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.


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.

3.   Participant Education – copies of enrollment materials, memos, meeting sign-in sheets

2.  Administrative – all audit results, contribution records, Fiduciary Plan Review meeting minutes, fee benchmarkings, participant complaints

4.   Investments – fund menu list with expenses, Fiduciary Investment Review meeting minutes


For more information on demystifying record retention, visit or call 203-878-8194.

*For litigation purposes, we recommend that documents be retained indefinitely.

Financial Network Limited – 26 Cherry Street – Milford, CT 06460 | 203-878-8194 |
Advisory products and services offered by Investment Adviser Representatives through Prime Capital Investment Advisors, LLC (“PCIA”), a federally registered investment adviser. PCIA: 6201 College Blvd., Suite#150, Overland Park, KS 66211. PCIA doing business as Prime Capital Wealth Management (“PCWM”) and Qualified Plan Advisors (“QPA”). Securities offered by Registered Representatives through Private Client Services, Member FINRA/SIPC. PCIA and Private Client Services are separate entities and are not affiliated.

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