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The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a Request for Information (RFI) on Prohibited Transactions involving Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs) under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act and other multiple employer plans. The RFI is an opportunity for the public to provide data and information that may be used to evaluate whether the Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) should propose a new prohibited transaction class exemption.

Information is requested on the possible parties, business models, and conflicts of interest that respondents anticipate will be involved in the formation and ongoing operation of PEPs. Also requested is information on similar issues involving multiple employer plans sponsored by employer groups or associations or professional employer organizations. There is a 30-day comment period that begins upon publication of the RFI in the Federal RegisterComplete instructions for submitting comments are found in the RFI.

“We encourage all interested parties to submit comments in response to this request,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration Jeanne Klinefelter Wilson. “The responses will help the Employee Benefits Security Administration evaluate the need for a proposal on a new exemption.

The SECURE Act amended the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to allow for PEPs. PEPs are required to designate a pooled plan provider that is a named fiduciary of the PEP. As a fiduciary, the pooled plan provider is subject to standards and restrictions in ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, including the prohibited transaction provisions restricting fiduciaries of plans from engaging in conflict of interest transactions.

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.