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Small Business Retirement Accounts

Work for yourself? Own a small business? There are specialized accounts to help you save for retirement.

Our Two Cents

If money is tight when you're first starting a business, then do what you would with a regular employer-sponsored retirement plan and gradually increase the percentage you contribute each paycheck. That way, you can ease your way up to your ideal amount.

Whether you work for yourself or have a small business with just a few employees, you can maximize your retirement savings and tax advantages with a small-business retirement plan. The three plans listed below are a good place to start. You may want to talk to a tax advisor for help in choosing the plan that’s right for you and your business.

Individual 401(k)—For self-employed individuals without employees

An Individual 401(k) is an easy-to-administer, low-cost retirement plan designed for self-employed individuals and owner-only businesses who want to make substantial contributions toward their retirement. It has many of the same benefits as a traditional 401(k), but it’s a smaller plan, requiring less administration. And, as the owner of your Individual 401(k), you direct how the contributions are invested.

SEP-IRA—For either self-employed individuals or small businesses with employees

The easiest plan to administer, a SEP-IRA allows you to make sizable contributions for yourself and any eligible employees you may have. And you have the flexibility to vary contributions from year to year or even skip contributions altogether in any year.

SIMPLE IRA—Suitable for business owners with employees

A SIMPLE IRA provides an easy and economical way to establish a retirement program for you and up to 100 employees. With a SIMPLE IRA, you establish the plan for your business. Eligible employees may fund their own retirement accounts through salary deferral contributions. And, as the employer, you make an additional contribution to eligible employee accounts.


Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.

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