DOL Proffers Final Regulations for Pooled Plan Providers

The Department of Labor has issued final regulations on registration requirements for pooled plan providers administering pooled employer plans. The final regulations retain much of the same structure as the proposed rule issued last August, with some added clarification on registration requirements.


The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) established a new structure whereby a group of unrelated employers could participate in a single defined contribution plan as of January 1, 2021. Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs) must be administered by a Pooled Plan Provider (PPP), which must register with the Department of Labor (DOL) before commencing operations. 

The DOL’s final regulations regarding the registration process for PPPs include:

Initial registration filings. In general, a PPP is required to make an initial registration filing 30 days prior to beginning operations. However, registration filings made before February 1, 2021, are not required to be submitted 30 days in advance; instead, these filings are only required to be made at any time prior to beginning operations. The final regulations state that a PPP begins operations when it starts operating its first PEP. 

Content requirements for an initial filing include:

  • Legal business name and any trade name (DBA);
  • Federal EIN;
  • Business phone and mailing address;
  • Website address of public sites used to market PPPs or provide information on PEPs;
  • Name, address, phone, and email of designated compliance officer of the PPP;
  • The name and address of the agent for service of legal process for the PPP;
  • The approximate date when the PPP plans to begin operations;
  • A description of the administrative, investment, and fiduciary services that will be offered or provided in connection with the PEPs, including a description of the role of any affiliates in such services;
  • A statement disclosing any ongoing federal or state criminal proceeding, or any federal or state criminal convictions, related to the provisions of services to, operation of, or investments of, any employee benefit plan against the PPP, or any officer, director, or employee of a PPP, provided that disclosure of any criminal conviction may be omitted if the conviction, or related term of imprisonment served, is outside 10 years of the date of the registration; and
  • A statement disclosing any ongoing civil or administrative proceedings in any court or administrative tribunal by the federal or state government or other regulatory authority against the PPP, or any officer, or director, or employee of the PPP, involving a claim or fraud or dishonesty with respect to any employee benefit plan, or involving the mismanagement of plan assets.

Supplemental filings. A PPP must submit a supplemental filing for each PEP that includes the name of the PEP and identification information for the primary compliance officer. A supplemental filing is also required within the later of 30 days after the calendar quarter in which the reportable event occurred or 45 days after the event if there is:

  • Any change to the information in the initial registration filing;
  • A significant change to the PPP’s corporate or business structure;
  • A written notice of an administrative enforcement action related to an employee benefit plan received by the PPP;
  • A legal finding of fraud or dishonesty by a court or agency; or
  • A notice of any criminal charges against the PPP or any of its directors, officers, or employees related to an employee benefit plan.

Final filings. Once a PPP has stopped operating all PEPs, it would be required to make a final filing. The deadline for final filings will be the later of 30 days after the calendar quarter in which the final Form 5500 is filed for the last PEP operated by the PPP, or 45 days after that filing.

All PPP registrations must be filed electronically via the DOL’s Form 5500 filing system using the new EBSA Form PR. 

HBL helps plan sponsors stay on top of the legislative and regulatory changes that apply to their businesses, ensuring that benefit plans and processes are updated to stay in compliance. To learn more, call our team of experienced, responsive attorneys today at 678-439-623

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Hall Benefits Law, LLC

HBL offers employers comprehensive legal guidance on benefits in mergers and acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, healthcare reform, and retirement plans. We counsel a wide spectrum of clients including small, mid-sized, and large companies, 401(k) investment advisors, health insurance brokers, accountants, attorneys, and HR consultants, just to name a few. HBL is passionate about advising clients, and we are dedicated to our mission: to provide comprehensive, personalized, and practical ERISA and benefits legal solutions that exceed client expectations.

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