Tag Archives: Multiple Employer Plan

Platinum 401k Adds Hartford Lifetime Income Option to MEP

The Platinum 401k multiple employer plan program will now include a retirement income option from The Hartford.

MEP

The Platinum 401k multiple employer plan (MEP) allows plan sponsors to eliminate their annual plan audit, Form 5500 filings, trustee-level liability, and investment fund selection responsibility. It features investment products from Great-West Retirement Services, John Hancock, and The Hartford.

“We’ve seen a growing interest from employers who are seeking income protection for their employees in retirement”, said Terrance Power, President of American Pension Services. “The Hartford’s new Lifetime Income program addresses that demand in the marketplace.”

For details on the program, visit www.ThePlatinum401k.com.

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Retirement Plan Outsourcing Allows You to Focus on Your Business

Increasing operational and compliance concerns are causing employers to consider alternatives to traditional “single employer retirement plan” programs. In the past, employers needed to assume full responsibility for investment fund selection and monitoring, changing regulatory requirements, approval of QDRO’s, employee hardship requests, beneficiary payments, Form 5500 filings, plan documents, annual notice requirements, and much more. Quarterly investment and plan committee meetings tie up senior employee schedule time as employers struggle with what seems like an ever-increasing workload of regulatory and compliance hurdles. Additionally, in most cases employers shoulder personal financial responsibility for any mistakes that might be inadvertently made in operating their plan. This is unacceptable when there are other options available to the employer.

The Platinum 401k Can Handle All Of These Challenges And More!

Our unique multi-provider program is the leader in the retirement plan industry. With over 25 years of experience in working with multiple employer plan clients and with the flexibility to tailor investment providers – and pricing – to each client, our professionals enjoy a unique reputation for retirement plan excellence across the country.

Multiple Employer Plan

What Does All Of This Mean To You And Your Company’s Retirement Plan?

Investment Provider Flexibility

The Platinum 401k allows you the ability to choose from a selection of leading investment providers.

Plan Design Flexibility

Our program can seamlessly accommodate any existing prototype document plan design.

Pricing Flexibility

By custom pricing each adopter individually, clients can receive pricing concessions as assets grow.

Reduce Your Fiduciary Liability and Focus On Running Your Company

You can eliminate your role as a Plan Trustee, and also reduce or eliminate many of the traditional duties associated with running a retirement plan. Save time, save money, and enjoy peace of mind.

Lower your costs, lower your liability, and have less headaches. Run your 401k plan just like you run all of your other employee benefit programs – hire a provider who then assumes the responsibility for virtually all of the day-to-day fiduciary oversight! Read More

Multiple Employer Plan

It’s Time for the DOL to Rescind their Advisory Opinion 2012-04A

On May 29, 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor issued Advisory Opinion 2012-04A.

This document explained the Department of Labor’s position, at that time, on the use of multiple employer plans as they relate to companies who did not have any specific commonality or nexus that would otherwise tie them together.

It did not change the Internal Revenue Code Section 413(c) one bit, nor did it appear to change the position of the Internal Revenue Service on these types of programs. It did require multiple employer plan adopters to file individual Form 5500’s, incur the cost for an individual annual plan audit as required under current regulations, and to possess an ERISA bond for their portion of the plan.

Perhaps a walk down memory lane might offer some perspective as to why the Advisory Opinion was issued in the manner in which it was.

Multiple Employer Plan

In April 2012, noted “fiduciary expert” and multiple employer plan proponent Matthew Hutcheson was indicted on charges of stealing millions of dollars from a multiple employer plan that he oversaw (Hutcheson was eventually found guilty and sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for his crimes in 2013). The DOL issued a press release on June 14, 2012 (two weeks after the Advisory Opinion 2012-04A was released) announcing that they had obtained an injunction against Hutcheson relating to ERISA violations surrounding that case. They were right to do so.

Why is this timeline important? Clearly, during the time that the DOL was considering attorney Robert Toth’s request for a favorable opinion from them, the entire Hutcheson mess came to light…..and had the kneejerk effect of creating an “all multiple employer plans are bad” reaction from the DOL.

While on the surface, this could appear to be a rational reaction to the theft of millions and millions of dollars from plan participants.

A deeper dive into the Department of Labor’s own records of enforcement from their website, however, show much greater problems with operational compliance and theft occurring from single employer defined contribution and defined benefit plans when compared to multiple employer plan by an enormous margin.

It’s not even close. It’s not the plan structure that led to the theft, it was the criminal who was running the plan. Read More...

The Platinum 401k Open Multiple Employer Plan

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The Platinum 401kAmerica’s Multiple Employer Plan and 401k Outsourcing experts! With over 35 years of industry experience, we help employers focus on running their businesses instead of their 401k plan!

Learn more about us at http://www.theplatinum401k.com/.

We assist retirement plan trustees in reducing their fiduciary responsibilities and liability by outsourcing many of the duties to experienced independent ERISA fiduciaries. We also work with retirement plan advisers all across the country to provide them with an outstanding multi-provider fiduciary solution for their clients.

If you are responsible for overseeing a corporate retirement plan and would like to lessen your liability, responsibilities, workload, and expenses, we probably need to talk.

Contact Terrance Power, at 813.774.3366 or tpower@theplatinum401k.com for more information about our multiple employer plan solutions!

Senate Bill 3471 Would Greatly Expand Multiple Employer Plans in 2020

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U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch has introduced the Retirement Enhancement Savings Act (RESA) of 2016 in the U.S. Senate. It is widely anticipated that this bipartisan legislation will be included in the Continuing Resolution Bill that is expected to be signed into law on December 9, 2016.

RESA will greatly expand multiple employer plans for unrelated employers beginning with the 2020 plan year. I was interviewed by Investment News last week on the developments: Read More

The Pep Talk – What’s Coming for MEP’s

I was recently interviewed by Ary Rosenbaum for his web blog site, that401ksite.com, concerning recent developments that impact multiple employer plans.5khikk4ydtogbmotlxtltzl72ejkfbmt4t8yenimkbvvk0ktmf0xjctabnaljim9

Proposed bipartisan legislation will allow “open multiple employer plans” to be replaced by “pooled employer plans” – “PEPs” beginning in 2020 if the U.S. Senate Finance Committee has its way. Pooled Plan Providers – “PPP” or “P3” will be able to oversee these plans according to yet to be released regulations.

We’ll be making a new website that discusses the conversion process live shortly after the legislation is enacted, which is anticipated to be as early as December 2016 or early in the next Congress. Look for an announcement about http://www.MEP2PEP.com down the road. Read More

Multiple Employer Plans Have Bright Future

As the election nears, 401(k) experts are keeping an eye on legislation that could make multiple employer plans (MEPs) an extremely favorable option.

MEPs have been around in some form since the 1960s, says Terry Power, president and CEO of The Platinum 401(k) Inc. A retirement plan established by one plan sponsor, a MEP can also be adopted by one or more participating employers. This vehicle transfers the fiduciary responsibilities and liabilities from employers to a Mindex-2EP plan sponsor.

A closed MEP, explains Power, is where a nexus, or commonality, exists between the adopting companies (e.g., an association-sponsored plan exclusively for members).  An open MEP has no nexus between adopters, although they might share a common payroll provider or geography.

 Power became an “expert by proximity” — his practice was located in the Tampa Bay area, which in the mid-1980s was a veritable hotbed of employee leasing firms. By the early 2000s, these firms needed a professional employer organization (PEO) in order to use MEPs. His firm today is a third-party administrator for numerous MEPs.

“Initially, multiple employer plans gave companies leverage through economy of scale and service while mitigating fiduciary responsibility and requiring only one overall audit,” he says.

That all changed in 2012, when the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion affecting open MEPs[1]: If there was no commonality between employers — beyond a mutual administrative provider — the MEP would not be considered a single plan under ERISA. This meant that participating employers would have to file individual Forms 5500, conduct separate audits and adhere to other compliance requirements of individual plan sponsors.

Jason Grantz, QPA, AIFA, managing director/East for the Retirement Planning Consultant Group at Unified Trust Co., remembers this time clearly.

“Leading up to 2012, I was hearing about MEPs all the time,” he said. “Then, the letter came out.”

The conversation on MEPs turned silent, Grantz says.

“I don’t believe it was meant to be a ‘hammer’ by the DOL,” he says. “They were just accurately interpreting ERISA at the time.”

MEPs have picked up again, though, over the past two years, thanks to a bipartisan effort to loosen DOL restrictions. Read More