The Joseph Group

A Plan Sponsor Year End Checklist

November 18, 2021



I’m sure many of us were hopeful that 2021 would be a better year and in many ways our hopes came to fruition. While we didn’t quite get back to business as usual, business owners and plan sponsors weren’t thrown a curveball like the CARES Act so far this year. In most cases, the 401(k) plan stayed on course, but many business owners had to adapt to the labor shortages, supply chain restraints and may have even been impacted by the flurry of merger/acquisition activity.

As another wild year comes to a close, it’s important to take a look at your retirement plan and make sure you are prepared for year end compliance testing and filings. Below is a checklist to help plan sponsors prepare.

  1. Review who are the trustees of the retirement plan. It’s important to know who is serving in this role as some may have retired, taken a new role or moved on. Knowing who these people and adjusting as needed helps the plan remain efficient.
  2. Check with your third party administrator to make sure you have completed the restatement process. It’s important to incorporate all new legislation into the plan’s legal document as the Department of Labor requires this process every 4-6 years.
  3. If your retirement plan requires an audit, take a look over the previous year’s requests and make sure you know where to find all relevant documents (enrollments, distributions, etc.)
  4. Annual Compliance Notices delivered to eligible employees. Depending on how your plan is designed, you may have anywhere from 2-5 documents to provide employees each year. Make sure you know who is responsible for delivering these to your team and that it’s completed by December 1st.
  5. Review Plan Partners (Recordkeeper, TPA, & Investment Advisor) and determine if any changes need to be made.
  6. Review Fidelity Bond Coverage. This is required to cover 10% of plan assets up to $500,000. Make sure the coverage lines up with that requirement and is effective for 2022.

Another item to consider is that if you are nearing “audit plan status” which means you have between 90-110 employees, you should start identifying former employees who still have accounts in the retirement plan and reaching out to help move their accounts to their new employer’s plan or an IRA.

If this is your current situation, please reach out to our team. We have a great program to help employers with the above that we would be happy to share with you. If you would like to learn more or just want a second opinion, please contact me at 614-907-8639 or matt.kruckenberg@josephgroup.com.

While there are other items to consider, those listed above ten to be the most important items to address.





Written by Matthew Kruckenberg, Manager of Retirement Plan Services