The U.S. Department of Labor announced a proposed rule would make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement savings plans to their workers through Association Retirement Plans, which would allow small businesses to band together to offer 401(k) plans to their employees.
Under the proposed rule, Association Retirement Plans could be offered by associations of employers in a city, county, state, or a multi-state metropolitan area, or in a particular industry nationwide. Sole proprietors, as well as their families, would also be permitted to join such plans. In addition to association sponsors, the plans could also be sponsored through Professional Employer Organizations (PEO). A PEO is a human-resource company that contractually assumes certain employment responsibilities for its client employers.