By Robert Toth on Posted in Multiple Employer PlansThe DOL’s advisory Opinion on MEPs in 2012 was specifically premised on the DOL’s interpretation of the definition of “employer,” for health plan (MEWA) purposes. The DOL 's position was that it had no authority to redefine their historical definition of employer for MEWA purposes merely for retirement plan purposes, that they were bound by the statute to apply the same “employer” definition to both health plans and retirement plans. Does this mean that the new proposed definition of "employer" will, necessarily, by operation of statute, be expanded for retirement plan purposes as well? … Continue Reading
By Robert Toth on Posted in Multiple Employer PlansThis Opinion demonstrates that the scale we seek is not exclusively the purview of the MEP. Vendors have the ability to safely “bundle administrative services” to the same effect of a MEP, provided that they have enough scale on their own to negotiate the sort of investment pricing and expert services which the market seeks.
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By Robert Toth on Posted in Multiple Employer PlansMEPs are very valuable tools for the right circumstances, and there can be some PEOs which do fit within the DOL’s guidelines. Even better, non-MEP aggregation arrangements are a valuable alternative to MEPs. It is risky behavior, however, to attempt to manufacture an employment bond that doesn’t really exist-especially when there are viable alternatives.… Continue Reading
By Robert Toth on Posted in Multiple Employer Plans,UncategorizedThere is a serious, and important, debate occurring whether, and to what extent, should there be MEP reform following the DOL’s restrictive advisory opinion on the matter in 2012. There appears to be bi-partisan support for the changes proposed in Senator Hatch’s SAFE Act, which makes wholesale changes to the current MEP rules, and will… Continue Reading
By Robert Toth on Posted in Multiple Employer PlansThe dust has begun to settle around the DOL’s Advisory Opinion, 2012-4, and a number of different voices have spoken about what the opinion says, and what it doesn’t say. At this point, it may be useful to to put the letter in some context. The clarity it brings is, in fact, very helpful. What… Continue Reading
By Robert Toth on Posted in Multiple Employer PlansAs you can imagine, I have been asked by a number of folks of my thoughts related to the statements by the DOL in their brief for removal of the fiduciaries in the Hutcheson matter. Besides the observation that this sort of mischief could have (and does happen) regardless of the existence of a MEP,… Continue Reading
By Robert Toth on Posted in Multiple Employer Plans Since we first published a MEP whitepaper with TAG Resources a few months back, where TAG coined the term “Open MEP,” much has happened in this marketplace. Most recently, Drinker Biddle published its own (very good) whitepaper on this topic, very much affirming, and going into closer detail on, many of the broad points we… Continue Reading