The pooled employer plan (PEP) and multiple employer plan (MEP) provisions are among the most important retirement plan features of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Plan Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, which took effect Jan. 1, 2021.

These plan structures have created excitement because they allow employees of more than one employer to participate in a single retirement plan, with the goal of limiting employer compliance responsibilities and fiduciary liability by outsourcing to a PEP or MEP provider. Also, the Department of Labor (DOL) enhanced defined contribution MEP coverage prior to the SECURE Act with the issuance of regulations that clarified the meaning of “employer” under ERISA Section 3(5) to include a “bona fide” employer group or association and “bona fide” professional employer organization (PEO).

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