The Department of Labor (DOL) recently proposed a rule revising the definition of “employer” under Section 3(5) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) for purposes of sponsoring a multiple-employer plan (MEP). The proposed rule, which is in response to President Trump’s August 31, 2018 Executive Order directing the DOL to examine policies expanding access to MEPs, would make it easier for small businesses who meet certain requirements to pool their resources to form a MEP, thereby reducing administrative costs. Continue reading
In the wake of the re-proposal by the U.S. Department of Labor of its so-called “Fiduciary Rule,” there are a number of questions regarding how the rule if adopted, will impact those providing financial advice to employee benefit plans and other retirement plans including IRAs and ERISA plans in general. The most obvious impact of the rule would be to bring those not currently fiduciaries, including registered representatives of securities broker-dealers and the broker-dealer firms themselves, into the realm of fiduciary advice providers. The higher standard of care that would apply necessarily implies a need for more thorough disclosures of potential conflicts of interest, including incentivized compensation such as commissions, 12b-1 fees and the like.