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Open MEPs

Dec 1, 2018
Empower Institute

Open MEPs: A Promising Way to Narrow the Coverage Gap

Research indicates employers want to offer workplace retirement plans, but many are cost-prohibitive for small business owners.

Workers who aren’t eligible to participate in a workplace plan face difficulty matching the savings of workers who are enrolled in a sponsored plan. The solution seems obvious: Allow more people to access workplace plans. But the reality is complicated, especially for small businesses that find it difficult to justify the expense and potential complexity of administering a retirement savings plan.

Open multiple-employer plans (MEPs) offer a solution by allowing small businesses to band together under one workplace plan. MEPs also enjoy widespread support across the retirement industry as an appealing solution for bridging the coverage gap. New research from Empower Retirement reveals many employers feel a strong desire to help boost their employees’ financial wellness and readiness for retirement. Such findings indicate that an open MEP may be an attractive option for many businesses.


Key findings

  • 66% of small businesses are likely to consider an open MEP.
  • A majority of small-business decision-makers cite “it’s the right thing to do” as the top reason to offer a workplace plan to employees.
  • When we asked interested employers to select the most important MEP attribute, they prioritized the variety of plan and fund options as well as lower costs for both the organization and employees.
Open MEPs white paper

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