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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.

Plan features

Tax advantages

Tax-deferred growth potential

Tax-deductible contributions


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 $52,000 for 2014 and $53,000 for 2015), 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

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


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 SEP IRA online or call 800-544-5373 and select option 3 to speak with a small-business retirement specialist.
Rated 4.3 out of 5 by 140 reviewers.
Rated 4 out of 5 by Convenient service with a lot options I have used Fidelity SEP-IRA for over 10 years. I found it to be very a convenient service with a lot investment options to choose. The fact that one can buy individual stock or ETF is a big plus compared to their retirement account that I have. February 21, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Contribution Process As an employer, each year I need to make two deposits each to two separate SEP-IRA accounts. The first account is my personal account and requires speaking with an agent who then transfers me to a retirement specialist. At that point several questions must be answered followed by a delay while several screens are manually filled before the transaction can be confirmed. For the contributions to my employee's account the retirement specialist requires the employee to come to the phone to authorize the employer contribution which is required by the SEP rules. I recommend that SEP-IRA contributions follow the same process utilized for IRA or Roth IRA contributions. Since a SEP-IRA is technically a non-qualified plan, in my opinion, the process is unduly cumbersome each year. If this is not feasible then a simplified process not requiring agent interaction should be considered. February 21, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Thanks Fidelity We are retired and required to make withdrawals and appreciate the ease of withdrawal and the follow up print of the information. February 21, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by SEPIRA Good program for small employers. I recommend Fidelity to small employers for ease of administration. February 20, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Fidelity SEP IRA fits the bill After retiring I got a job at a consulting company that required a Fidelity SEP IRA. Having other Fidelity accounts I was comfortable with this. Excellent investment options, minimal transaction fees, excellent research tools and easy to navigate website. Perfect for the DIY type. My only recommendation is to have your own independent financial advisor since Fidelity is not strong in this area. Not a complaint since Fidelity doesn't advertise this as its strength but excels elsewhere to fit my needs. February 20, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by User friendly I like working with Fidelity because online access is secure, reliable and user friendly. The site is easy to navigate, offering valuable information on investing and portfolio snapshots in great detail. February 20, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Works fine User interface and ease of use has improved over the years. February 20, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by trading tools only hi-trade qualifying tools available. Should have trading tools like pro-trade station available to investors like me who trade less ofte; operhaps simpler versions, but tools nonetheless. February 20, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by satisfied I chose Fidelity for my SEP because of the many highly - rated funds to choose from. Since I opened the account they have added many more offerings. Fees could be lower, but are reasonable February 20, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Secure, feels safe and dependable My concernis all would be outstanding if the sell transactions could close faster so that the funds were readily available for re-investment. It seems like a couple of days go by before the transaction is closed, in the meantime a buying opportunity has pased by. Any chance that this could be improved upon? February 20, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Professional and helpful Last year I was looking to start a SEP IRA and turned to Fidelity for help. Excellent support and advice was provided in establishing my account. February 20, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Convenient and Easy to Use Managing my account and the fund activities are simple and straightforward. Tracking performance is easy. February 20, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Owner I would like to see fidelity's recommendations and see if they have any good suggestions for my account. February 20, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Complete Flexibility The SEP-IRA at Fidelity allows you to invest in funds, stocks, bonds and even trade options. How many 401K plans through different providers allow that kind of flexibility? February 20, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Secure, reliable and good value I like the ease with which I can view my account. It is also easy to peruse all the different funds I can pick from. With any transaction I am notified so that I know the transaction is taking place and am able to see when it is completed. February 20, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by secure Not satisfied, very poor service. Nobody is helpful beat around the bush. February 20, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy and organized My accountant recommended a SEP-IRA for my royalty income. I hace used a mutual fund that fits my needs. I contribute annually to it and it has become an important part of my portfolio. February 20, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Frustrating My only issue is this; I have multiple buckets where I place funds in accounts that are shared with my wife. Transferring funds from the shared money market account to her IRA is not an issue, yet requires a phone call when I transfer money into my SEP IRA. Also, I'm still looking for my green line. I visited the store and was scuffled off like a spoiled child as my portfolio was not above X dollars and heavy in realestate. Very disappointing! February 20, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by convenient and simple I especially like the comprehensiveness of the site pages, the graphs and opportunity for research and ease of making adjustments myself. February 20, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Close to great The biggest drawback is that I cannot fund my SEP directly from a bank transfer. Every month I need to transfer money to my brokerage account, wait for that to clear, and then transfer the money from brokerage to SEP. The fact that I can get the money where I need it, but that I can't move it directly, seems ridiculous February 20, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Works for me I have so little money in this plan that I don't feel qualified to rate it but my experience with my other Fidelity accounts has been excellent. February 19, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by SEP IRA This is a straightforward account-like all Fidelity accounts, there are no operational or other issues with it, and it is backed by wonderful customer service. Advice is available if I want it, but other than a periodic review by my account executive which is low key and sensitive to my desire for independence, Fidelity does not push. February 18, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by mfg rep Very helpful and reliable; easy access to all info February 18, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Annual contributions hard to find I am a big fan of Fidelity but was frustrated and annoyed to discover there was no simple way for me to access a list of contribution amounts and their deposit dates in a tax year. This required me to download and scrutinize 12 months of statements. When i called for help, all they did was just print out 12 months and email them to me. I wanted to be able to easily get the info for myself with one or two clicks on the site. February 18, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Too many checks! I have had SEP-IRAs with Fidelity several years and have been extremely satisfied with them. When I decided to take my yearly withdrawal in monthly payments I was surprised to receive several checks, one for each investment. It would be more convenient, and probably more economical to combine the checks into one. February 18, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Good vehicle for the self-employed I have been really happy with Fidelity. They provide good customer service and give solid, unbiased information. February 18, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Owner I have had a SAR-SEP IRA with Fidelity Investments for my company's retirement plan since 1991. I have never had a question that Fidelity's retirement counselors couldn't answer, and my quarterly deposit into my employees' accounts have been entered without a hitch, as far as I know. I am very pleased with Fidelity's professionalism in handling our needs. February 18, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by SEP IRA Excellent service. I have no complaints. This plan has everything I wanted and more. February 18, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Good product, but ... Overall, I've found this SEP easy-to-manage, secure, and competitively priced regarding trades. I have no plans or desire to move this account. However, there are some areas I'd like to see "improved." Unlike other accounts, I can't arrange for transfers from my checking acct into my SEP on-line. I have to call a service rep to set that up, which takes more time and is less convenient. Also, I trade in options. I'd like the ability to trade in strangles as a combined trade. You can do buy/write, combo, straddles, collars and rolls, but not strangles. Yet, I can make each leg of a strangle separately. Makes no sense to me. February 18, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by great for self-employed Our SEP has become a valuable part of our retirement portfolio. It also gave us a chance ot provide a benefit for our emplyees. February 18, 2013
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ETFs are subject to market fluctuation and the risks of their underlying investments. ETFs are subject to management fees and other expenses. Unlike mutual funds, ETF shares are bought and sold at market price, which may be higher or lower than their NAV, and are not individually redeemed from the fund.

† $7.95 commission applies to online U.S. equity trades in a Fidelity account with a minimum opening balance of $2,500 for Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC retail clients. Sell orders are subject to an activity assessment fee (of between $0.01 to $0.03 per $1000 of principal). Other conditions may apply. See Fidelity.com/commissions for details.
The initial customer ratings and reviews for this product (those dated before 3/18/2013) were provided to Fidelity through an email solicitation for feedback on the product. All ratings and reviews are provided to Fidelity on a voluntarily basis and are screened in accordance with the guidelines set forth in our Customer Ratings and Reviews Terms of Use. For additional information on which ratings and reviews may be posted, please refer to our Customer Ratings and Review Terms of Use. Featured Reviews have been selected based on subjective criteria and reviewed by Fidelity Investments. The average rating is determined by calculating the mathematical average of all ratings that are approved for posting per the Customer Ratings and Reviews Terms of use and does not include any ratings that did not meet the guidelines and were therefore not posted. Ratings and reviews are added continuously to the website (after a delay for screening against guidelines) and average ratings are updated dynamically as reviews are added or removed.
The ratings and experience of customers may not be representative of the experiences of all customers or investors and is not indicative of future success. The accuracy of information included in the customer ratings and reviews cannot be guaranteed by Fidelity Investments. Customers who post ratings may be responsible for disclosing whether they have a financial interest or conflict in submitting a rating and review.
Please contact a Fidelity representative if you have additional questions or concerns about the ratings and reviews posted here.

Contribute to a SEP IRA

OnlineLog In Required

Contribute securely online using an electronic funds transfer (EFT).

By mail

Submit a check by mail using this Deposit Slip (PDF). Be sure to include your account number on the check.