The next item up for bids in our series on the Department of Labor’s new regulations on multiple employer plans is on professional employer organizations, more commonly referred to by their acronym: PEOs. These organizations have an interesting history when it comes to retirement plans.
Topic Archive: Legislation
Just about anyone who has dealt with a 401(k) plan – either as a plan sponsor or a service provider – for any amount of time has had to deal with the issue of participants not timely cashing plan distribution checks. There are all sorts of potential concerns that range from tax implications to fiduciary responsibilities, but neither the IRS nor the DOL have been especially forthcoming with guidance.
Unless you’ve been on vacation somewhere off the grid, you’ve likely heard the news and read the headlines that the Department of Labor recently published new regulations that expand the availability of multiple employer plans. While that is true, what those new rules actually do is to change ERISA’s definition of the term “Employer” so that more types of organizations fit within it, thus allowing them to sponsor MEPs.
When the Department of Labor’s new multiple employer plan regulations take effect later this year, we will have three types of MEPs:
Yesterday morning while we were all sipping our first cup of Monday morning coffee, the Department of Labor published its much-anticipated final regulations expanding the availability of multiple employer plans to associations, PEOs, and self-employed individuals.
One of the drawbacks that is often cited about multiple employer plans is the so-called “one bad apple rule.” It provides that if a single participating employer in a MEP allows its part of the plan to operate in a non-compliant manner, it puts the entire plan and all of the other participating employers at risk. Although there have been numerous proposals in Congress to eliminate the one bad apple rule, none have made it across the finish line.
-A breakdown of breaking news from DWC's Managing Partner, Keith Clark
If you are reading the mainstream press, the SECURE Act being signed into law is just around the corner. While the overwhelming bi-partisan approval in the House of Representatives is an important (and increasingly rare) development, there are still a number of steps that must occur before it becomes law:
At the end of August, I made my first trip to Burning Man, an annual event held in the Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada. With 10 guiding principles, it involves art, music and free-spiritedness. This experiment in temporary community sees 65,000+ attendees converge on a dried-up lake bed, build a temporary city and leave behind no trace that it ever existed only a couple of short weeks later. Katie Couric, Chris Taylor and Grover Norquist describe it better than I could.
When I was kid, I used to love Schoolhouse Rock during the commercial breaks of Saturday morning cartoons. Even now, I have them all on DVD as well as a CD of covers by various rock musicians, and I still sing along with all of them word-for-word!
Qualified plans are complicated beasts regardless of size or design. This truth is sometimes forgotten at this time of year when sponsors and service-providers are busy dealing with nondiscrimination testing and contribution calculations. I've many situations in which a plan sponsor decided to skip testing for a year, because their plan was so easy there was no way it could fail. Similarly, I've seen service-providers decide to skip the critical peer review step in their process, because nothing could possibly have been missed on such an easy plan.