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Are PEPs ‘Popping’—or Not?


Pooled Employer Plans—or “PEPs” as they’re more commonly referred to, were greeted with much excitement when they became a reality in the SECURE Act—but are they living up to that hype? And if not, why not?

Created by the SECURE Act in 2019 and first approved for use in 2021, a PEP is a type of 401(k) plan that allows unrelated businesses to participate in one plan managed by a pooled plan provider (PPP). In fact, a recent survey found that more than half of smaller employers surveyed by the Secure Retirement Institute (SRI) that are considering a DC plan are interested in learning more about PEPs—regardless of whether they have a retirement plan currently in place. SRI found that employers with 10–99 employees are significantly more interested in learning more about PEPs, especially the largest (small) employers (those with 50–99 employees).

And yet—despite the launch of a number of new PEPs, employer interest to date doesn’t quite seem to have lived up to expectations. Besides that, the 2022 NAPA 401(k) Summit Insider rated PEPs as fourth-most overhyped trend (granted, there was a big gap between that and No. 1). 

This week we’d like to know what you are seeing—or not—and why you think that’s (not) the case. 

You can REPLY to this week’s NAPA-Net Reader Radar poll at

And guess when we’ll have the results ready for you?