WASHINGTON, DC The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a final rule establishing registration requirements for pooled plan providers. The rule implements the registration requirements for pooled plan providers pursuant to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act).

The SECURE Act amended the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code to establish a new type of multiple employer plan (MEP) called a “pooled employer plan.”  Pooled employer plans must be administered by a “pooled plan provider.”

“Pooled employer plans will give employers, especially small unrelated employers, a way of offering their employees a workplace retirement savings option with reduced burdens and costs,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration Jeanne Klinefelter Wilson. “This final rule lays the groundwork for a sensible registration process so that providers can get pooled plans up and running.”

The SECURE Act allows pooled plan providers to start operating pooled employer plans beginning on Jan. 1, 2021, but requires that pooled plan providers register with the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of the Treasury before they begin operations as a pooled plan provider.

The final rule establishes a straightforward electronic registration process for businesses that want to offer pooled employer plans. With the exception of Nov. 25, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021, the process requires pooled plan providers to register at least 30 days before beginning operations. Plans must also submit supplemental filings regarding specific reportable events and a final filing after the provider’s last pooled employer plan has been terminated and ceased operations. For the period of Nov. 25, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021, the requirement to register at least 30 days prior to operating a pooled employer plan is waived, provided registration occurs no later than the start of the plan.

The Treasury Department treats registration with the Department of Labor in accordance with the final regulation to satisfy the SECURE Act requirement to register with the Secretary of the Treasury.

Pooled plan providers must register by electronically submitting the new EBSA Form PR. The new electroninc filing system will be available on Nov. 25, 2020 at https://www.efast.dol.gov/. While filers may begin using the system on Nov. 25, an informational version of the new Form PR and instructions will be made available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa in the coming days.

EBSA’s mission is to assure the security of the retirement, health and other workplace related benefits of America’s workers and their families. EBSA accomplishes this mission by developing effective regulations; assisting and educating workers, plan sponsors, fiduciaries and service providers; and vigorously enforcing the law.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

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