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Information for Small Businesses

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Is a Solo 401k Right for You? - You probably won't miss much when you say goodbye to your traditional 9-to-5, but one of the things that you might regret leaving behind is your 401k. You could struggle to save enough for your future if all you have is an IRA. But there is another option: a solo 401k. These accounts are similar to traditional 401ks, but they're specifically designed for self-employed workers with no employees.

How to Set up a 401k Plan for Small Business Employees - As top candidates weigh the pros and cons of different employment opportunities in a competitive job market, offering a 401k plan is among the best ways to help your business attract and retain quality talent. Additionally, other advantages such as tax benefits and owner retirement savings options make setting up a 401k plan a smart benefit option. However, business owners may believe that a 401k plan isn't right for them, are unclear of the benefits, or believe the administrative responsibilities are too cumbersome.

How to Choose a Small Business 401k Plan - In a time of record-low unemployment, small business leaders can't hope to compete for talent without the right retirement benefits. Most small businesses simply can't afford to set workers up with pensions, but they can provide defined contribution 401k plans. With so many providers on the market, though, how can they be sure they're picking the right one? The best ones have these key features.

Small Business and Retirement Savings: The Push for Multiple Employer Plans - Federal regulators and lawmakers have been moving toward making plans more attractive for small business by expanding a previously obscure concept: the "multiple employer plan," which is a single plan in which numerous small, unrelated companies sign up for a centrally administered retirement plan whose sponsor takes on the burdens of choosing investment providers, tracking contributions and account balances, communicating with participants, making distributions, dealing with government filing requirements, and resolving claims disputes.


A glossary retirement plan and investment terms available here.

401k Plans for Sole Proprietorships

Regulatory reform now allows Sole Proprietorships to set-up and contribute to a 401k plan. These are often called Solo 401k or Individual(k) plans. A number of vendors are beginning to market specific plans to meet this need.

General Features of a Solo 401k Plan:

Plan Establishment Sole proprietors with no additional employees other than the spouse of the proprietor or partnerships whose only employees are self-employed partners and their spouses.
Trustee and Plan Administrator Business Owner, Spouse or Partner or any combination, or any other designated third party.
Salary Deferral
Up to $19,500 (not to exceed 100% of pay and no more than $285,000 of pay can be taken into account). Total salary deferral and employer maximum is $57,000.
Individuals age 50 or older may contribute an additional $6,500 in salary deferrals beyond the $19,500 which does not count towards the maximum total contribution limit of $57,000.
Employer Contributions Up to 25% of pay (20% for self-employed) to a maximum of $57,000. Salary deferral contributions are also counted towards this limit.
Rollovers Rollovers and transfers allowed from traditional IRA, SEP, Qualified Plans or Keoghs (Profit Sharing, Money Purchase Pension, Defined Benefit), 401k, 403(b) and governmental 457 plans. SIMPLE IRAs are eligible for rollover after two year holding period is met.
Loans Available to all participants, including unincorporated business owners.
Government Reporting IRS 5500-EZ.


401k plans are subject to numerous and complex rules, regulations and tax qualification requirements. Be sure to consult with a qualified professional before making any decisions.

Information on Small Business Plans

Starting a small business retirement savings plan can be easier than you think. Here are some resources on a varity of retirement plans available to the small business person.

Employer Retirement Plans Comparison Chart for Small Businesses - Summary: This chart provides a comparison of the features and benefits that apply to retirement plans that can be sponsored/adopted by small business owners. Focus is on the areas that are important to the business owner to ensure that the plan that is chosen is the plan that is most suitable for the business.

DOL's 401k Plans for Small Businesses

401k Plans for Small Businesses

Choosing a Retirement Plan for Your Small Business - Summary: In this piece you will find a chart outlining the advantages of each of the most popular types of IRA-based and defined contribution plans and an overview of a defined benefit plan.

Retirement Plans FAQs Regarding SEPs

FAQs Regarding SIMPLE IRA Plans

SEP Retirement Plans For Small Businesses

Simple IRA Plans for Small Businesses

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