On August 31, 2018, President Trump signed an executive order authorizing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury to evaluate expanding access to 401(k) retirement plans. The order is designed to cut some of the administrative burdens and costs that prevent smaller employers from offering 401(k) plans to their employees. The Trump administration noted that in 2017, roughly 89 percent of larger employers offered retirement plans compared to only 53 percent of small employers (those with fewer than 100 employees).
The executive order directs the agencies to consider two main issues:
- Expanding the criteria for multiple-employer plans (MEPs), under which employees of different private-sector employers may participate in a single retirement plan; and
- Raising the age when individuals with traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)s must start making required minimum distributions, which is currently age 70 ½.