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

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

Eligibility

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)

Administrative
responsibilities

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

Employee
responsibilities

Each employee must open an individual SEP IRA account.

Withdrawals

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

$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.
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Rated 4.3 out of 5 by 169 reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Perfect for Small Business We chose the SepIRA in 1994 as the best option for our small company. We have contributed 15% of each Principal and Employees salary into the SepIRA each year since. Our employees all see the benefit of watching their retirement savings grow year after year. I am glad that our company is "Grandfathered" in with the SepIRA, even after the rules changes instituted in past years. The Fidelity Brokerage Account meets our needs well, since each employee can choose to buy whatever stock of funds he wishes, or to remain in cash. February 25, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Wide variety of investment choices I've had a SEP IRA at Fidelity for 15 years or so. What I appreciate most is the wide investment choices, especially no commission, low cost ETFs and mutual funds. I also like all of the analysis tools Fidelity makes available. The only thing I don't like is that there is no way to transfer funds between our business account and my SEP. I hate having to write and mail a check. February 25, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Very pleased I would like to see active trader pro be compatible with an apple computer, my only complaint. February 25, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by secure I had a tax question re; MLP investment in account but get better advice from yahoo finance blogs. Fidelity apparently does not train reps in this area. February 25, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Efficient but could use some minor improvements Overall I like Fidelity's online and account functionality. There are a couple minor suggestions I would make: The SEP-IRA contribution form needs to more clearly have an area to state what year the SEP-IRA contribution is for. Also, and this may not be in Fidelity's control - I would like to be able make direct transfers to my SEP-IRA account from my bank. Overall though very happy with Fidelity's SEP-IRA accounts February 25, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by No ad hoc EFT It would be very convenient if there was a process to electronically make deposits without agreeing to a set schedule. As a self employed person, it is critical to have the flexibility to manage my income as needed. It would be much easier for me to not have to call in each time I want to make a contribution. February 25, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by outstanding Answers to questions and concerns are prompt polite and informed. Recent reviews have rated Fidelity as a great value to clients. I concur keep it up buttercup! February 24, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by it works for me! I have had my SEP account for many years and have found the Fidelity account to be safe, secure and convenient. February 24, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Works for me SEP/IRA has been part of my retirement planning since 1981. Fidelity has always been a part of this plan. There have been many changes in the account interactions, i.e. purchasing equities, monitoring positions and communicating with Fidelity. Most changes have been very positive and progressive; and a few have been frustrating. Once I master a system, I prefer to stay with it and not learn a new, total remake. Instead a tweak here and there would suit me just fine. Also, one on one communication with a Fidelity Rep is less than ideal -log-in protocol and wait time has been an issue on occassion. If I was to do it all over, I would again select Fidelity for my SEP trustee. February 23, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by easy to use My primary platform is ATP which presents me with all data I need to make investment decisions. February 23, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Retirement Fund It allowed me to set aside retirement money past the normal IRA deadline. Very simple and straight forward. Thank You. February 23, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by great features i give the fidelity site 5 stars , ease of use, detailed information on all my holdings. the availabity of charts and accessesing history in the selected stocks i am researching is a big plus in assiting with my investment decisions. February 23, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Secure and User Friendly I prefer to do all my financial transactions online. I find the Fidelity website to be user friendly. A problem with the Fidelity SEP-IRA website is that I cannot designate the contribution year. As you know, people have until 15 April to contribute to the previous year. February 23, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Professional and customer friendly I have been dealing with Fidelity for over 20 years now. I have never had an unpleasant phone encounter with a rep. They have always "come through", no matter how much time it took, or who they had to consult with, to get the job done. As far as the research goes, its great, and the online interface is very easy to use. There have never been any errors made regarding any of my transactions, or paperwork. While Fidelity is always "there" for you, they are never intrusive or trying to "sell" me something. I have no complaints! February 23, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by I love my SEP! I started my SEP IRA with Fidelity to maximize the ability to save money as a small business owner, and plan for a secure future. Accounts at Fidelity are easy to manage. One can be hands-on or hands-off. I am definitely a hands-on, active investor, and my SEP has provided a tax saving advantage for my small business that gives me the peace of mind to know I am building for my future by maximizing contributions towards my retirement. The availability of choices at Fidelity, from mutual and index funds, to ETFs, to individual stocks, make this SEP a clear winner over companies in which plan investments are limited. I recommend Fidelity every day to colleagues, friends, and family. February 23, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy to set up and maintain The Fidelity SEP IRA was easy to open. Once we got the accounts for our two person firm started, the entire realm of Fidelity's investment choices became available. We can change allocations easily through the web site. February 23, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by sepp ira it gave excellent research too and good information about my account February 22, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Room for improvement I like the new format showing instantly the positions, profit and loss, etc. Now add a "comment field" where I can make notes to myself ie., "sell at $35". Your "alert" functions could be more user friendly. Finally, have a "watch list" that can be incorporated into the home page. February 22, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Saving for the Future Very pleased with the account and its ease of use. February 22, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Why not EFT contributions? Why can't I make contributions electronically for the SEP? IT seems for every other type of transaction I can fund electronically. February 22, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Does almost everything I want... But not quite! I'm wondering if there would be anyway to allow an employee to borrow against his/her account? Other than that, your SEP IRA seems to provide just about everything which I would like in an IRA. February 22, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by long wait times I sometimes call and need to wait five to 10 minutes to talk to someone. Also some things I thought could be done through the computer I need to talk to someone. I dont know why February 22, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Review All is excellent. I would like, however, under the "Performance," a running total of the amount of dividends intramonth. February 22, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Has more good points than bad When Fidelity is good it is very good and when it is bad it is awful. February 22, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Simple, Accurate, Quick Very easy to use. I check my accounts and/or make transfers twice a day, morning and evening. February 22, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by SEP Fan The SEP IRA is a great way to distribute funds at the end of the year, in a tax deferred account. Fidelity makes managing the account, as well as submitting contributions easy, couldn't be happier. February 22, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by My retirement dashboard I love the unlimited investment options, the speed of transactions, and my ability to be in full control of my investments. Also, when I need advice or help, both my local rep as well as the corporate level are there to assist. February 22, 2013
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
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