An ARP allows a particular group or organization to set up 1 master plan to cover many separate companies. Recently, the Department of Labor expanded the guidelines to include companies that share common geographics in addition to common business groups.
What are some of the advantages to a small company setting up an ARP?
The advantages include, but not limited to, an ARP plan is competitive in pricing and quality to a large employer plan. Most small company plans are expensive and do not have many of the features a large company plan has. In addition, the individual company is not doing the burdensome tasks that are involved with managing a plan such as the recordkeeping, and filing the 5500 forms.
Why would a Chamber group wish to do this?
This is a benefit that currently is not offered among any other geographic group in our area. It should be considered a major benefit to joining the chamber, as well as keeping existing members.
Who can help members get started?
There are many financial advisors that are members of the local chambers. This is a great opportunity for them to offer a product that has not existed in such a large scale before. Many have small business clients in their practices who can benefit from this. We encourage as many as possible to make local companies aware of this and can work with them on education, plan design, enrollment, and in some cases fund selection.
What are some other benefits?
Existing small company plans can be converted into the ARP, saving the company time, money, and improving quality. There are also tax credit for setting up and maintaining an ARP, which would reduce/eliminate the costs for having the plan. For financial advisors, this creates a new wide open market to look for new business as well as the potential for other business to arise from this.