Insights

What Should I Keep, For How Long and How Should I Organize It?

We hear time and time again, “what records should I keep, how long should I keep them, and how should I organize my files?” Remember several rules of thumb when it comes to record retention.

  • Plan Documents should never be discarded. This includes Basic Plan Documents, Adoption Agreements, Amendments and Summary Plan Descriptions.
  • Annual Filing Reports should be maintained for at least six years. This includes 5500s, supporting materials for contributions, testing results, plan audits, Summary Annual Reports, and distribution records.
  • Participant Records should be retained during the participant’s employment and at least six years after the participant’s termination. This includes enrollment forms, beneficiary forms and distribution forms. Loan records should be maintained at least six years after the loan is paid off.

As for organizing your Fiduciary File, we suggest a format that includes the following sections:

  1. Documents − for all plan documents, amendments, tax filings, etc.
  2. Administrative − for all audit results, contribution records, Fiduciary Plan Review meeting minutes, fee benchmarkings, participant complaints.
  3. Participant Communication − copies of enrollment materials, communication memos, meeting sign-in sheets.
  4. Investments − listing of fund menu with expenses, Fiduciary Investment Review meeting minutes.

The key is twofold: keep the things you need, and store them so you can find them easily. If a participant, auditor, or DOL agent requested plan information, could you find it quickly?

ACR#176495 03/16 BGWA.2018.54

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Investment advisory and asset management services are offered by investment adviser representatives (IARs) through Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors, Inc. (Burnham Gibson), a registered investment adviser. Burnham Gibson IARs are also, separately and apart from Burnham Gibson, registered representatives who offer securities through AXA Advisors, LLC (NY, NY 212-314-4600), member FINRA, SIPC, as well as agents who offer insurance and annuity products through AXA Network, LLC, which conducts business as AXA Network Insurance Agency of California, LLC in California, and as AXA Network Insurance Agency of Utah, LLC in Utah. Please note that any Burnham Gibson IAR holding the QKA (Qualified 401(k) Plan Administrator) and/or the CPFA (Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor) professional designation does so only in his or her capacity as an investment advisory representative with Burnham Gibson and entirely outside of AXA Advisors and AXA Network. Neither designation reflects any AXA Advisors/AXA Network investment advisory or other service or product offering. AXA Advisors and AXA Network do not provide ERISA fiduciary, tax or legal advice and are not affiliates of Burnham Gibson. Individuals may transact business and/or respond to inquiries only in state(s) in which they are properly qualified.

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Please note that although Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors, Inc. is  a “registered investment adviser”, readers should be aware that registration with the SEC or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Additional information about the Adviser is available on the SEC’s website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

BGWA.2018.51
PPG 138586 (8/18) (Exp 8/20)