ARP Overview

An association (such as a local, state, or metro chamber of commerce) may form an ARP to enable employer members to band together to provide retirement coverage under a single plan.

By enrolling in ARPs, employees of small businesses and working owners will be able to obtain coverage without all the burdens of establishing and maintaining their own retirement plan. This will ensure that small business employees have access to retirement plan designs that the employees of large companies currently enjoy.

How does the regulation work?

The regulation will allow a group of employers or an association to establish one retirement plan that covers multiple employers.  This is important because when there is one plan, members pool resources together and cut down on administrative costs.  For example, under this rule, the association as the plan sponsor would file the Form 5500 with the DOL.  Otherwise, each employer would be required to file a Form 5500 with the DOL. 

For a more detailed discussion of the regulations, click here for the U.S. Chamber’s presentation on the final regulation.

Which Associations can form an ARP?

In addition to other factors, each employer group or association must either:

  • Be in the same trade, industry, line of business or profession; or
  • Have a principal place of business in the same region that does not exceed the boundaries of a single state or metropolitan area (even if the area includes more than one state).

What is the estimated impact of ARPs?

The Department of Labor was not able to estimate the number of employees who will be covered by ARPs because there are so many different variables.  For example, even if an employer agrees to participate in a plan, not all employees will contribute.  However, the Department of Labor noted that small employers should benefit from economies of scale by participating in ARPs, which could reduce their administrative costs and plan fees. In turn, these lower costs and fewer administrative burdens could encourage smaller employers to offer retirement coverage through ARPs.

Background and Education Material

The following information provides you educational and background information on Association Retirement plans.

Regulatory Overview and Next Steps -

Course 101 - Retirement Plan Basics -
Watch the course video
Get the slides

Course 201 - Fiduciary Responsibility and Compliance -
Watch the course video
Get the slides

Course 301 - Setting Up a Plan
Watch the course video
Get the slides



I’m a Chamber or Association

Chambers and Associations can list an ARP or find resources to set up an ARP of their own.


*membership required

I’m a Business


Businesses can search for an ARP using the Chamber’s directory.

search available ARP's

I’m an 
ARP Expert

U.S. Chamber members with experience setting up ARPs can be listed as a resource.

List your service

*membership required