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Compare Small-Business Retirement Plans

Whether you are self-employed or the owner of a small business, there is a wide range of retirement plans designed to meet your specific needs. All of these retirement plans can help you save money for retirement while potentially providing tax advantages.

Small-Business Plans Available at Fidelity

  SEP IRA Self-Employed 401(k) SIMPLE IRA Investment-Only  401(k)
Who it's for  Self-employed individual or small business owner, including those with employees 

Available to sole proprietors, partnerships, C corporations, S corporations
Self-employed individual or business owner with no employees other than a spouse 

Available to sole proprietors, partnerships, C corporations, S corporations
Businesses with 100 or fewer employees and self-employed individuals 

Available to sole proprietors, partnerships, C corporations, S corporations
Businesses that want a full brokerage account for investing plan assets for their non-Fidelity prototype retirement plan but do not require other plan services

Fidelity provides no plan documents, tax reporting or administrative services.
Any type of public or private company 

Generally most appropriate for companies with 20 or more employees
Key advantages Easy to set up and maintain 

Flexible annual funding requirements 

Wide range of investment choices
A 401(k) with potentially higher contribution limits than SEP IRA

Wide range of investment choice
Salary deferral plan with less administration 

Electronic funding with customized contribution allocation for each participant 

Wide range of investment choice
Wide range of investment choice 

No account setup fee or annual maintenance fee1
Flexibility in plan design 

Plan administrative services, investment management, and participant education programs 

Wide range of mutual fund options
Fees1 No initial setup fee or annual maintenance fee No initial setup fee or annual maintenance fee Low cost with option of annual fee of $25 per participant or $350 plan fee No account setup fee or annual maintenance fee Varies by plan
Who can contribute Funded solely by employer contributions Funded by employee deferrals and employer contributions Funded by employee deferrals and employer contributions Varies by plan Funded by employee deferrals and employer contributions
2013 employee contribution limits2 Not applicable Up to $17,500 in salary deferrals; $23,000 if age 50 or older Up to $12,000 in salary deferrals; $14,500 if age 50 or older Varies by plan Up to $17,500 in salary deferrals, or $23,000 if age 50 or older (limits may vary by plan)
2014 employee contribution limits2 Not applicable Up to $17,500 in salary deferrals; $23,000 if age 50 or older Up to $12,000 in salary deferrals; $14,500 if age 50 or older Varies by plan Up to $17,500 in salary deferrals, or $23,000 if age 50 or older (limits may vary by plan)
2013 employer contribution limits Up to 25% of compensation3 up to a maximum of $51,000 Employers may contribute up to 25% of compensation3 up to a maximum of $51,000.
Total employer/employee contributions cannot exceed $51,000.
Either match employee contributions up to 3% of compensation; can be reduced to 1% in any two out of five years or contribute 2% of each employee's compensation,3 up to $5,000. Varies by plan Employers may make a matching contribution or profit sharing contribution up to 25% of compensation up to a maximum of $51,000.
Total employer/employee contributions cannot exceed $51,000.
2014 employer contribution limits Up to 25% of compensation3 up to a maximum of $52,000 Employers may contribute up to 25% of compensation3 up to a maximum of $52,000.
Total employer/employee contributions cannot exceed $52,000.
Either match employee contributions up to 3% of compensation; can be reduced to 1% in any two out of five years or contribute 2% of each employee's compensation,3 up to $5,000 Varies by plan Employers may make a matching contribution or profit sharing contribution up to 25% of compensation up to a maximum of $52,000.
Total employer/employee contributions cannot exceed $52,000.
Administrative responsibilities No employer tax filings; employee notification for employer's contribution, if made Annual Form 5500 filing after plan assets exceed $250,000 No employer tax filings; 
certain annual employee notifications must generally be made by Nov. 1.
Varies by plan Form 5500 and special IRS testing to ensure plan does not favor highly compensated employees
Access to assets4 Withdraw at any time, but a 10% penalty may apply if you are under age 59½. Cannot take withdrawals from the plan until a "trigger" event occurs, such as turning age 59½, disability, and/or plan termination Withdraw at any time, but a 10% penalty may apply if you are under age 59½. If the withdrawal is taken within first two years of participation in the plan, that penalty increases to 25%. Varies by plan Loans may be available.
Hardship withdrawals may be available but a 10% penalty may apply if you are under age 59½.
Withdrawals can be taken upon a "trigger" event such as turning age 59½, disability, termination of employment, and/or plan termination.
Plan setup deadlines Establish by employer's tax filing deadline, plus extensions, usually April 15. Establish by December 31 (or fiscal year-end). Establish by October 1. Varies by plan Deadline is based upon the plan selection. Call 877-295-7662 to find out more about Fidelity's 401(k) plans.
How to open an account Open online or call a retirement representative at 800-544-5373, option 3. Get started on your own or call a retirement representative at 800-544-5373, option 3 to open. Get started on your own or call a retirement representative at 800-544-5373, option 3 to open. Call a retirement representative at 800-544-5373, option 3 to open. Call a retirement representative at 866-418-5173 to open.
Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.
1. There is no cost to open and no annual fee for Fidelity's Traditional, Roth, SEP, and Rollover IRAs. A $50 account close out fee may apply. Fund investments held in your account may be subject to management, low balance and short term trading fees, as described in the offering materials. For all securities, see the Fidelity commission schedule for trading commission and transaction fee details.
2. Limits apply as total limits across all plans, not to each individual plan.
3. The maximum compensation on which contributions and SIMPLE IRA employer 2% non-elective contributions can be based is $255,000 for the 2013 plan year and $260,000 for the 2014 plan year. For self-employed people, compensation means earned income.
4. If you withdraw the money before age 59½, you are generally subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty, subject to certain exceptions. For SIMPLE IRAs, if the withdrawal is made within the first two years of plan participation, the 10% penalty increases to 25%.
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