from adopting single plan MEPs. Unfortunately, these eagerly awaited regulations did not authorize the kind of MEP many wanted.

Source: 401ktv.com, November 2018

DOL Proposes New Multiple Employer Plan Rules: Everything You Need to Know

Abstract: The MEP proposal would allow certain small businesses to band together to offer more robust 401k plans to their employees and achieve significant savings. While the new regulation is certainly a step in the direction, it doesn't go as far as many had hoped. Thus, the future of open MEPs lies in the hands of a Congress that seems to be at a clear impasse going into the midterms.

Source: Lockton.com, November 2018

Regulation Moves to Expand Multi-Employer Plans

Abstract: President Trump issued an executive order in August directing the DOL to examine policies that expand the circumstances where employers, especially small- and mid-sized businesses, may sponsor or adopt a multi-employer plan as a workplace retirement savings option, subject to appropriate safeguards. In response, the DOL issued a proposed regulation on October 23 that clarifies who can sponsor or adopt an MEP. The regulation is meant to expand the use of open multiple employer plans, allowing different businesses to join an MEP.

Source: Callan.com, November 2018

Open MEP Opportunities: A Look at the Compliance Challenges, as Well

Abstract: The success of these plans will largely depend on the nature of the guidance issued by the DOL at the president's direction or that of any legislation enacted by Congress. Advisers likely will have the opportunity to sponsor open MEPs and make them available to their small business clients; they also likely will be subject to ERISA, to at least some extent.

Source: Groom.com, November 2018

Proposed Multiple Employer DC Plan Rules Could Affect Co-Employers of Leased Employees

Abstract: Employers of all sizes that provide retirement plan coverage for all or a portion of their workforce through an association or leasing organization may benefit from new options presented by proposed DOL regulations. The proposal would simplify Form 5500 filing requirements and clarify fiduciary responsibilities.

Source: Buckglobal.com, November 2018

The Labor Department's Proposal for Multiple-Employer Plans Is Limited

Abstract: The proposal isn't comprehensive enough to create sweeping changes. But, it may induce a few more entities to offer MEPs, possibly increasing retirement coverage and perhaps improving the quality of the retirement plans for some small businesses. The most significant impact of this proposal might be that it gives professional employer organizations a leg up in offering MEPs and might encourage more employers to join such organizations.

Source: Morningstar.com, November 2018

Closer Examination of DOL MEP Proposal

Abstract: Those industry stakeholders disappointed by the limited scope of the proposed regulations can take heart in the fact that DOL staff calls for detailed commentary on ways the proposal could be expanded, including into the area of "open MEPs" and "corporate MEPs."

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2018

The New Proposed MEP Regulations - Meh!

Abstract: The Department of Labor issued proposed regulations on October 22, 2018, that represent the first major step in changing its restrictions on multiple employer plans. However, it is just the first step, and does not change the landscape for Open MEPs. The first part of the article gives a general description of what the proposal does and the second part takes a "deeper dive."

Source: Ferenczylaw.com, October 2018

DOL Proposes Eased Restrictions on Open Multiple-Employer Plans for Small Businesses

Abstract: Under the proposed DOL rule, MEPs could be created by associations of employers in various cities, counties, states, or regions or nationwide across an industry. The proposal states that such groups will now qualify as "employers" under the terms of ERISA for the purpose of setting up an individual employee pension plan.

Source: Blr.com, October 2018

DOL Issues Proposed Regulations on Association Retirement Plans

Abstract: The Department of Labor has issued proposed regulations clarifying the definition of "employer" under Section 3(5) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) for purposes of multiple employer plans (MEPs), also referred to as association retirement plans in the proposal.

Source: Westlaw.com, October 2018

DOL Issues Regulations Regarding Multiple Employer Pension Plans

Abstract: While there are generally four types of MEPs, the proposal modifies the rules for so-called "closed" MEPs and clarifies rules with respect to MEPs sponsored by a professional employer organization. The proposed regulations provide that a bona fide group or association of employers and bona fide PEOs are deemed to be acting in the interests of an employer, and thus, can establish a pension plan so long as they satisfy the DOL's regulatory requirements.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, October 2018

Much Ado About Nothing: DOL Issues New MEP Guidance

Abstract: The proposed rules that the DOL just published offered pretty much nothing. While it offered more guidance on how associations and professional employer organizations could sponsor MEPs, it did nothing with its restriction on requiring commonality among adopting employers. So the door for Open MEPs remains closed.

Source: Jdsupra.com, October 2018

DOL Proposes Regulations to Expand Access to MEPs

Abstract: The DOL has issued proposed regulations that would interpret ERISA's definition of "employer" to allow certain groups or associations of employers, and certain professional employer organizations, to establish multiple employer defined contribution retirement plans. The proposed regulations would permit MEPs to be established and maintained by "a bona fide group or association of employers" or "a bona fide professional employer organization." The proposed regulations also address MEP participation by certain working owners who have no employees.

Source: Thomsonreuters.com, October 2018

DOL Releases Proposed Rule on MEPs

Abstract: Following a directive from President Donald Trump, the Labor Department announced a proposed rule making designed to make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement savings plans to their workers through association retirement plans, often referred to as multiple-employer plans, or MEPs.

Source: Thinkadvisor.com, October 2018

DOL Proposes to Relax Multiple Employer Plan Rules

Abstract: Historically, the DOL tried to limit the circumstances under which groups of employers could safely access the advantages of participating in a MEP. The proposed regulations clarify that employers may band together into employer groups or professional employer organizations to sponsor a retirement plan if they meet certain requirements.

Source: Sgrlaw.com, October 2018

DOL Proposes Multiple Employer Plan Expansion

Abstract: The proposed regulation provides clarity regarding the types of "bona fide" groups or associations of employers and professional employer organizations that are permitted to sponsor MEPs. The proposed regulation is similar in many material respects to the DOL's recently finalized Association Health Plan regulation. This article reviews the proposed regulations and provides detail analysis.

Source: Groom.com, October 2018

DOL Seeks to Expand Access to Open MEPs, or "Association Retirement Plans"

Abstract: The DOL has published a set of proposed regulations under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations to expand access to retirement saving options by clarifying the circumstances under which an employer group, association, or professional employer organization may sponsor a workplace retirement plan. These plans allow small businesses to join together to offer defined contribution retirement savings benefits.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2018

DOL Proposes Expanded Access to MEPs

Abstract: The Department of Labor has released proposed rules that would expand access to multiple employer retirement plans for small employers and self-employed workers, while also maintaining fiduciary oversight.

Source: Napa-net.org, October 2018

DOL Releases Proposed Rules on MEPs

Abstract: The proposed rule would make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement savings plans to their workers through Association Retirement Plans, which would allow small businesses to band together to offer 401k plans to their employees.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2018

OMB Finishes Review of DOL Proposal to Establish Open MEPs

Abstract: The text of the regulation is still forthcoming, but the Office of Management and Budget has completed its review; so far, we know the regulation is viewed as "major" and "economically significant."

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2018

Multiple Employer Plans Could Change Retirement

Abstract: Multiple Employer Plans are making a comeback as regulators and legislators are focusing on methods for having more Americans gain access to retirement savings plans. While multiple employer plans can help to make life easier for smaller employers who want to offer a 401k plan by allowing them to offload responsibilities, they have disadvantages as well as advantages.

Source: 401ktv.com, October 2018

What's Next for 401k MEPs?

Abstract: The president's executive order put multiple employer plans front-and-center. Pentegra's Pete Swisher fills us in on what happens now.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, October 2018

Open MEPs Could Create Many Opportunities for Advisers

Abstract: Should Congress or federal regulators eliminate the common nexus and bad apple rules that have held back open multiple employer plans, experts anticipate many more small businesses will jump in.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2018

DOL on Verge of Issuing MEP Guidance

Abstract: The DOL is set to formally propose a rule seeking to expand access to workplace retirement plans, less than a month after President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order calling on the agency to do so. The DOL just dropped off a proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Jdsupra.com, October 2018

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