Self-Employed 401(k) Plans

Self-employed individuals and owner-only businesses and partnerships can save more for retirement through a 401(k) plan designed especially for them.

Reasons to consider Self-Employed 401(k) Plans

  • Access to Fidelity retirement professionals to help with your plan
  • Wide range of investments
  • Contributions by phone or by mail
  • No setup or annual account fee1

Call us at 800-544-5373

Select option 3 to speak with a small-business retirement specialist.

Or start the paperwork on your own first.

Self-Employed Contribution Calculator
Answer five simple questions to see how much you may be able to contribute to your plan.

Tax benefits

Tax-deferred growth

Tax-deductible contributions

Pre-tax employee deferral contributions

Learn more about the tax advantages of self-employed 401(k)s
Investment options

A wide range of mutual funds, stocks, bonds, ETFs, and FDIC-insured CDs

Support and guidance

One-on-one guidance—in person, online, or over the phone

Research and tools to help you create a long-term plan and choose investments

Eligibility

Self-employed individuals and owner-only businesses and partnerships are eligible.

Owners’ spouses may also participate.

IRS maximum contribution

Salary deferrals up to $18,000 for 2015 and 2016

See how much you may be able to contribute to your plan with our Self-Employed Contribution Calculator.

Catch-up contribution

Additional salary deferral of $6,000 for 2015 and 2016 (if age 50 or older)2

Profit sharing contribution

Up to 25% of compensation,3 up to the annual maximum of $53,000 for 2015 and 2016

Establishment deadline

The deadline to open a new plan is December 31 (or fiscal year-end).

Administrative responsibilities

Annual IRS Form 5500 filing after plan assets exceed $250,000

Withdrawals

Minimum required distributions starting at age 70½

10% early withdrawal penalty if under age 59½ and no exceptions apply

Account fees

No annual fees, no establishment fees*

*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.

Trading fees

$7.95 for online U.S. equity trades

Next steps

Open a Self-Employed 401(k)
Call 800-544-5373 and select option 3 to speak with a small-business retirement specialist.

Get started on your own Get a jump on the paperwork for your new plan.
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Rated 4.1 out of 5 by 150 reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Best SE 401(k) Product in the Business My Fidelity self employed 401(k) plan was easy to set up, offers me an almost unlimited number of investment options, and has minimal fees. What more could one ask for? July 5, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy setup and cost efficient Fidelity made setting up my Solo 401(k) very easy, relatively fast, and doesn't charge fees every time I turn around like my former brokerage firm did. June 20, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Better than most company 401k offerings When I switched jobs, I took the opportunity to start a solo 401k with Fidelity, and say goodbye to the limited investment options and high expense ratios of my previous employer's plan. It only took a few easy calls to the helpful service representatives to answer all of my questions and complete all of the necessary paperwork to directly roll my external accounts into Fidelity. Now I have access to the extensive options of Fidelity with lower costs that will help my money grow into a comfortable retirement! November 29, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by What more can you ask for? Almost unlimited investment selection and no fees. May 25, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great customer service on the phone Customer service on the phone is excellent. It is surprising they have such knowledgeable people ready to assist on the other end of the line! June 24, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy set-up Customer service rep made it very convenient to call in my contribution and transfer funds. June 17, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by SPH review Well designed program for sole proprietors with numerous low cost investment options. May 27, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Good solid company Overall, very satisfied with the products and service. Customer service, specifically the livechat feature are top notch. May 14, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Convenient with flexible investment options Fidelity provides a very user friendly and flexible investment platform for any account type. The self-employed 401k plan has helped me maximize my annual contributions and invest these contributions using the Fidelity web site tools or with the assistance of an advisor. Fidelity is highly recommended! February 16, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easiest-to-administer, most flexible self-employed 401(k) I looked at 401(k) plans offered by several providers and chose Fidelity because my other retirement plan assets were with Fidelity and because of the range of choices, simplicity and low fees. Forms to ensure administrative compliance are readily available. I have referred others to the Fidelity personal 401(k) website and they found it straightforward as well. In fact, the information supplied has led people to have conversations with their accountants about their tax planning. February 15, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Fidelity self employed 401k This self employed 401 k plan has been perfect for me since I started consulting after retirement in January 2008. Easy to set up and administer and easy for my tax accountant to work with too. Has saved me taxes and helped to save for retirement as well. After looking at several options, this was obviously the best plan available for people like me. February 15, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Self-Employed 401K Plan and Fidelity After retiring in mid-2012 and deciding to do some part-time consulting work, I began searching for info on available savings plans for this income. While I did searching on the internet and IRS related to this subject, I also contacted Fidelity and found the best and quickest info from them. They provided immediate assistance with getting the account set-up, which only took approx. 30 minutes, and things were then ready for me to begin making some deposits. I have found Fidelity to be #1 in Customer Service and they have a Great web-page for user help. February 15, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by I'M SATISFIED I'M SATISFIED. THE ACCOUNT IS AVAILABLE AND THERE ARE MANY OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM. August 9, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by All of the hard work is done for you The Self-Employed 401(k) Plan was very easy to establish, using Fidelity's prototype plan, and the investment side -- through a self-directed brokerage account in my case -- is prompt and smooth. The only thing I'd like to see added is the ability to make Roth contributions. Hopefully this feature will be added in the future. Currently (August 2016) only pre-tax contributions can be made, which is great for those who wish to defer pre-tax dollars. August 1, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Solo 401K Excellent plan, excellent options, great advice. I just wish it was a little easier to fund the 401K (or for that matter, to start it up) via online/electronic means July 20, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by 401K feedback The only thing I wish could be different is the ability to do an electronic transfer of funds into my account. Having to mail in a check is not as easy. July 18, 2016
Rated 2 out of 5 by Keogh Account? I opened an individual 401k account, so I thought. Now my account reads Profit Sharing Keogh. Even the IRS no longer uses "Keogh" verbiage due to law changes. So I call the online support. First person is totally clueless. Second person has to put me hold for half hour and then needs to call me back. Just want to know what kind of account you opened for me, since it does not reflect the paperwork I filled out and sent in. Paperwork is another nightmare. Even the Government has simplified paperwork and clearer instructions. Paperwork should never be "one document fits all plans"........disappointed in the process July 6, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by 401 for CMS Thus far, very happy with the program. I plan on continuing with the plan. July 5, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Helpful but inconvenient The product is good and customer service excellent however without access to electronic transfer to my account it is very inconvenient to regularly transfer funds into my account. June 21, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Solid plan Good plan, Website needs to be easier to navigate. June 20, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Solo 401k with Fidelity Fidelity is always cutting edge with technology and it makes for an ease of doing business. June 20, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy and very useful Received wonderful assistance from Fidelity in setting up the account. Establishment was fast, easily beating the Dec. 31 deadline even though I had not started long enough beforehand. They were also helpful in funding the account before I submitted my taxes for the prior year, helping me identify the maximum amount allowable under IRS rules. And purchasing holdings was as easy as usual with Fidelity. The account saved me several thousand dollars on taxes just in the first year, and having had a zero balance last Dec. 31, I will have no minimum withdrawal in this tax year. Hurray for Fidelity!!! June 20, 2016
Rated 3 out of 5 by Nice to have, but not yet modern - can only deposit by postal mail While it's nice to have the option for a self-employed 401k with Fidelity, this account does not accept electronic deposits, even from other Fidelity accounts. Instead, you must physically write a check and send it through the postal service with a printed form. So it's quite inconvenient. I only recommend it for people who have many Fidelity accounts already and prefer to keep this one at Fidelity. June 8, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy to Open and Manage The Self-Employed 401K plan was easy to open and is easy to manage. I can trade the account with various securities and stay in cash whenever I see it. The customer service is always stellar. June 8, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Customer Support people are awesome!!! The person at the local branch was very well informed and helped me open the account with ease. I had to call the Customer Service Department for help on one occasion (not the fault of Fidelity) and they knew exactly what to do and the issue was quickly resolved. One item that would be nice to have is better record keeping meaning it would be nice to have contributions by year tracked and displayed on the website. In addition, display the realized and un-realized capital gain/loss in a separate tab and track gain/loss by year. May 2, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Typical Fidelity - Perfect! There is some paperwork. My Fidelity rep told me he'd walk us through it and he did. We actually went to a branch in Colorado while on vacation to finish up the paperwork and we live in Texas. Just doesn't matter where you are or who you call at Fidelity, they come through. December 29, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Great support but annoying to deposit Several times I have contacted Fidelity representatives for various questions and they have always been quick and helpful. It is also convenient that the account allows incoming Traditional IRA rollovers. However, the process to make a deposit is extremely annoying and inconvenient. You must use a paper check in-person or by mail. Optionally, you can setup a separate account to do ACH transfers, however you must then initiate a transfer between accounts with a representative and for some reason it takes about a week for the ACH to even clear. December 14, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by Behind the Times Having my SE 401k account with my other Fidelity investment accounts in one place along with the wide array of available investment options is a plus. However, not having the ability to EFT money directly to my SE 401k account is inexcusable in 2015. Not to mention Fidelity does not offer a Roth option. Sadly, I cannot recommend getting a SE 401k with Fidelity unless you already have other accounts with them and feel that having all your accounts in one place outweighs convenience and tax flexibility. October 21, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Best Customer Service & Support Had a great satisfactory experience and valuable advise when I recently met the financial consultant for my account review October 6, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Needs ACH Th 401k is fine, but having to cut a manual check and not have it integrated with our payroll system is a bit of a pain. I'd really like to just transfer the money directly from the account electronically. October 6, 2015
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