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Taking advantage of ARPs

| May 27, 2020 | Employee Benefits/erisa |

As the U.S. economy slowly begins to recover from the recent economic issues, employers will no doubt begin to return to the practice of making new hires. With many out there looking to return to the labor force, companies in New York will need to work harder than ever to attract this available talent. Improving employment benefit packages (specifically retirement savings options) may go a long way in helping with this. 

Making such improvements, however, can be a challenge for small businesses that struggle to afford attractive benefit packages in the first place. Indeed, information shared by the U.S Department of Labor shows that only 53% of small businesses in America offer employees a retirement plan. 

Improving retirement benefits through an ARP 

That struggle may soon become easier to overcome thanks to recent amendments made to the Employment Retirement Income Security Act that expand the availability of association retirement plans. ARPs are retirement benefit options secured by multiple employers within an association that help to disseminate the cost of the plan across the membership of the group. This allows members to offer attractive retirement savings plans similar to those sponsored by large businesses yet at a much lower cost. 

Expansion of ARP availability 

Per the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in order to form an association for the purpose of securing an ARP, proposed members must operate in the same general trade, industry or profession. At least, that was the requirement until recently. The 2019 ERISA amendment mentioned earlier now expands ARP availability to small- and mid-size businesses in the same geographic area. In this context, “geographic area” can refer to the same city, county, state or metropolitan area (even if a shared metropolitan area crosses state lines).