A team at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company is out to show employers and financial professionals that MassMutual is a great source of information about the new “open multiple employer plan” proposals.
MassMutual today released a white paper that explains what open MEPs are and talks about some of the pros and cons.
The Springfield, Massachusetts-based life insurer and asset manager is positioning itself as a source of a sober, balanced assessment of a hot retirement plan concept.
Today, under current federal laws and U.S. Department of Labor regulations, employers that want to join together to sponsor a 401(k) plan or other defined contribution retirement plan must show that they have a “commonality of interest” — in other words, something more in common than that the managers breathe air, eat food, and want to offer retirement benefits.
An open MEP could help two or more unrelated employers team up to sponsor the same multiple-employer defined contribution retirement plan.
Bob Carroll, head of workplace distribution at MassMutual, said in a statement about the white paper: that the opportunity for employers to join an open MEP sounds like an outstanding new opportunity.
“However, employers and their financial professionals will need to carefully consider what they want to achieve and how when participating in an open MEP,” Carroll said.
Here are three points about MassMutual’s white paper:
1. MassMutual is focusing on a concept that’s getting a great deal of attention in Washington right now.
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the DOL arm that oversees retirement plans, has been looking at the idea of making open MEPs possible through the regulatory process, by eliminating the DOL commonality of interest requirement.
The Senate is now considering H.R. 1994, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act bill, or Secure Act bill. The Secure Act bill includes a statutory open MEP provision. Members of the House approved H.R. 1994 by a 417-3 vote May 23.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could bring H.R. 1994 up for a vote on the Senate floor as early as today.