ERISA-EBSA Provides Guidance On Multiemployer Plans Entering Into Leasing Arrangements

According to a News Release (dated October 13, 2011), the Employee Benefits Security Administration (the “EBSA”) has provided guidance, in the form of Q&As, to help trustees of multiemployer benefit plans better understand how to avoid prohibited transactions when entering into common leasing arrangements. A multiemployer plan is an employee benefit plan maintained pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement between more than one employer, usually within the same or related industries, and a labor union.

The News Release says that the Q&As describe arrangements in which a multiemployer plan leases office space or classroom space to or from a sponsoring union (or another party who has a relationship to the plan), and the prohibited transaction rules that are violated by those arrangements. They also address the administrative and statutory exemptions that may apply, with an analysis of the specific prohibited transaction provisions that are covered by each exemption. The Q&As also describe the consequences to a plan fiduciary if a leasing arrangement is prohibited and does not qualify for an exemption.

The Q&As are here.

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