My spouse and I are co-participants in the plan. Why is only one of our names listed in our documents?

Most 401k plans do not list participants by name. Rather, a trustee is listed to denote who has fiduciary responsibility over the plan funds. For a Solo 401k plan, when both spouses are co-participants, the spouse’s name isn’t typically listed in the document as a participant.

The regulations provide that Solo 401k plans cover the owner and spouse; therefore, there is no need to list the spouse in the document. The plan can be administered just like any other 401(k) plan, with the owner and spouse as participants.

401k plan documents generally don’t enumerate who is included, but they do list what roles are excluded.

Imagine this scenario…in a company with 18,000 employees all on one 401k plan, the documents would have to be constantly updated with every name or every person in the company who’s participating and then updated again if anyone gets fired, quits or passes away.

The solution to that is to exclude anyone who may not participate in the plan.

If you look closely, you might notice you are not named anywhere in the documents as a participant, but you are named as a trustee. If your spouse is a co-trustee, both names will be listed as trustees.

On the left-hand side, the first row is titled, “Solo401k Docs”. Click “View Details” just under Solo401k docs and a window will pop up to show plan information, personal information, business information, and tax information.

In the tax information section, you’ll see your name, primary participant and secondary participant (your spouse).

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