Proposed Extension of Information Collection Requests for Public Comment
The Department of Labor (the Department), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting comments on the proposed extension of the information collection requests (ICRs) contained in the documents described below. A copy of the ICRs may be obtained by contacting the office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. ICRs also are available at reginfo.gov (http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain).
Definition of “Employer” Under Section 3(5) of ERISA-Association Retirement Plans and Other Multiple-Employer Plans
The Department of Labor proposes a regulation under title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations to expand access to affordable quality retirement saving options by clarifying the circumstances under which an employer group or association or a professional employer organization (PEO) may sponsor a workplace retirement plan. In particular, the proposed regulation clarifies that employer groups or associations and PEOs can, when satisfying certain criteria, constitute ``employers'' within the meaning of section 3(5) of ERISA for purposes of establishing or maintaining an individual account ``employee pension benefit plan'' within the meaning of ERISA section 3(2). As an ``employer,'' a group or association can sponsor a defined contribution retirement plan for its members, as can a PEO sponsor a plan for client employers (collectively referred to as ``MEPs'' unless otherwise specified). The proposed regulation would allow different businesses to join a MEP, either through a group or association or through a PEO. The proposal would also permit certain working owners without employees to participate in a MEP sponsored by a group or association. The proposal would primarily affect groups or associations of employers, PEOs, plan participants, and plan beneficiaries. The proposal would not affect whether groups, associations, or PEOs assume joint-employment relationships with member-employers or client employers. But the proposal may affect banks, insurance companies, securities broker- dealers, record keepers, and other commercial enterprises that provide retirement-plan products and services.