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Self-Employed 401(k): Getting Started

Follow these step-by-step instructions to set up your Self-Employed 401(k) or call us at 800-544-5373 and select option 3 for guidance throughout the entire process.

Appoint a Plan Administrator—someone who takes care of administrative responsibilities and ensures the plan is operating according to the Plan Document.

Because a Fidelity plan is easy to maintain, the employer usually acts as the Plan Administrator. You may also name another person at your firm, or your accountant, as the Plan Administrator. Learn more about the duties of the Plan Administrator.

  1. Download, print, and read the Fidelity Retirement Plan, Basic Plan Document No. 04 (PDF).
  2. Download, print, and complete the Self-Employed 401(k) Adoption Agreement (PDF).
  3. Be sure to sign and date the Adoption Agreement and return the original form to Fidelity Investments.
  4. Keep copies of all documents and records for your permanent company Plan records.

To fully establish your Plan, you will also need to send at least one completed Self-Employed 401(k) Account Application, along with the Adoption Agreement, to Fidelity - click on the "Establish Accounts" tab to learn more.

  1. Complete a Self-Employed 401(k) Account Application for yourself and each participating owner (including the business owner's spouse, if applicable).
  2. Download, print and read the following documents and provide copies to each eligible business owner:
  3. Complete, sign, and return the Adoption Agreement, along with the original Account Application(s), the last item in Step 2, to:

    Fidelity Investments
    PO Box 770001
    Cincinnati, OH 45277-0036

Once you have established your Self-Employed 401(k) Plan and any new account(s), the next step is to contribute to your 401(k).

You can use the Contribution Worksheet (PDF) for an unincorporated business to calculate your annual contributions.

To mail contributions to Fidelity

  1. Make your check payable to Fidelity Investments. Include your account number in the memo section of the check.
  2. Include a completed 401(k) Contribution Remittance Form (PDF) with your check, each time you contribute to your plan.
  3. Mail the check and completed remittance form to:

    Fidelity Investments
    PO Box 770001
    Cincinnati, OH 45277-0003

To set up salary deferral elections

  1. You can use the sample 401(k) Salary Reduction Agreement Form (PDF). Fill it out yourself and have each participating owner (including the business owner's spouse, if applicable) fill it out as well.
  2. Keep this form for your records and do not forward to Fidelity.

To roll over other plan assets

If you already have a retirement savings plan for your business, you may be able to roll over or transfer existing plan assets to a Self-Employed 401(k). Consult with your tax advisor or benefits consultant prior to making a change to your retirement plan.

Assets from the following plans may be eligible to be rolled over into a Self-Employed 401(k):

  • Profit Sharing, Money Purchase, and 401(k) plans
  • SEP IRAs and SARSEPs
  • SIMPLE IRA accounts after two years of SIMPLE participation
  • 403(b) and governmental 457(b) plans
  • Traditional IRAs

Call a retirement specialist at 800-544-5373 (choose option 3) to get help with a rollover into a Fidelity Self-Employed 401(k).

Contribution deadlines

The deadline for depositing your employer profit-sharing contributions for the current calendar year is the business’ tax-filing deadline, plus extensions (for unincorporated businesses, this date is usually April 15 of the following year, plus any extensions).

The deadline for depositing your employee 401(k) salary deferrals for owner-only plans is generally by your tax-filing deadline, plus extensions.1

Incorporated business owners (including spouses) must make a written salary deferral election by the end of your tax year.2

Unincorporated business owners must generally make a written salary deferral election by the end of your tax year.

If you have any questions, call 800-544-5373 and select option 3 to speak with a Fidelity small-business retirement representative.

1. The deadline to deposit salary deferrals for plans covering employees other than the business owner or spouse of the business owner is generally as soon as possible, but no later than the 15th business day following the month in which salary deferrals are withheld.
2. Under no circumstances may a salary deferral election apply to compensation you have already received.

Duties of the Plan Administrator

  • Complete and maintain the adoption agreement for your permanent files.
  • Establish an account for each participating business owner and, if applicable, a spouse who is employed by the business.
  • File annual tax report Form 5500. This filing is not necessary until your total plan assets exceed $250,000. For more information on tax reporting, read Form 5500 filing assistance or Form 5500 frequently asked questions.
  • Calculate and allocate profit-sharing contributions.
  • Complete and submit the 401(k) Contribution Remittance form (PDF) with each contribution deposit you make to the plan.