Washington State Commerce Dept. Updates Small Business Retirement Marketplace Rules

By John Iekel • July 24, 2017 • 0 Comments
The Washington State Department of Commerce is updating the rules for the state’s Small Business Retirement Marketplace. The department is responsible for managing the Washington Small Business Retirement Marketplace in consultation with the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner and Department of Financial Institutions.

The department is taking the action in the wake of the passage of Substitute Senate Bill 5675, a measure that amends elements of the minimum operating requirements of the Small Business Retirement Marketplace. The state Senate passed the bill on Feb. 27, 2017; the House followed suit on April 6. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed it into law on April 19.

The Washington State Department of Commerce will amend its rules in consultation with the Department of Financial Institutions, Office of the Insurance Commissioner and organizations representing eligible employers, qualified employees, private and nonprofit sector retirement plan administrators and providers and another other interested individuals or entities. The rule update will not affect how the U.S. Department of Treasury, IRS and U.S. Department of Labor regulate retirement plans.

The amendments state that the Washington State Department of Commerce will approve a diverse array of verified plan options to be offered in the marketplace and the myRA retirement program to be offered in the marketplace. They also say that a verified plan which is proposed to be offered in the marketplace must be submitted to the department for review and approval, including all documentation, in a form prescribed by the department and comply with applicable laws and rules, including federal tax laws.

The amendments also provide that a verified financial services firm which offers approved plans in the marketplace may not charge participating employers an administrative fee, and may not charge enrollees more than 100 basis points in total annual fees. There is an exception to this limit: financial services firms may charge retirement plan enrollees a de minimis fee for new and/or low balance accounts in amounts, and under certain circumstances.

The department will hold a public hearing on it rule update on Tuesday, Aug. 22 at 1:30 at the Washington State Department of Commerce at 1011 Plum Street, SE, Room 407, Olympia, WA, 98504. Written comments may be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Aug. 21, 2017 to: Carolyn C. McKinnon, 1011 Plum St SE, PO Box 42525, Olympia, WA 98504-2525, or by email to: Carolyn.Mckinnon@commerce.wa.gov.




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