Author: Jayne Zanglein, Western Carolina University
- Form 5500, attachments and supporting documents must be kept for six years after reports are filed. See ERISA Requirements.
- Documents relating to employee benefit plans must be kept long enough to determine an employee's entitlement to benefits and when those benefits become due. See ERISA Requirements.
- The employer or plan administrator may face penalties under ERISA for failure to retain records. See Penalties for Noncompliance.
- Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) records must be kept for six years. See COBRA Records.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) records must be kept for six years. See HIPAA Records.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) records must be kept for three years. See FMLA Records.
- Grandfathered group health plans are required to maintain documents that support the plan's status as grandfathered. See The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
- Employers should establish a document retention policy. See Document Retention Policy.
- After a lawsuit is filed, records relating to the claim may not be destroyed. See Effect of Lawsuit on Retention.