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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.

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.

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. 03 (PDF).
  2. Download, print, and read the Self-Employed 401(k) Adoption Agreement (PDF).
  3. Complete and sign the Adoption Agreement in Step 3 and return the original form to:

    Fidelity Investments
    PO Box 770001
    Cincinnati, OH 45277-0001

Once you have opened the plan, you are ready to establish your accounts.

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.