DOL Changes Who Can Participate in a Multiple Employer Pension Plan38 million US employees do not have pension plans. President Trump hoped to reduce those numbers with an August 31, 2018 executive order which directed the Department of Labor (DOL) to "expand the circumstances under which United States employers, especially small and mid-sized businesses, may sponsor or adopt a multiple employer plan (MEP) as a workplace retirement option for their employees..."
A multiple employer plan is a plan maintained by two or more unrelated employers who are not members of a controlled group. The MEP requires some form of commonality among the firms, such as being in a similar industry.
A new Department of Labor rule, issued July 29 and effective September 30, 2019, expands the parameters for participating in a MEP to include membership in the same association. The DOL expansion also provides that a professional employer organization (PEO) may sponsor a MEP.
For example, the San Jose Chamber of Commerce may sponsor a MEP for its members.