If your plan is audited, the IRS will want to review records documenting that you are following the terms of your written plan. The following are examples of plan records and data that the IRS has reviewed in prior audit activity:
- Copies of plan documents (the basic plan document, adoption agreements executed by your organization, amendments, board resolutions and other corresponding documents referenced under the plan)
- Annuity contracts, custodial account agreements and other funding vehicle documents
- Approved Plan Provider Agreements
- Administrative service agreements
- Information sharing agreements
- Payroll master file or employee census records for all employees who performed any hours of service at any time during the plan year (The IRS will want these records to verify eligibility, participation, and coverage.)
- Copies of cancelled checks and other records supporting contributions made to your plan
- Copies of employee salary reduction agreements
- Information relating to maximum contribution limit calculations for your employees
- If applicable, copies of your plan test results and the data for preparing discrimination, coverage, and contribution percentage testing
IRS regulations generally require an employer that offers a 403(b) plan to have adopted a written plan. The written plan must include all of the material provisions regarding eligibility, benefits, applicable limitations, and the time and form under which benefit distributions are made.
In some cases, you may be able to satisfy the written plan requirement by adopting a simple basic plan which incorporates the existing terms of annuity contracts, custodial agreements and other documents. Together, these components may satisfy the written plan requirement.
The MetLife ComplyNow Program can make available to you certain MetLife Specimen Plan Documents and Plan Document Service* free of charge:
- MetLife Specimen 403(b) Plan Adoption Agreement with Basic Plan Document
- Sample Information Sharing Agreement
MetLife will update Specimen and Prototype Plan Documents from time to time to conform to changes in legal requirements (including but not limited to those under the Internal Revenue Code) and communicate such updates to you.
You may also obtain sample documents — such as provider agreements, information sharing agreements and salary reduction agreements — from third parties websites like ASBO. Please note that MetLife is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, organizations such as ASBO.
*MetLife assists employers in the preparation of plan documents and provides documents for the employer's review. The employer is responsible for the adoption and use of such plan documents. MetLife will not be responsible for and an employer may no longer rely on plan documents services provided by MetLife if the Employer (i) adopts a written plan on a form other than a MetLife Specimen Plan Document in the form provided by MetLife; (ii) adopts an amendment to its Plan that causes the MetLife Specimen Plan Document provided by MetLife to be altered; or (iii) adopts a Plan provision that cannot be supported by the MetLife Specimen Plan Document or MetLife. The Employer is responsible for notifying MetLife in writing if it has taken any of these actions with respect to its Plan. MetLife does not provide plan document support for individually designed plans.
MetLife provides samples and information (but not advice) to help the Employer in consulting with its lawyer. These matters are not a substitute for an Employer’s consulting with an attorney. Any information provided is only an overview, and does not consider an Employer’s specific circumstances.
MetLife does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information or document, or that any information is useful for any purpose. Except as otherwise specified, tax information (if any) refers only to Federal income tax treatment, and not any other Federal tax. Also, the information does not refer to any State, local, or foreign tax; as tax laws under those jurisdictions might be different.
Any discussion of taxes is for general informational purposes only and does not purport to be complete or cover every situation. MetLife, its agents and representatives may not give legal, tax or accounting advice and this document should not be construed as such. Clients should confer with their qualified legal, tax and accounting advisors as appropriate.”