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Pooled Employer Plans: New DOL Final Rules, Pooled Plan Providers, Fiduciary Liability, Administration, Reporting

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide ERISA counsel, plan sponsors, and administrators guidance on structuring pooled employer plans (PEPs) and recent Department of Labor (DOL) final regulations for registration and other rules for PEPs. The panel will discuss key provisions in the final regulations and their impact on small and mid-size employers; factors in determining which bonafide groups, associations, or other organizations can sponsor PEPs; practical methods in avoiding PEP compliance pitfalls; and navigating ERISA and IRS rules and limitations.


The SECURE Act created a new type of collective retirement plan known as a PEP which allows unaffiliated employers to come together under a single plan without being subject to the limitations of multiple employer plans (MEPs). Employee benefits counsel and plan sponsors structuring or getting involved with PEPs must understand the requirements and nuances under recently issued DOL final rules.

In the past, maintaining MEPs created a variety of issues such as legal exposure, high costs, and administrative complexity for employers. As of Jan. 1, 2021, employers will have the option of utilizing PEPs. PEPs can provide lower plan fees and expenses, simplified administration, and the shifting of fiduciary risk to the PEP provider.

A PEP may be either a qualified defined contribution plan or consist of individual retirement accounts. These plans must be maintained by a pooled plan provider (PPP), which may be a participating employer or an unrelated entity, subject to certain registration and reporting requirements. On Nov. 13, 2020, the DOL issued final rules detailing the process to register to become a PPP, relief for filing errors, and additional guidance for PEPs.

Listen as our panel discusses key provisions in the final regulations, factors in determining who can sponsor PEPs, practical methods in avoiding compliance pitfalls, and navigating ERISA and IRS rules and limitations.



  1. Recent DOL final rules for PEPs
  2. PEP vs. MEP
  3. Factors in determining who can sponsor PEPs
  4. PPP registration and reporting
  5. Structuring considerations and administrative challenges
  6. Fiduciary liability


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the pros and cons of PEPs?
  • How do PEPs differ from MEPs?
  • What are the key provisions of the DOL final rules?
  • What are the potential compliance and administrative traps of PEPs?
  • What factors are considered in determining who can sponsor PEPs?
  • What are the applicable ERISA and IRS rules and limitations?
  • What the registration and reporting requirements of PPPs?


Kreps, Michael P.
Michael P. Kreps

Groom Law Group

Mr. Kreps counsels employers, plan sponsors, financial institutions, trade associations, and coalitions on retirement,...  |  Read More

Levine, David
David N. Levine

Groom Law Group

Mr. Levine advises plan sponsors, advisors, and other service providers on a wide range of employee benefits matters,...  |  Read More

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