Time to get your house in order! That’s right, we’re talking about plan documents. For many plan sponsors, December 31 marks the end of the year for their 401(k) or other retirement plans. Participants and sponsors will soon receive legally required year-end notices. Yet in the flurry of other year-end activities, sponsors may forget that they, too, have fiduciary obligations to keep these documents.
All records relating to a 401(k) plan must be kept for at least six years after the Form 5500 is filed. Records necessary to a participant’s claim for plan benefits must be kept for “as long as a possibility exists that they might be relevant to a determination of the benefit entitlements of a participant or beneficiary,” which can mean indefinitely.