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President Trump Signs Executive Order Easing Small Business Access to Retirement Plans

Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2018 6:26 am

President Trump issued an executive order on August 31 to expand access to workplace retirement plans, particularly for small businesses, to ensure that workers will be financially prepared to retire.

The order noted that 34% of private sector employees lack access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and only 53% of private sector employees in businesses with fewer than 100 workers were offered a retirement plan.  Recognizing that regulatory burdens and complexity can be costly and discourage small businesses from offering retirement savings plans, the order directs the Labor and Treasury Departments to make it easier for small businesses to band together in associations to offer their employees such plans.

Referring to the plans as “association retirement plans” or ARPs, the order proposes making it easier for small businesses across different industries to join an association to purchase a shared multiple-employer plan (MEP).  Currently, MEPs are generally limited to companies that share common characteristics, such as being in the same industry.

The order also directs the Treasury Department to review rules requiring retirees to start taking annual withdrawals from retirement funds after they turn 70½ in order to allow retirees to keep their money invested for a longer period of time.

To read the Executive Order, click here.

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