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On July 31, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration issued a final rule that would allow small and mid-sized businesses to band together and offer 401(k) plans to their employees through Association Retirement Plans. The final rule goes into effect Sept. 30, 2019.

The DOL anticipates that the final rule will enable small businesses to offer benefit packages comparable to those offered by large employers, reduce administrative costs through economies of scale and strengthen small businesses' hand when negotiating with financial institutions and other service providers.

On Dec. 21, 2018, ABC submitted comments to the EBSA in support of its proposed rule, explaining that the  proposal will provide a vehicle for millions of hard-working Americans to save for the future through ARPs. By allowing more businesses to pool together to offer 401(k) plans, ARPs will create an attractive alternative for small employers to offer high-quality benefits to their workforce and allow them to focus their time and resources on managing the day-to-day activities of their businesses.

The rulemaking came at the direction of President Trump’s Executive Order 13847, Strengthening Retirement Security in America, which ordered the U.S. secretary of labor to allow more small and mid-sized businesses to adopt multiple employer plans as a workplace retirement option.

For more information, see EBSA’s news release and factsheet.