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How long must plan sponsor keep unforeseeable emergency distribution documentation?

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This may not be the most appropriate board to post the message, but I'll roll the dice. I cannot find anything specific on this topc. Even the regulations on 401(k) hardship documentation do not actually state what length of time the plan sponsor must keep these records - just that it must. Does that mean there is no time frame and records are to be kept indefinitely? Or would 7 years be sufficient? What my client really wants to know is what is the shortest amount of time that these records must be kept?

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The answer shouldn't be any different than how long to keep any tax record: it depends.  Could be three years, seven years, or indefinitely.

I always say that before you throw something away, you should make a copy of it, just in case...

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Participant records should be retained until the participant claims against the plan are resolved.  That could be for the life of the PLAN.

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