By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
The Department of Labor has issued proposed regulations on pooled plan provider registration requirements. The proposed regulations implement the registration requirements for “pooled plan providers” pursuant to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019. The proposed regulations affect persons wishing to serve as pooled plan providers, employee defined contribution pension benefit plans that are operated as pooled employer plans, employers participating in such plans, and participants and beneficiaries covered by such plans. A 30-day comment period and instructions for submitting comments are included.
The SECURE Act amended ERISA and the 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 January 1, 2021 but requires pooled plan providers to register with the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of the Treasury before they begin operations.
The proposed regulations would establish requirements for pooled plan providers to register with the Department of Labor, including a mock-up of the new required form (EBSA Form PR (Pooled Plan Provider Registration)) and the instructions for the form. Filing the proposed Form PR with the Department of Labor would also satisfy the SECURE Act requirement to register with the Treasury Department.
Under the proposed regulations, 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. Electronic filing of the new Form PR will be required. 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 to file their Form 5500 Annual Return/Report.
Fact sheet. The DOL has also posted a fact sheet about the proposed regulations, which includes, among other things, information about the SECURE Act provisions relating to pooled employer plans and their advantages, the proposed regulations, and contact information. The fact sheet is at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/fact-sheets/pooled-plan-provider-registration.
“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.”
Source: DOL News Release No. 20-1473-NAT, August 20, 2020.
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