Checklists for Retirement Plan Documents

Listed below are IRS checklists for retirement plan documents categorized into subject matter packages that Employee Plans Specialists use when reviewing retirement plan documents. Plan sponsors can also use these packages as a review tool before submitting a determination letter application to the IRS.

Each subject matter is packaged as a publication and two forms. Not all packages are relevant to all plans. Each package contains:

  • An Explanation that provides guidance in the law and legal citations.
  • Alert Guidelines (Worksheets) you can use to review retirement plans. Generally, a “Yes” answer to a question indicates a plan is in compliance with applicable law.
  • Plan Deficiency Paragraphs (Checksheets) that are pre-approved wording that, if used by plan sponsors, will satisfy the applicable Internal Revenue Code requirements. While you aren’t required to use this exact wording, the pre-approved language provides an easy and reliable method for assuring plan qualification.

In prior years, these three items were available as separate documents but now have been bundled into one subject matter package for convenience.

Minimum Participation Standards (Publication 6388, Form 5622, Form 6040)
Minimum Vesting Standards – Defined Contribution Plans (Publication 6389, Form 5623, Form 6041)
Minimum Vesting Standards – Defined Benefit Plans (Publication 4692, Form 5624, Form 8401)
Joint and Survivor Annuities (Publication 6391, Form 5625, Form 6042)
Miscellaneous Provisions (Publication 6392, Form 5626, Form 6043)
Coverage and Nondiscrimination Requirements – Defined Contribution Plans (Publication 6393, Form 5627, Form 6045)
Coverage and Nondiscrimination Requirements – Defined Benefit Plans (Publication 4965, Form 9638, Form 9640)
Permitted Disparity (Publication 4964, Form 9639, Form 9637)
Limitations on Contributions and Benefits (Publication 7001, Form 8384, Form 6044)
Top-Heavy Requirements (Publication 7002, Form 8385, Form 8397)
Employee Leasing (Publication 7003, Form 8386, Form 8398)
Required Plan Distributions (Publication 7004, Form 8387, Form 8399)
Affiliated Service Groups (Publication 7005, Form 8388, Form 8400)
Employee and Matching Contributions (Publication 7334, Form 8799, Form 9416)
Section 401(k) Requirements (Publication 7335, Form 9002, Form 9417)
Section 401(h) (Publication 11433, Form 13069, Form 13070)
Section 436 Limitations (Publication 5139, Form 14582, Form 14583)