DoL Extends Comment Period for MEWAs Rule

March 1, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.COM) – The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) announced a two-week extension of the comment period for its proposed rule requiring multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) to register with the department.

Interested parties now have until March 19, 2012, to submit comments about the proposed rule via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at, or by mail, hand or electronic delivery to the agency at

Under the proposed rule, MEWAs must register prior to operating in a state or be subject to substantial penalties. This filing requirement will allow the department to track MEWAs as they move from state-to-state and to identify their principals which will provide the department with important information regarding potentially fraudulent arrangements.

Complete details on all provisions were published in the December 6, 2011, Federal Register and also are available at (See “EBSA Proposes Rules to Regulate MEWAs). 

EBSA also noted that those who have already submitted comments or plan to submit comments should note that there was an error in the preamble published in the Federal Register (76 FR 76222) that incorrectly listed the EBSA email address. The incorrect email address was activated to accept messages. However, comments sent electronically prior to February 22, 2012, should be resent to the correct email address above to ensure they are received and given due consideration. Comments that were submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal, or by mail or hand delivery were not impacted by the error.