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President Intervenes on Multiple-employer Plans

By Stephen Barlas
November 1, 2018
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Congress has been stuck on legislation making it easier for small companies to fund pension plans, and now President Trump has made that congressional roadblock irrelevant.

 

We reported some months back about the Retirement Security for American Workers Act (H.R. 854), which would allow more small companies to join together to form “open” multiple-employer plans (MEPS) where unrelated employers with a “common nexus” may collectively satisfy retirement plan administration requirements. MEPs reduce pension costs for companies. There is bipartisan support for H.R. 854, but it hasn’t passed Congress.

 

President Trump essentially made passage unnecessary on August 31, 2018, when he signed an executive order directing the Secretary of Labor to “clarify and expand the circumstances under which United States employers, especially small and mid-sized businesses, may sponsor or adopt a MEP as a workplace retirement option for their employees, subject to appropriate safeguards.”

 

Stephen Barlas has covered Washington, D.C., for trade and professional magazines since 1981 and since 1984 for Strategic Finance and its predecessor Management Accounting. You can reach him at sbarlas@verizon.net.
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