President Trump has given the anticipated boost to multiple employer plans (MEPs), while also offering the prospects for some distribution relief for participants – and even some help on electronic disclosures.
An executive order signed by the President in Charlotte, NC on Friday, Aug. 31 directs the Departments of Labor and Treasury to consider changes to make it easier for businesses to join together to offer MEPs, which the order refers to as Association Retirement Plans (ARPs). President Trump also:
- directed the Department of the Treasury to review the rules on required minimum distributions from retirement plans (to see if retirees could keep more money in 401(k)s and IRAs longer); and
- directed Treasury and Labor to consider ways to improve notice requirements to reduce paperwork and administrative burdens.
“We are very glad the President has authorized the Labor Department to finally deal with the multiple employer plan issue, and we are optimistic that the language in the executive order opens the door to long-awaited and much needed relief on electronic disclosures,” noted Brian Graff, CEO of the American Retirement Association.
The President, in announcing the executive order, noted that ARPs reduce the cost of offering retirement plans for businesses that join together by expanding the number of workers who participate. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta further noted that high costs are holding back small businesses from offering workplace retirement plans, and that workers at small businesses often have less access to workplace retirement plans compared to workers at larger businesses.
The issue of burdensome and costly notice requirements has been an issue previously identified by the American Retirement Association. Research by professor Peter Swire and DeBrae Kennedy-Mayo sponsored by the ARA along with the Investment Company Institute found that participants could save more than $500 million per year, assuming about eight participant mailings per year across more than 80 million 401(k) account holders.