OMB Completes Review of Proposed MEP Rules

The Office of Management and Budget has completed its review of the Labor Department’s proposal for expanding access to multiple employer retirement plans.

It was less than a month ago that the Labor Department delivered its proposed rule to OMB, which in turn was less than a month after President Trump signed an executive order directing the Departments of Labor and Treasury to consider changes to make it easier for businesses to join together to offer MEPs, which the order referred to as Association Retirement Plans (ARPs).

Timing for the next step – publication of the proposed rule – could be days or even weeks away. The OMB review is the last stage before proposed rules are published and opened for public comment. After the comment period, the final rule would also get OMB review before becoming official. The comment period for Association Health Plans lasted 60 days.

In announcing the executive order, President Trump noted that ARPs reduce the cost of offering retirement plans for businesses that join together by expanding the number of workers who participate. Labor Secretary 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.

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