The ERISA Advisory Council has urged the Department of Labor to relax its rules regarding open multiple employer plans as a way of encouraging more workplaces to offer retirement plans.

In open MEPs, two or more unrelated employers can place all of their participants in one plan. Among the advantages promoted by advocates: an employer's fiduciary liability is limited to its decision to enter into the plan and to making the required contributions.

MEPs are the "ultimate form of outsourcing, since all functions can be outsourced other than those that must, by necessity, be performed by the plan sponsor," the ERISA council said in a report

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.