DOL Issues NPRM on PEP Provider Registration

Providers of pooled employer plans (PEPs) must first register with the DOL before plans can begin operating.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks to implement the registration requirements for “pooled plan providers” pursuant to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act.

The SECURE Act amended the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to establish a new type of multiple employer plan (MEP) called a pooled employer plan, or PEP, that must be administered by a person called a “pooled plan provider.” The SECURE Act allows pooled plan providers to start operating pooled employer plans beginning on January 1, 2021, but requires pooled plan providers to register with the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of the Treasury before they begin operations.

The proposed rule from the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) would establish straightforward requirements for pooled plan providers to register with the DOL. The proposal, which includes both a mock-up of the required form and the instructions for the form, makes clear in the preamble that the Treasury Department and IRS intend to treat registration with the DOL in accordance with the final regulation to satisfy the SECURE Act requirement to register with the Secretary of the Treasury.

Under the proposal, the registration process would involve an initial registration, supplemental filings regarding specific reportable events and a final filing after the provider’s last pooled employer plan has been terminated and ceased operations. The proposal requires electronic filing of the new Form PR. The proposal explains that the EBSA believes the most efficient approach is to integrate the Form PR registration filing process into the current electronic filing system that employee benefit plans use to file their Form 5500 Annual Return/Report.

The NPRM includes a 30-day comment period and instructions for submitting comments. Public comments can be submitted electronically to the Federal eRulemaking portal at A fact sheet about the NPRM is here.