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Regional Printing Affiliates Announce Print and Graphics Retirement Plan – A Multiple Employer Plan 401(k) Program

Press release from the issuing company

Printing Industries Alliance (PIA), the Graphics Arts Association (GAA) and the Florida Graphics Alliance (FGA) recently announced the availability of a new program, a Multiple Employer 401(k) Plan, or MEP.

The Print and Graphics Retirement Plan MEP leverages group purchasing power to provide participating member companies of the three associations with:

  • No individual audit or 5500 forms, a minimum $10,000 annual savings (for companies over 100 employees)
  • Minimal administrative duties
  • “Members Only” fee structure saves money for participants
  • Fiduciary outsourcing
  • Flexible plan features including safe harbor, Roth, and profit sharing
  • Customizable plan design

In making this announcement, GAA President, Melissa Jones, commented “With COVID receding and our economy opening, our members are looking for ways to save money while maintaining the benefit packages that allow them to retain their valuable staff. Our new MEP 401(k) plan provides just such an option.”

The Print and Graphics Retirement Plan, from a government reporting standpoint, is treated like one large plan. This means only one annual audit and 5500 form is needed instead of individual company audits for companies with over 100 employees. The end result for participating members is a 401(k) plan with competitive investments, outsourced service, decreased expenses and fiduciary responsibilities and a third-party company doing the majority of the plan maintenance work.

FGA President Gabe Hernandez remarked “FGA is focused on bringing value to our members through programs such as the Print and Graphics Retirement Plan and encourage our members to contact me for additional information.”

PIA, GAA and FGA have partnered with top shelf companies to provide the structure for this program. PIA Employee Benefits Partner, Gilroy Kernan & Gilroy (GKG) has developed the plan in conjunction with Transamerica. Transamerica is a top MEP provider with more than 13,000 adopting employers and $34.5 billion in MEP assets.

PIA President Tim Freeman commented, “The key to a successful program for our members is selecting knowledgeable, talented, and detail-oriented partners to develop the program with. We have done just that for the Print and Graphics Retirement Plan. GKG’s track record with our members is exemplary and Transamerica’s 17 years of experience with MEP’s will provide the tools and services that will deliver the results every employee deserves.”

The Print and Graphics Retirement Plan MEP 401(k) is now available and membership in Printing Industries Alliance, Graphic Arts Association, or Florida Graphics Alliance is a requirement for participation.
For further information contact any of the following:

Tim Freeman, President, Printing Industries Alliance
(716) 691-3211, [email protected] 

Melissa Jones, President, Graphic Arts Association
(215) 396-2300, [email protected] 

Gabriel Hernandez, President, Florida Graphics Alliance
(407) 240-8009, [email protected] 

Ross Kraft, Vice President and Strategic Business Advisor, Gilroy Kernan & Gilroy
(315) 794-6522, [email protected] 

PIA, GAA, and FGA are regional printing affiliate trade associations representing printing and print related companies in New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Florida, respectively. GKG is a insurance and benefits consulting firm servicing members of the MEP sponsoring organizations.

Printing Industries Alliance
(716) 691-3211
[email protected] 


By John Zarwan on Jul 12, 2021

This is a good idea, as sometimes the admin costs and hassles for a small company establishing a 401k isn't worth it. I just wonder, however, how the participation requirements (especially the "highly compensated" limitations) would work for a multi-employer plan.


By Ross Kraft on Jul 12, 2021

John-Thank you for the input and please see some information I attached below below on Multiple Employer Plans including plan sponsor's (adopter) choice and flexibility as well as regarding provisions of the plan and testing.

Key Characteristics
Defined by ERISA Section 4(13).
Unrelated employer members co-adopt a single qualified trust.
There is a single Plan Sponsor and Trustee, as well as one 3(21) Investment Advisor and/or 3(38) Investment Fiduciary, and one 3(16) Plan Administrator for all adopting employers.
Auditable when the total number of eligible participants across all adopters of the MEP is above 100.
Generally, each member adopter:
Selects their own plan provisions, such as match provisions, eligibility requirements, and profit sharing.

Is tested as a separate entity.
We handle compliance testing and filings, such as Form 5500 reporting and both
annual and mid-year nondiscrimination testing — helping to keep you in compliance and
avoid penalties.
We also provide contribution limit tracking; participant statements; investment reviews;
and loan processing.
A 401(k) Plan inside of a MEP can be combined with a Defined Benefit or Cash Balance Plan for an adopting employer.
One Form 5500 is filed for the entire plan.


By John Zarwan on Jul 12, 2021

Ross, I understand this is considered one plan, and all participants are considered part of the plan. I was thinking of the issue that might arise if different firms have different participation rates. Let's take a simple example of two firms of equal size. One firm has good participation, but the only people in the second firm who participate are highly compensated. As a result there are limits on the allowable contributions of the first firm. They won't be particularly happy. Now multiple that by a large number of firms, compounded by differing compensation structures and participation.
Good luck!


By Ross Kraft on Jul 12, 2021

John again great questions and glad to answer.

Each plan under a MEP must be tested separately for non-discrimination, top-heavy and coverage. Each plan operates independently with a consolidated 5500/audit.



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