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Bill to Expand MEPs to 403(b)s Introduced in Senate

403(b) Plans

A bipartisan trio of U.S. Senators has introduced legislation that would expand Multiple Employer Plan access to 403(b) plans, along with other MEP enhancements.

The Improving Access to Retirement Savings Act—introduced last week by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) along with Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and James Lankford (R-OK)—would not only expand MEP access to 403(b) plans, but would also clarify that small employers that join a MEP may take the small employer pension plan start-up credit for their first three years in a MEP, regardless of how long the MEP has been in existence. According to the bill’s sponsors, this legislation allows for a grace period to correct reasonable errors in administering automatic enrollment and escalation features when groups are enrolling in a MEP, provided they are corrected within 9½ months of the end of the year in which the mistakes were made.

“This legislation will help more Americans save for their retirement while also giving our small businesses and nonprofits another avenue to invest in their employees’ future financial security. Government should be doing everything it can to help Americans save more of their own hard-earned money so they can retire with peace of mind and independence,” Grassley said.

“Every Granite Stater and American deserves to retire with dignity. This bipartisan effort builds on a law we passed last year to make it easier to save for retirement,” Hassan said. “This commonsense bill will help expand retirement plan options for small businesses, nonprofits, and employees—and I will keep working across the aisle to strengthen retirement security.” 

This legislation has support from the American Retirement Association, as well as the American Benefits Council, Insured Retirement Institute, American Council of Life Insurers and the ERISA Industry Committee.

The full text of the bill can be found here