A retirement plan needs regular care to keep it operating properly. Your plan’s care should include a regular review of your plan’s basic operations. These one-page checklists are a quick way to start your review. Each checklist links to a Fix-It Guide with tips on how to find, fix and avoid each potential error.
- SIMPLE IRA Checklist (PDF)
- SEP Checklist (PDF)
- SARSEP Checklist (PDF)
- 401(k) Plan Checklist (PDF)
- 403(b) Plan Checklist (PDF)
The checklist is for your use on a voluntary basis. Don’t file it with the IRS. Also, remember that the checklists aren’t meant as a comprehensive review of every aspect of your plan – just an easy way to start.
Sample checklist questions:
- Has your plan document been updated within the past few years to reflect recent law changes?
- Are the plan’s operations based on the plan document’s terms?
- Are all eligible employees participating in the plan?
What do your checklist answers mean?
Answering “no” to any of the checklist questions tells you that you may have a mistake in your plan operation. The expanded explanation for each question – the “Fix-it Guide” - gives you an example of how to correct the mistake.
Errors you might find:
Your checklist answers might uncover the following common mistakes:
- not covering the proper employees
- not giving employees required information
- not depositing employee deferrals timely
- not depositing employer contributions timely
- not following the terms of the plan document
- not limiting employee deferrals and employer contributions to the proper maximum limits
Need to make a correction? We can help.
The IRS has helpful correction programs structured to provide financial incentives to find and correct mistakes earlier rather than later. You can correct many mistakes easily, without penalty and without notifying the IRS.
The Fix-it Guides explain how to find and fix the most common retirement plan errors.
- Plan Sponsor's Responsibilities to help keep your plan running smoothly all year
- Publication 560, Retirement Plans for Small Business (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans) (PDF)
- Publication 3998, Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business (PDF)
- Publication 4222, 401(k) Plans for Small Businesses (PDF)
- Publication 4333, SEP Retirement Plans for Small Businesses (PDF)
- Publication 4334, SIMPLE IRA Plans for Small Businesses (PDF)
- Publication 4336, SARSEP for Small Businesses (PDF)
- Publication 4483, Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans for Sponsors (PDF)
- Publication 4484, Choose a Retirement Plan for Employees of Tax Exempt and Government Entities (PDF)