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