SEP IRA

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.

With Fidelity, you have no account fees and no minimums to open an account.1 You'll get exceptional service as well as guidance from our team.

1. Key things to know

Who is eligible

Self-employed individuals or small-business owners, primarily those with only a few employees.2 Must be a sole proprietor, a business owner, in a partnership, or earn self-employment income by providing a service.

Tax benefits

Earnings are tax-deferred and contributions are tax-deductible.

Who contributes

Funded by employer contributions.

Contribution
amounts

Must be made by the employer and can vary each year between 0% and 25% of compensation (maximum $58,000 for 2021 and $61,000 for 2022). Each eligible employee must receive the same percentage.

Withdrawals

10% early withdrawal penalty may apply for withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ if no exceptions apply. Penalty-free withdrawals for qualifying first-time home purchase and certain college expenses. Required minimum distributions starting at age 72.3

Investment
options

A wide range of mutual funds, stocks, bonds, ETFs, and more.

Fees

There is no opening cost, closing cost, or annual fee for Fidelity's SEP IRA. $0 commission for online US stock, ETF, and options trades.*

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. Each employee must open an individual SEP IRA account.

As an example, for a sole proprietor July 15 would be the deadline to establish and fund a SEP for the prior tax year. If an extension was filed a sole proprietor can establish and fund a SEP IRA by October 15.

Deadlines

SEP IRAs must be established and funded by your tax filing deadline plus applicable extensions.

How to make
contributions

Deposit checks by mail or through mobile deposit, contribute online through Bill Pay or via EFT, or call us. Always be sure to include your account number with your contributions. Learn more

Eligibility

Account Opening

Contributions

  • What are the eligibility requirements for a making a SEP IRA contribution?
    • Self-employed individuals or small businesses that are structured as sole proprietorships, partnerships, C corporations and S corporations can establish and contribute to a SEP IRA.
    • Employers can customize eligibility requirements within limits, and can change them from year to year.
      To be eligible an employee must:
      • Reached age 21
      • Performed services for your business in 3 or more of the last 5 years
      • Received at least $600 in compensation from your business during the current year
    • Employers can customize eligibility requirements within limits, and can change them from year to year.
      To be eligible an employee must be:
      1. covered under collective bargaining agreements
      2. non-resident aliens that did not earn U.S. sourced income
      3. employees who receive less than $450 in compensation
    • The owner/employer is also considered an employee and must meet the same eligibility requirements.
    • For any contributions to be made, all eligible employees must be included.
  • Can I contribute to a SEP IRA and a traditional IRA or Roth IRA in the same year?

    Yes, you can contribute to both a SEP IRA and either a traditional IRA or Roth IRA (presuming you meet income limit requirements) in the same year. The deductibility of traditional IRA contributions may be impacted by the SEP IRA contribution.

  • How much can I contribute to my SEP IRA?
    • The maximum contribution is 25% of compensation.
    • The definition of compensation differs with business structure.
    • All eligible employees must receive the same percentage of compensation.
    • Use the SEP IRA Contribution Worksheet (PDF) to help you determine the amount you may be able to contribute.
  • What are the best methods for making contributions in my SEP IRA account?
    • Contribution methods depend on the business structure, and include:
      • Mobile check deposit through Fidelity mobile app (account owner must log in)
      • Electronic funds transfer (ETF) from a personal bank account (generally only for sole proprietors.)
      • On Fidelity.com from an individual account (only for Sole Proprietors)
      • By check, mailed or deposited at an investor center. (Deposit Slip) If funding multiple accounts with one check, please include a spreadsheet with the instructions to split between accounts.
      • By BillPay from a business bank account that mails a check
      • By phone through a representative from a corporate account, and other accounts depending on business structure (certain limits apply)
      • By wire 
  • How are SEP IRA contributions reported?

    Fidelity reports SEP IRA contributions on IRS Form 5498 in the year they are made, which may not be the deduction year. A common misconception is that the reporting should mirror the contribution year reporting for traditional and Roth IRAs. It is the employer's responsibility to claim the deduction for the appropriate tax year.

Investments

  • How do I select investments for my SEP IRA?
    • Employees are responsible for investing their own SEP IRAs. The employer has no further responsibility after making the contribution.
    • After funding the account, you can select from a wide range of investment options. These include Fidelity and non-Fidelity mutual funds along with stocks, bonds, ETFs, and CDs.
    • To learn more about your investment options
  • Can my account have automatic investments?
    • Inside the account you can establish automatic investments from the cash core to a mutual fund.
    • Sole proprietors can establish automatic contributions from a bank account by mailing a form.
    • You can send contributions by using a Billpay service that mails recurring checks from your business bank account. Monitor payments to avoid IRS penalties for over-contributing.

Withdrawals

Ready to get started?

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You can start opening your SEP IRA
online today.

Learn more


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