29 CFR § 2510.3-37 - Multiemployer plan.
(a) General. Section 3(37) of the Act contains in paragraphs (a)(i)-(iv) a number of criteria which an employee benefit plan must meet in order to be a multiemployer plan under the Act. Section 3(37) also provides that the Secretary may prescribe by regulation other requirements in addition to those contained in paragraphs (a)(i)-(iv). The purpose of this regulation is to establish such requirements.
(b) Plans in existence before the effective date.
(1) A plan in existence before September 2, 1974, will be considered a multiemployer plan if it satisfies the requirements of section 3(37)(A)(i)-(iv) of the Act.
(2) For purposes of this section, a plan is considered to be in existence if:
(A) The plan was reduced to writing and adopted by the participating employers and the employee organization (including, in the case of a corporate employer, formal approval by an employer's board of directors or shareholders, if required), even though no amounts had been contributed under the plan, and
(B) The plan has not been terminated; or
(A) There was a legally enforceable agreement to establish such a plan signed by the employers and the employee organization, and
(B) The contributions to be made to the plan were set forth in the agreement.
(iii) If a plan was in existence within the meaning of paragraph (b)(2)(i) or (ii) of this section, any other plan with which such existing plan is merged or consolidated shall also be considered to be in existence.
(c) Plans not in existence before the effective date. In addition to the provisions of section 3(37)(A)(i)-(iv) of the Act, a multiemployer plan established on or after September 2, 1974, must meet the requirement that it was established for a substantial business purpose. A substantial business purpose includes the interest of a labor organization in securing an employee benefit plan for its members. The following factors are relevant in determining whether a substantial business purpose existed for the establishment of a plan; any single factor may be sufficient to constitute a substantial business purpose:
(1) The extent to which the plan is maintained by a substantial number of unaffiliated contributing employers and covers a substantial portion of the trade, craft or industry in terms of employees or a substantial number of the employees in the trade, craft or industry in a locality or geographic area;
(2) The extent to which the plan provides benefits more closely related to years of service within the trade, craft or industry rather than with an employer, reflecting the fact that an employee's relationship with an employer maintaining the plan is generally short-term although service in the trade, craft or industry is generally long-term;
(3) The extent to which collective bargaining takes place on matters other than employee benefit plans between the employee organization and the employers maintaining the plan; and
(4) The extent to which the administrative burden and expense of providing benefits through single employer plans would be greater than through a multiemployer plan.