Advisory Opinion concluding that Ace Hardware Plan Qualifies as a AHP

Document Excerpt

Thus, under the Department’s Pathway 1 sub-regulatory guidance, and assuming that the Plan is adopted and operated as described in this letter, the Ace Plan Employers would, at least in form,
constitute a bona fide employer group or association in relation to the Plan for purposes of ERISA section 3(5), and the Plan would, at least in form, constitute an AHP that is an employee
welfare benefit plan for purposes of Title I of ERISA. Whether the Ace Plan Employers exercise control in substance over the benefit program, as required for treatment as a bona fide employer
group or association, is an inherently factual issue on which the Department generally will not rule in an advisory opinion.

It is also the Department’s view, based on your representations and information provided, that the Plan would be a MEWA within the meaning of section 3(40) of ERISA.


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