Principal Financial Group will begin offering a pooled employer plan in the first quarter of 2021, spokeswoman Lonnetta Ragland confirmed.
Employers in unrelated businesses will be able to join the pooled 401(k) plan, a new type of multiple employer plan made possible under the SECURE Act, which passed in December 2019.
The anticipated pooled employer plans are seen within the industry as a way to help employers offload many of their fiduciary responsibilities, reduce administrative duties and lower retirement plan costs through economies of scale. They are scheduled to become available starting Jan. 1.
Principal Financial will serve as the provider of the pooled plan and record keeper, with Wilshire Consulting serving as a 3(38) fiduciary adviser. National Benefit Services will serve as the third-party administrator.
"The workplace is such an effective place to increase access to retirement savings plans," said Jerry Patterson, Principal Financial Group's senior vice president of retirement and income solutions, in a news release. "Our position as a leading service provider of retirement plans in the U.S. opens the door for Principal to provide input on legislative efforts, which remains focused on helping increasing access to retirement plans for all American workers."
Principal's PEP, dubbed Principal EASE, is expected to be available for financial professionals to offer employers in the first quarter of 2021.