SEP IRA: Simplified Employee Pension Plan

Simplified Employee Pension Plans (SEP IRAs) help self-employed individuals and small-business owners get access to a tax-deferred benefit when saving for retirement.

Reasons to consider a Fidelity SEP IRA

  • Easy to set up and maintain
  • Flexible annual funding requirements
  • Wide range of investments
  • Contribute online, by phone, or by mail

Compare all small-business retirement plans

Get started now

Or call 800-544-5373 and select option 3 to speak with a small-business retirement specialist.

Tax advantages

Tax-deferred growth potential

Tax-deductible contributions

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


Must be sole proprietor, a business owner, in a partnership, or earn self-employment income by providing a service

Contribution rules

Must be made by the employer

Can vary each year between 0% and 25% of compensation (maximum $53,000 for 2016 and $54,000 for 2017), and each eligible employee must receive the same percentage

Calculate how much you can contribute using our Self-Employed Contribution Calculator.

You also can use our SEP IRA Contribution Worksheet (PDF).

Establishment deadline

April 15 tax filing deadline for most self-employed individuals and small-business owners (including any extensions)


Employee notification of employer's contribution

Employers must fill out and retain Form 5305 SEP (PDF) in their records.

No plan tax filings with IRS


Each employee must open an individual SEP IRA account.


Minimum required distributions starting at age 70½

10% early withdrawal penalty if under age 59½, subject to certain exceptions

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 SEP IRA online or call 800-544-5373 and select option 3 to speak with a small-business retirement specialist.

Ready to get started?

Rated 4.3 out of 5 by 172 reviewers.
Rated 1 out of 5 by Poor Online Service At Fidelity Fidelity offers systems that waste our time. It seems there should be more concern for easy-to-use forms, applications, instructions, etc. Finding a form on the website even takes time and hunting. Today we attempted to sign up for ETF service to send money electronically to Fidelity. Several hours later after downloading, printing, filling out, signing, scanning, creating PDFs, all at the proper size not to clog the Fidelity pipe and without much help from a chat agent or supervisor, we finally submitted our enrollment. At the end of the process we were confronted with a Notary Guarantee Certificate. Getting a driver's license is easier. 1 out of 10 for this. Today, when most consumers know that banks keep few of our interests close to their hearts, it's obvious they don't care how much time we waste dealing with them. Online support personal pleasant but clueless. Kudos, Fidelity. Make it harder for us. April 24, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Mailing paper checks It is inconvenient not to be able to do an online fund transfer from my business account to the SEP account at Fidelity. One has to cut a paper check and mail it to Cincinnati. In this day and age that seems like an unnecessary inconvenience.The result is still the same - the funds from the business account get deposited to the Fidelity SEP account. Why not do it electronically. July 23, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by Make your transfers early and don't use EFT Most frustrating experience ever. Try to get your money into your SEP is a total Joke. You can't do it on line and you must have lots of time if. I transfered money using the EFT process thinking that 4 days, (as stated) on the web page would work. At day 4 nothing. Funds are not available to move to my SEP. Now after the fact I am told you should have wired it. I am going to miss the 15th deadline due to a very broken process as Fidelity. Set up your SEP elsewhere. This is horrible. April 11, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by statements One thing that I would like to see changed would be to provide or offer a summary at year end. Most other mutual fund companies offer this and I find it very helpful in maintaining historical records. March 7, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Need Deposit Options Overall the account is adequate and meets my investing needs. I would like more options for depositing money into my SEP account. Currently I can only deposit money by writing a check and mailing it in or dropping it off at a branch. This is highly inconvenient in today's modern world of EFT and mobile deposit options. I should at the very least be able to wire money into my SEP account from an outside bank. March 5, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by SEP needs electronic contribution I should be able to contribute electronically with ease to my SEP IRA. However, I currently have to submit a form and a check, wait for the deposit, etc.. Also, I should have been able to open a self-401K at any point instead of being restricted. The lack of fees is the only reason I am keeping this account open. March 4, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Access but awkward I like almost everything about my SEP-IRA account at Fidelity except the arrangement of funds in my reports. The funds are arranged alphabetically by fund symbol, not by the type of funds, eg, large-cap, mid-cap, etc. The arrangement doesn't help me to monitor my overall strategy very well. February 28, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great SEP I have had a Fidelity SEP IRA for almost 10 years and am very satisfied with the ease of adding funds and the ease of trading. Fidelity customer service is excellent if you need them. The reporting and tracking abilities online are great. I plan to stay with Fidelity for a long time. February 27, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great choice! This is a great account and very easy to make contributions and change your investments. February 26, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Very flexible, secure and complete Fidelity's SEP IRA provides me with the flexibility and security I need when investing funds for my retirement. I can choose between lots of different options and select the ones that match my risk tolerance. In addition, Fidelity offers valuable tools to analyze my investments and to make decisions where to put my money next. All in all, Fidelity's SEP IRA is a complete solution for all retirement planning requirements. February 26, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by secure I would like to be able to buy shares on line directly from my checking account electronically. Not sure if I am able to do this. Would like to be able to make purchases a bit easier with paperwork sent to me on a regular basis. I have had to copy the deposit certificates that I have. February 26, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Secure and reliable As a business owner I find the SEP IRAs easy to administer and our staff is very happy with the benefit. We have been grandfathered into SARSEP and we like that as well. February 26, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by SEP IRA review I like the SEP IRA but I wish you would make it an option to be able to transfer contributions to a SEP account from another Fidelity account. I always have to send in a check when I can easily move money from a brokerage account I already have with you. February 26, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by secure an reliable the sep plan is great and the support team is even better.I am now taking my dividends on a monthly basis and i have to do tax withholding which i wish i did not have to do. February 26, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by excellent service, need some perks the ease of access and security is excellent, the professional staff is excellent. It would be nice to reward long-term customers with some benefits, such as several free trades per year (like those offered to new customers by some brokerage firms) February 26, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Good Option, Could Use More Contribution Options Now 7 years in, Fidelity's SEP-IRA still works well for my small business. However, there is one disappointing feature: contributions. As much as Fidelity makes good use of technology, it is surprising to see the only option listed for contributions is still "Submit a check by mail". The other option of making it to a local Investor Center when they're open (Mon-Fri, regular business hours) is difficult, to say the least. Do not see why there are only these two options (contribute is not available as an action event when using a full web browser). Here's hoping that Fidelity is looking at something like a competitor's Mobile Check Deposit (taking a picture of the check), or Fidelity's OWN Deposit Checks option in their mobile app (non-business accounts) Now THAT would be some helpful tech. February 25, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Excellent product, excellent value. One of your retirement advisors recommended a SEP vs. a 401K for my business. The SEP has been great and allowed me to save the maximum amount with the flexibility to contribute different amounts each month. Great product. February 25, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Sep IRA I use this for my self employment income and contribute once a year. There is no issue with small investments and the phone customer service has been very good. I wish that I could use the online services for this account, like I use for my other IRA accounts however. February 25, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by comprehensive overall excellent value for the money. the only thing i would say is the customer service is a little hit or miss. sometimes the representatives would know the details of the sep-ira...other times they would have to look it up which did not give me confidence. also with investment advice its the same thing..sometimes very good and other times very basic. February 25, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by my additional work set this up when I was doing consulting as a result of my research; have had less of opportunity now that am in administration; was easy to set up and manage; when I had questions, always was able to get assistance February 25, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by SEP in review I have had no problems. Fidelity employees are available 24/7, which is great. Would reccommend to a friend. February 25, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Fidelity SEP-IRA This plan has served me well over the years. I have no complaints. February 25, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by User feedback Your site is much better with the new research and features which showed up on my login. It allows me to learn about the options I have as an investor. The language is still more technical than I can absorb as yet but as I said, I am slow to grasp a lot of the definitions which makes it hard to find what I am looking for. February 25, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Fidelity SEP IRA very simple product. Fidelity staff helpful with questions. February 25, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Annual opportunity to invest Every year about now I receive a mailing re contributing to my SEP-IRA, with a card to complete. The card only includes two of the funds that are within my SEP-IRA. I would benefit more form having a card that lists all of the funds in my SEP-IRA and provides an opportunity for me to indicate how much I would like to invest in each fund. As it stands now, I write down how much to add to each fund and submit a list. February 25, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by SEP IRA It was very easy setting up the account and making deposits. February 25, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Solid Product This works well for people comforatble with self-directed investing. Some of the tools are confusing and poorly designed. So, I tend to use other sites for research before making decisions and buy/sells. February 25, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by sep ira I would like simple deposit forms that allow me to make a deposit into the money market account that is part of my sep. I distribute the money from there using the computer. February 25, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Very Easy to Use Love the versatility of the SEP and my Fidelity VISA rewards gets deposited into it too! February 25, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by Poor Communication on SEP IRA Set Up I have encountered a major tax issue from setting up my SEP IRA with Fidelity. I came to a local Fidelity office set up my SEP IRA for calendar year 2010 during tax season of 2011. I filled out the forms as directed and made my contributions. SEP IRAs are accepted up until Tax Day for the prior year's contribution period. However, Fidelity, for some reason, did not direct me that they would report the contribution for 2011 year, instead of the intended 2010 year. This was despite very clearn conversation about the purpose of my visit being a 2010 contribution. The following year, I made a contribution to my Traditional IRA ( a different account) for Tax year 2011 and was subsequently notified by the IRS that I had claimed a 2010 contribution to the SEP IRA but Fidelity did not report this contribution. Instead, Fidelity reported that I contributed to both the SEP IRA and the Traditional IRA in year 2011. This has resulted in tax penalities, additional costs (accounting bills for 2 years of refiling), and a great deal of stress. I went to Fidelity to try to sort it out and was simply told that Fidelity (for who knows what reason) is unable to specify the calendar year for which a contribution to a SEP IRA is intended and instead insists on reporting based on the date of contribution. We had a very clear discussion about what kind of IRA I was setting up and the tax year it was for. They made no apologies for the error, said it was out of their control, and made no attempt to remedy the situation, or my expenses. Still very frustrated. February 25, 2013
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