The Washington Report
August 7, 2019
President Signs Budget Bill Into Law
On August 2, 2019, President Trump signed into law the two-year, $2.7 trillion dollar Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 (H.R. 3877). The Senate approved the measure August 1, 2019, and the House passed the legislation
The full text of H.R. 3877 is available here.
Congress Adjourned for Summer Recess
The House and Senate have adjourned for summer recess. The chambers are tentatively scheduled to return to the Hill on September 9, 2019.
EBSA Publishes Final Regulation on Small Employer Retirement Plans
On July 29, 2019, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) released a final regulation that expands access to affordable quality retirement saving options by clarifying the circumstances under which an employer group or association or a professional employer organization (PEO) may sponsor a multiple employer workplace retirement plan under title I of ERISA (as opposed to providing an arrangement that constitutes multiple separate retirement plans). According to EBSA, the regulation “makes it easier for small businesses to offer retirement savings plans to their workers through Association Retirement Plans (ARPs), which would allow small businesses to band together to offer retirement plans to their employees.”
The final regulation clarifies that employer groups or associations and PEOs can, when satisfying certain criteria, constitute “employers” within the meaning of ERISA for purposes of establishing or maintaining an individual account “employee pension benefit plan” within the meaning of ERISA. As an “employer,” a group or association, as well as a PEO, can sponsor a defined contribution retirement plan for its members (collectively referred to as “multiple employer plans” or “MEPs” unless otherwise specified). Different businesses may join a MEP, either through a group or association or through a PEO. The final regulation also permits certain working owners without employees to participate in a MEP sponsored by an employer group or association. The final regulation primarily affects groups or associations of employers, PEOs, plan participants, and plan beneficiaries. It does not affect whether groups, associations, or PEOs assume joint-employment relationships with member employers or client employers. However, it may affect banks, insurance companies, securities broker dealers, record keepers, and other commercial enterprises that provide retirement plan products and services to ERISA plans and plan sponsors. The final regulation is effective September 30, 2019.
The final rule is available here.
The news release is available here.
Now Available: Retirement Legal Consulting & Compliance Quarterly Update
The Retirement Legal Consulting & Compliance practice is pleased to present its Quarterly Update of recent legal developments for the third quarter of 2019. In this issue you will find the following articles:
- New SEC Guidance Regarding Investment Advice—Implications for Retirement Plans
- Supreme Court Agrees to Hear IBM Stock Case
- DOL Requires Electronic Filing of “Top Hat” Pension Plan Statements
- IRS Expands Self-Correction Program for Retirement Plans
- Determination Letter Program Reopened for Certain Individually Designed Plans
- Should Your Retirement Plan Require Arbitration?
- IRS to Issue Guidance on Student Loan Matching Provisions
- Quarterly Roundup of Other New Developments
- Recent Publications
The third quarter 2019 issue of the Retirement Legal Consulting & Compliance Quarterly Update is available here.
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