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man and woman at a crossroads formed by arrows Currently, multiple employer retirement plans (MEPs) are available only to businesses with a ‘common nexus’ — the proposed ‘Open MEP’ model eliminates key legal barriers but would also transform the retirement industry and significantly affect every layer of the value chain. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Bipartisan support of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, or SECURE Act of 2019, in the US Congress includes provisions to expand access to Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs) in a bid to make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement benefits. Under current federal law, MEPs are available only to businesses with a “common nexus” (i.e., sponsored by an industry or trade association). The proposed “Open-MEP” model eliminates key legal barriers, enabling unaffiliated businesses to combine resources, take advantage of economies of scale and lower administrative costs.

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