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


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 2016 and 2017

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 2016 and 2017 (if age 50 or older)2

Profit sharing contribution

Up to 25% of compensation,3 up to the annual maximum of $53,000 for 2016 and $54,000 for 2017

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


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

$4.95 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 to see if this plan is right for you.

Get started on your own Get a jump on the paperwork for your new plan.
Rated 4.1 out of 5 by 155 reviewers.
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
Rated 5 out of 5 by Excellent plan I used over two years. No fee and easy maintenance. I am doing on my investment and research. There is no need of professional help. It is very good for someone who knows a little bit about investment about mutual fund, ETF and stocks trading. October 5, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Good 401(k) plan designed for Small Businesses Good 401(k) plan designed for Small Businesses like mine September 30, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by A The profit sharing Keogh 401k plan exceeded expectations. August 24, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Great for self-employed This is an economical plan for a sel-employed person. The only drawback is I can't do direct transfer from my checking account into the plan. I can transfer from a nonqualified Fidelity Account or I can mail in a check. One too many hoops. July 12, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by trustworthy I received excellent service and attention completing my first investment experience. My advisor took my professional and personal goals into account in guiding me through my financial security. July 1, 2015
Rated 1 out of 5 by 401K No one has ever contacted me since I invested. Guess I am not a big enough player. June 22, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Good plan Great options & flexibility of choices. My only complaint,..but it's a big one, that I can not make an online contribution to the account as I can with my IRAs or individual account. I must mail in a check to add funds to my 401k. I absolutely hate the delay and the inconvenience. Why not allow users to tie their bank accounts to their 401k for online contributions? Otherwise, I am pleased with my account. June 19, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Transition to Self-employment My Fidelity advisor looked at my changing situation and recommended a SE401(k) - best thing I did to save taxes last year and going forward. I will sequester the max for a few years before Social Security kicks in! May 11, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Fidelity solo 401(k) The account was easy to set up. Customer service representatives answered all of my questions about the plan documents. The full menu of funds and ETFs are available with no additional administrative fees. The only drawback is that contributions can't be made electronically. May 4, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Fantastic overall I have virtually no complaints about the Fidelity Solo 401(k). The customer service reps are knowledgeable and were very helpful in getting me set up. The information available on the website is great. I love being able to invest in any stock, bond, etf, etc. that Fidelity offers. My one and only complaint is that there's still no way to electronically deposit funds in the account. Fidelity takes online deposits for every other type of account, so it seems like they should be able to get this figured out. Come on, Fidelity! Apart from that, I have absolutely zero complaints. May 4, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Fidelity 401k excellent in all regards I'm VERY happy with my Fidelity 401. All the research, tools, investments, and customer service I could ask for. Customer service makes set up and administration a breeze. Couldn't ask for more. April 21, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by April 2015 look Overall, I'm delightfully satisfied so far. The Fidelity investment advisor was enormously helpful. April 17, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Solid solo 401k option Fairly easy to setup and administer. Deposits are processed fairly quickly although there is no electronic transfer available for this type of account. Very strange as I can do electronic transfers for my Fidelity IRAs. That is probably the best way for Fidelity to improve this product. April 14, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Excellent Plan for Self Employed The Fidelity Self-Employed 401(k) plan is easy to set up and is an excellent way to defer taxes for both your 401(k) and for profit sharing also. I was able to manage our tax liability by using the profit sharing feature within the IRS limits on top of the annual 401(k) limits. There are no annual costs for setting up or any ongoing maintenance fees that you find on most other plans. March 23, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Only one glaring omission This plan is great. Wide variety of offerings, no account fees, easy management through the same familiar web site. Unlike one of their main competitors they do accept incoming rollovers. But for the life of me I just can't figure out why they won't allow online contributions. They've been in the game long enough that this shouldn't be a big undertaking, so to me it just seems like they prefer to have clients mail checks to them. Why? March 16, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by Not easy to deposit money I like all the features of solo 401k, except i can't deposit via ACH. March 9, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Great, but needs Roth feature The phone representative who walked me through the account set-up did an excellent job. The rep made a process that could have been complicated, very easy. I was even able to physically drop the forms off at a local Fidelity "store", rather than mailing. The only feature that the Self Employment 401K lacks is the Roth possibility. It would be nice to be able to invest 50/50 into pre-tax and Roth for future tax diversification. March 9, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by IPOS I have yet to be able to be part of any IPO... It is insulting that you offer to your smaller customer (I have over $ 500K invested with Fidelity) and NEVER give us a opportunity. March 2, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Exactly what I needed As a self-employed software consultant with an LLC, I needed an easy and flexible option to save for retirement. Fidelity's Solo 401k met my needs and I'm thrilled with its ease. I already love Fidelity's customer service and when I needed help with a question (I overcontributed the first year by accident!) they helped me through the process to resolve my error. February 10, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Excellent Solo 401K tools and advisors I used this tool to give me directional insight into my contribution. I also spoke with the 401K specialist. I have a tax accountant who mapped this out for me, but it was great to get some quick answers on a few contribution questions January 24, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by Few challenges Their are two main issues I have with the account that need to be addressed. First, it doesn't allow me to transfer money into the account from the site. I have to go to a branch or call the 800 number. The other item I would like to see addressed is it doesn't show me my total contribution to the plan for the year. The Roth IRA I have shows this on the site so I can track it easily. Outside of theses two items, I am very happy with the account. January 6, 2015
Rated 1 out of 5 by Very difficult to get hold of custmer service agent I waited almost an hour with no response. I decided to give up and call back later to try my luck. December 22, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Convenient I like the convenience. and advice provided by the office in NYC and call center. October 21, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Wish I could do ACH transfers I love the plan, the options, and I've had some great experiences with customer service at Fidelity. The thing that annoys me though is that for a solo-401K (as opposed to other plans I've had at FIdelity), I can't make a contribution electronically via ACH transfer - I have to send in a check. October 7, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Secure and Many Investment Options Straightforward investment options and voluminous research available. Could be improved by offering ACH Deposits. September 3, 2014
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