Associations, MEPs, and PEPs

I have worked with several associations in setting up a multiple employer plan (MEP) and even more associations that didn’t want to start one.

As I often discuss, starting a MEP isn’t easy because of the times it takes to grow assets and become viable. For associations, a MEP could be another way of showing value for association memberships, but the association may be wary of the work that is involved. There will always be liability issues of being a fiduciary of any kind and the question of whether it really will be of value to them, especially in terms of membership interest and revenue.

Perhaps Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs) can be a conversation starter because the structure could eliminate the fiduciary role of an organization with the pooled plan provider. I think associations could be a great avenue for associations that were afraid of MEPs.

There is no slam dunk and every association is different because the dynamics with every organization are different. However, if you have contacts with the powers that be at these associations, I think this could be a tremendous thing.

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