Jeff Stacey Testifies Before United States Senate Subcommittee

July 12, 2016

Jeff recently traveled to Washington, DC with four other retirement plan industry experts and appeared before the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security. The topic of the hearing was Small Business Retirement Pooling: Examining Open Multiple Employer Plans. It was a bi-partisan hearing chaired by Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming and co-chaired by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

It isn't very often that someone receives an invitation to share their knowledge and experience before the United States Senate. Jeff Stacey, McGee, Hearne & Paiz, LLP's (MHP) Employee Benefits Senior Manager, was honored with that opportunity on June 21, 2016. Jeff appeared before the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security.  The topic of the hearing was Small Business Retirement Pooling: Examining Open Multiple Employer Plans. This was a bi-partisan hearing chaired by Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming and co-chaired by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. 

In May 2016, Jeff was contacted about this opportunity by the American Retirement Association and was subsequently interviewed multiple times by staff members from the offices of Senator Enzi and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Jeff was joined at the hearing by four other retirement plan industry experts which included representatives from AARP, Transamerica, the Massachusetts Treasury Department, and a Washington, DC based law firm. The discussion was on Open Multiple Employer Plans, or Open MEPs.  An Open MEP is a type of retirement plan that would allow unrelated employers to join together in a retirement plan to benefit from lower costs and economies of scale. Closed MEPs currently exist for organizations that share a common bond and are often sponsored by trade organizations. Open MEPs were previously allowed until an unfavorable US Department of Labor (DOL) regulation was issued in 2012. 

Senator Enzi was particularly interested in Jeff's opinion regarding and experience with Open MEPs since MHP previously sponsored this type of retirement plan and Jeff administered the plan. It was for small business clients who previously did not have a retirement plan for their business. MHP's Open MEP was in place from 2006 – 2010. Retirement plan industry concerns about the pending DOL regulations contributed heavily toward MHP's 2010 decision to terminate its Open MEP.  Senator Enzi has been working for several years to promote the idea of Open MEPs and has held several hearing on the subject. Jeff was able to bring to the hearing his hands-on experience with MHP's Open MEP as well as his 20 years of experience in the retirement plan field. 

After starting in the retirement plan industry in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee in 1996, Jeff and his family moved to Wyoming in 2003 where he leads MHP's Employee Benefits Department. In Tennessee, Jeff was part of a large group that was responsible for administering the numerous retirement plans for US West Communications, Inc., the Denver-based "Baby Bell".

MHP currently services over 150 retirement plan clients. Understanding each client's unique needs and goals is important to Jeff and to administering a successful retirement plan. To discuss your business's retirement plan needs, please contact Jeff at (307) 634-2151 or jstacey@mhpllp.com.  The link to the Jeff's testimony before the US Senate is below. http://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/small-business-retirement-pooling-examining-open-multiple-employer-plans


Jeff with Senator Enzi at the US Senate Subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC on June 21, 2016.