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DOL Pooled Provider Plan Rule Sent to White House for Review

Oct. 26, 2020, 12:21 PM

The Labor Department’s pooled plan provider rule has gone to the White House for final review, the last substantial step before it can be published in the Federal Register and take effect.

The rule is one of four major proposals released this summer by the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration that the Trump administration is rushing to finalize by the end of the year.

The Registration Requirements for Pooled Plan Providers rule [RIN: 1210-AB94] would give small- and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to join together in a retirement plan so long as they register with the Labor Department. The rule was mandated by the SECURE Act (Pub. Law 116-94) and allows pooled plan providers to start operating beginning Jan. 1, 2021, so long as they register with the secretaries of labor and treasury before they begin operations. Employers who only register with the DOL would satisfy both of those requirements under the proposal.

The pooled plan provider rule was first published Sept. 1, and like the others, had a short 30-day window for the public to critique the rule and suggest changes.

EBSA has been considering the public comments on the pooled plan provider rule since Oct. 1 and likely has been making changes, which will now be reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs reviews the legal justification and cost-benefit analysis of all significant federal regulations, as well as vets them through other executive branch agencies for potential conflicts. Review times vary considerably among regulations, and can range from a few days to many months.

Since the start of the Trump administration, the review time for all regulations has averaged 71 days. Labor Department rules have averaged 50 days. A rushed review by OIRA could make any regulation more vulnerable to a legal challenge.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cheryl Bolen in Washington at cbolen@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Martha Mueller Neff at mmuellerneff@bloomberglaw.com; Jay-Anne B. Casuga at jcasuga@bloomberglaw.com

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