3 Primary Reasons to Utilize a Trust Fund for Prevailing Wage Funded Benefit Plans

March 18th, 2019|By Jeff Bennett

Construction companies as well as other government contractors that are subject to prevailing wage laws (Davis-Bacon Act, Service Contract Act, State Prevailing Wage laws) can satisfy the fringe benefit requirements by making irrevocable contributions to specialized benefit funds on behalf of covered workers.


Funded plans such as these (29 C.F.R. §§ 5.26—5.27) are those where the contractor’s fringe benefit contributions are made irrevocably to an independent trustee or third party pursuant to a bona fide fringe benefit fund, plan or program on a regular basis (at least quarterly). These contributions can be credited towards meeting the prevailing fringe benefit requirement without prior United States Department of Labor approval.


Following are three primary reasons a funded plan / trust can be advantageous:


  1. More Competitive Bidding / Lower Costs
  • Contributions for fringe benefits are not subject to payroll-based taxes and premiums such as FICA, workers compensation, or liability insurance premiums
  • Contributions are deductible in the year they are made to the trust, not when the actual benefit is paid
  • Savings on overtime pay as the Davis-Bacon Act, Service Contractors Act and many states do not require an increase in the fringe benefit rate as they do with wages


  1. Compliance
  • The U.S. Department of Labor specifically authorizes the use of funded fringe benefit plans under 29 C.F.R. §§ 5.26—5.27 as an acceptable method of meeting the fringe benefit requirements of the prevailing wage law
  • Department of Labor inquiries, audits and investigations related to fringe benefits are often simplified requiring only proof of a plan, and timely contributions
  • Government mandated benefits such as paid-time off can be funded with prevailing wage contributions


  1. Attract and Retain Employees
  • Employees who have comprehensive benefit plans are more likely to stay on your team
  • Transparency within the benefit program builds employee trust
  • Flexibility within the program helps employees design a program that is just right for them
  • Funds held in trust can fund benefits during seasonal layoffs


How we can help

DirectAdvisors was established in 2001 and is located in Albany, New York. We provide bona fide benefit plan consulting and third party administrative services to merit shop (non-union) construction companies that are subject to the Davis-Bacon Act, Service Contract Act and State Prevailing Wage Regulations. Our clients are located throughout the United States and range in size from 10 to 3,000 employees.

In 2018, our construction company clients will contribute tens of millions of dollars of prevailing wage fringe benefit contributions to The DirectAdvisors Trust (health & welfare benefits) and retirement plans managed by our team.

To be clear,  we do not sell any financial or insurance products. Therefore, our solutions are free from any conflict of interest. We work with existing agents, brokers and insurance companies.

If you have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact us or download our whitepapers – “Harnessing the Power of Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plans” and “Working the Fringe.”

Please also view our short animated video, to see how constructing a bona fide fringe benefit plan can do the following:

  • Move prevailing wage dollars out of payroll.
  • Reduce associated costs.
  • Increase profits.
  • Submit more competitive bids.
  • Build employee loyalty.

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