The U.S. Department of Labor says a trade group can use the assets of an old multiple employer welfare association to fund its current employees’ health and life benefits.

The trade group, the Business Technology Association, Kansas City, Mo., was formed through a 1993 merger of the National Office Machine Dealers Association and the Local Area Network Dealers Association, according to an advisory opinion written by Louis Campagna, an official in the Labor’s Department’s Office of Regulations and Interpretations.

NOMDA had operated a MEWA to provide health benefits for NOMDA employees, NOMDA members and employees of NOMDA members. NOMDA found a health insurance company to replace the MEWA coverage in 1992, Campagna writes in the advisory opinion.

Now, the BTA wants to set up a voluntary employee benefit association that would take over assets now in the NOMDA MEWA trust, Campagna writes.

Because all MEWA claims have been paid or forfeited, and the MEWA trustees would not be transferring any assets for their own benefit, the transaction appears to be an acceptable use of MEWA assets, Campagna writes.

A copy of the advisory opinion is on the Web at Document Link