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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Marsh

The Importance of Recordkeeping for Plan Sponsors

As a plan sponsor, you carry the responsibility of ensuring the success of your organization’s retirement planning and its compliance. One crucial aspect of this responsibility is proper recordkeeping. Managing and maintaining accurate and organized records is not only a legal requirement but also crucial for effective retirement planning. How so? Join us as we discuss why well-executed recordkeeping is so crucial and how to implement it in your own operations.

woman performing recordkeeping duties as she looks through neatly organized documents.

Why is Recordkeeping Important for Plan Sponsors?

Recordkeeping is the important act of managing all necessary documents for your retirement plan. For plan sponsors, recordkeeping is a vital fiduciary duty. It ensures transparency, accountability, and the ability to demonstrate compliance to both regulatory agencies and plan participants. Here are some key reasons why good recordkeeping is essential:

Fiduciary Responsibility

As a plan sponsor, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of your plan participants. Maintaining thorough records helps you monitor plan activities, document decisions, and ensure the plan operates in-line with its objectives and participant needs.

Compliance and Audit Preparedness

Accurate records help you meet the ever-increasing regulatory requirements and provide a solid foundation for audit trail purposes. It allows you to demonstrate adherence to applicable laws and regulations, protecting your plan from penalties and legal issues.

Plan Administration Efficiency

Efficient recordkeeping facilitates smooth plan administration. It enables quick retrieval of necessary information, simplifies communication with plan participants, and ensures accurate reporting and disclosure to relevant stakeholders.

Well-executed recordkeeping makes plan administration easier, as shown by  two men who are within the plan happily conversing.

Well-executed recordkeeping ensures plan administration is more streamlined.

Recordkeeping 101: What to Keep and for How Long?

To fulfill your recordkeeping responsibilities, it’s important to know what documents to retain and for how long. Here are some common documents and their typical retention periods:

Plan Documents

This includes the written plan document, any amendments, and plan agreements. These documents should be retained permanently as they form the legal foundation of your retirement plan.

Participant Information

Records related to participant enrollment, contribution elections, investment allocations, and beneficiary designations should be kept for at least six years according to the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA).


Any written communications, such as participant notices, disclosures, and summary plan descriptions, should be maintained for at least six years from the date they were distributed.

Financial Records

This includes statements, reports, and accountings related to plan investments, contributions, distributions, and expenses. These records should typically be retained for at least six years.

Simplify Recordkeeping with RPCSI

Managing recordkeeping responsibilities can be complex and time-consuming. This is where the professionals at RPCSI come in. As a trusted retirement plan administration firm with over 20 years of experience in the industry, we offer a range of administration and recordkeeping services to ease the burden of managing your retirement plan, including plan year-end valuations, compliance testing, and government reporting. Reach out to request a quote and—with RPCSI as your partner—confidently manage your recordkeeping obligations and navigate the complex world of retirement planning.


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