The year 2013 has flown by with a flurry of activities. With the roll-out of the public health insurance exchanges and various new regulations for retirement plans, the end of the year was anything but typical. It’s now January and time to put together retirement plan resolutions for 2014.

Has the U.S. Department of Labor knocked on your door recently? For many employers it’s not a matter of if but when. Will you be prepared? It starts with good record retention. What should you keep, for how long and how should you organize it? Several rules of thumb: • Plan documents should never be discarded. This includes the basic plan document, adoption agreement, amendments and summary plan descriptions. • Annual filing reports should be maintained for six years. This includes the 5500’s (even though they are now electronically filed) and supporting materials for contributions, testing results, plan audits, summary annual reports and distribution records. • Participant records should be maintained during the participant’s employment and at least six years after their termination. This includes enrollment forms, beneficiary forms and distribution forms. Loan records should also be maintained at least six years after the loan is paid off.

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