Insights

What’s the Magic Number When it Comes to Record Retention?

You don’t need to be a magician to know what records to keep and for how long. While most providers can supply reports and plan documents, the plan administrator remains ultimately responsible for retaining adequate records that support the plan document reports and filings. Refer to the chart below to know which documents you need to keep in case of a plan audit.

Documentation Retention Requirement for Audit Purposes*
Plan Documents - including basic plan document, adoption agreement, amendments, summary plan descriptions and summary of material modifications At least six years following plan termination
Annual Filings - including 5500, summary annual reports, plan audits, distribution records and supporting materials for contributions and testing At least six years
Participant Records - including enrollment, beneficiary and distribution forms, and QDROs At least six years after the participant’s termination
Loan Records At least six years after the loan is paid off
Retirement / Investment Committee meeting materials and notes At least six years following plan termination

Organization of Your Fiduciary File

When organizing your fiduciary file, we recommend a format that includes the following sections:

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

BGWA.2019.08

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Investment advisory and asset management services are offered by investment adviser representatives (IARs) through Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors, LLC (Burnham Gibson), a registered investment adviser, and indirect subsidiary of Baldwin Risk Partners, LLC and BRP Group, Inc. 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.

Burnham Gibson IARs are also, separately and apart from Burnham Gibson, registered representatives who offer securities through Equitable Advisors, LLC (NY, NY 212-314-4600), member FINRA, SIPC (Equitable Financial Advisors in MI and TN), as well as agents who offer insurance and annuity products through Equitable Network, LLC, which conducts business in CA as Equitable Network Insurance Agency of California, LLC, in UT as Equitable Network Insurance Agency of Utah, LLC, and in PR as Equitable Network of Puerto Rico, Inc. For more information about Equitable Advisors, LLC, you may visit https://equitable.com/crs to review the firm’s Relationship Summary for Retail Investors and General Conflicts of Interest Disclosure. Equitable Advisors and Equitable Network do not provide ERISA fiduciary, tax or legal advice and are not affiliates of Burnham Gibson, Baldwin Risk Partners, LLC and BRP Group, Inc. Individuals may transact business and/or respond to inquiries only in state(s) in which they are properly qualified. AGE-153660 (10/20) (Exp. 10/24)

Please note that any BGWA 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 IAR with BGWA and entirely outside of Equitable Advisors and Equitable Network. Neither designation reflects any Equitable Advisors or Equitable Network service or product offering. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Board of Standards Inc. owns the CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification marks in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements. The CLU®, ChFC®, Chartered Life Underwriter® and Chartered Financial Consultant® marks are the property of The American College, which reserves sole rights to its use, and is used by permission.

Please note that although Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors, LLC 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.

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