Retirement Plan Records Retention

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) provides for very specific requirements for records retention.

These are specific to types of documents which basically fall into two categories: Reporting & Disclosure Records and Benefits Determination Records.

1. Reporting & Disclosure Records must be retained and kept available for the life of the plan plus a minimum of six years after plan termination and include:

  1. Federal forms such as Form 5500 and related schedules (must be kept six years) IRS determination letters
  2. Summary Plan Descriptions
  3. Summaries of Material Modifications
  4. Participant benefit statements

2. Benefits Determination Records have an open-ended retention requirement. ERISA states that employers must maintain these records as long as they may be relevant to a determination of benefit entitlements. These documents include:

  1. Age and service records used to determine eligibility
  2. Vesting c. Breaks in service and benefits
  3. Payroll records
  4. Beneficiary designations
  5. Plan documents and amendments
  6. Trust documents
  7. Custodial agreements

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact your QBI Consultant.

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