The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a notice of proposed rulemaking on pooled plan provider registration requirements. The proposal seeks to implement the registration requirements for “pooled plan providers” pursuant to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019.
The SECURE Act amended the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code to establish a new type of multiple employer plan called a “pooled employer plan” that must be administered by a person called a “pooled plan provider.” The SECURE Act allows pooled plan providers to start operating pooled employer plans beginning on Jan. 1, 2021, but requires pooled plan providers to register with the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of the Treasury before they begin operations.
EBSA’s proposed rule would establish straightforward requirements for pooled plan providers to register with the Department of Labor. The proposal, which includes both a mock-up of the required form and the instructions for the form, makes clear in the preamble that the Treasury Department and IRS intend to treat registration with the Department in accordance with the final regulation to satisfy the SECURE Act requirement to register with the Secretary of the Treasury.
“President Trump signed the SECURE Act to make saving for retirement more affordable and accessible to the ordinary American worker,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “By allowing small businesses to pool their resources into plans, the rule proposed today will make cost-effective retirement options available to even more employees across the nation.”
“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 proposal lays the groundwork for a streamlined registration process so that providers can get pooled plans up and running.”
Under the proposal, the registration process would involve an initial registration, supplemental filings regarding specific reportable events, and a final filing after the provider’s last pooled employer plan has been terminated and ceased operations.
Consistent with the current trend toward electronic filing, the proposal requires electronic filing of the new Form PR. The proposal explains that EBSA believes that the most efficient approach is to integrate the Form PR registration filing process into the current electronic filing system that employee benefit plans use utilize to file their Form 5500 Annual Return/Report.
The proposal includes a 30-day comment period and instructions for submitting comments through www.regulations.gov.
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.