What is a Pooled Employer Plan?

A Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) is a single retirement plan – such as a 401(k) or pension plan – maintained by two or more employers. They may be sponsored by trade groups, Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) or third party plan sponsors, or co-sponsored by a group of employers. MEPs should not be confused with “multiemployer plans,” which are commonly seen among unionized companies.


What is a Pooled Employer Plan? (PEP) A PEP is a MEP that is sponsored by a Pooled Plan Provider. Unrelated employers may participate in the plan, there is one 5500 filed for the plan as a whole and the Pooled Plan Provider is responsible for the audit.


In a PEP, individual employers remain responsible for ensuring that their plan is functioning properly and for conducting nondiscrimination testing on their own employee group. But the PEP assumes most fiduciary and administrative responsibilities, including responsibility for investment monitoring, co-ordination of annual audit, Form 5500 filings, trustee functions, and other administrative duties.

PEPs offer a number of significant benefits, including:

 logomakr_6z10o1Cost savings: PEPs often enjoy economies of scale, enabling them to get better pricing on products and services. Employers participating in AutoMEP will not bear the burden of the cost of an annual audit that they may be subject to as a stand alone plan.

logomakr_54g1c3Improved benefits: By creating larger asset pools, PEPs may attract higher-quality money managers and other advisors, and provide access to investments that otherwise would be unavailable to participating employers on their own.

logomakr_5civmxTime savings: By shifting time-consuming administrative task to the PEP, the employer can devote more time to running the business.

logomakr_1tacudSophisticated technology: AutoMEP offer access to sophisticated technology, such as online enrollment with iJoin, account management and communication tools.

logomakr_5dfq4zReduced liability: The employer is removed as the Plan Sponsor , transferring most employer ERISA and investment fiduciary liability to independent professional resources acting as 3(16) and 3(38) fiduciaries.

Who are Potential AutoMEP Candidates?

Existing plans that would like to transfer the operation of their plan because of the related issues and liabilities of running their own plan.

New or growing companies who wish to offer a competitive retirement plan benefit to their employees.

Fee-based advisers looking for competitive large plan pricing for their small & midsized clients.

Existing SEP or SIMPLE Plans seeking to bundle assets with other small employers to aggregate assets for pricing leverage.

  • 401(k) plans allow owners to save more for their retirement and better manage the benefits by using a qualified plan.

Plan Sponsors seeking to outsource ERISA and investment liabilities in order to focus on core businesses or 408(b)(2) compliance concerns.

AutoMEP Services

  • Plan Design
  • Independent Third Party Trustee
  • Plan Document Maintenance
  • Low Cost Active and Passive Fund Choices
  • Fiduciary Investment Management 3(38)
  • Automatic Enrollment Services
  • Plan Administration provided by a 3(16) Plan Administrator