people holding puzzle pieces I learned one of the biggest concerns was “Can my company leave the MEP if things change?” The simple answer is yes. Of course, as with most answers, it all depends on the specifics of the particular plan design. (Photo: Shutterstock)

No fancy prose this week. No pop culture allusions. Just the straight dope. But first, a disclosure: Besides reporting on this subject for some time now, several years ago, I helped a business association create a 401(k) MEP or multiple employer plan. I worked with several different service providers and researched plenty more. This was not an “Open MEP,” but a true MEP. Unlike Open MEPs, in a true MEP the underlying plans were not required to continue to operate as if they were a separate plan.

Within the last month, two things have occurred which have spurred concentrated interest in MEPs. The DOL has acted on President Trump’s executive order and submitted their MEP proposal to the OMB. In addition, there has been a legitimate push in Congress towards broadening the definition of “true MEP” to include Open MEPs. Now more than ever, companies want to know more about the MEP (see “What Every Company 401k Plan Fiduciary Needs to Know about MEPs,”, September 25, 2018).

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook ( Twitter (

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