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.


Must be made by the employer and can vary each year between 0% and 25% of compensation (maximum $66,000 for 2023 and $69,000 for 2024). Each eligible employee must receive the same percentage.


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 73.3 Request a withdrawal


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


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.*


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 April 15 would typically 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.

For more information please see Maintaining your plan.


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

How to make

You may deposit checks by mail, through mobile deposit, online via a Bill pay service, via EFT, or call us for assistance. Always be sure to include your account number with your contributions. Learn more


Account Opening


  • 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:
      • Have reached age 21
      • Have performed services for your business in 3 or more of the last 5 years
      • Have received at least $750 in compensation from your business during the current year
      • Be covered under collective bargaining agreements
      • Be non-resident aliens that did not earn U.S. sourced income
    • 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 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.


  • 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.


Maintaining your SEP IRA plan

The list below of your responsibilities as a retirement plan sponsor does not necessarily cover all of your responsibilities. You may want to consult the IRS or a qualified tax advisor if you have additional questions.

Employer responsibilities

1. Establish your plan

  1. To establish your plan, you as the employer must fill out and retain Form 5305 SEP (PDF) by your business' tax filing deadline (including extensions, if filed). Each employee eligible for participation must open a SEP IRA account.

    Note: SEP IRA accounts are in the name of the participating employee only. Neither the company's name nor tax ID appear on the account. If you're the employer, you must obtain the account number and institution where the account is held from your employee to contribute on their behalf.

2. Notify employees of employer contributions and contribute to the account(s)

  1. The deadline to contribute to your participants' accounts is your business' tax filing deadline plus extensions.
  • Contributions must be made by the employer and can vary each year between 0% and 25% of compensation (maximum $66,000 for 2023 and $69,000 for 2024). Each eligible employee must receive the same percentage.
  • If your business is unincorporated and you need help calculating you may use this SEP IRA Contribution Worksheet (PDF).
  • Funding for the company contribution should be done by the company only. To fund from a company account, you may send a check using this deposit slip (PDF).
    • If you choose to contribute from your personal account, you may set up electronic funding online or use our app for a mobile deposit. This may not be appropriate for a company contribution, please see your tax advisor with questions.

3. Abide by your SEP IRA's governing documents

Your plan's governing documents include: IRS form 5305-SEP and the Fidelity IRA Custodial Agreement and Disclosure Statements.

Note: It's important to read the 5305-SEP; this is the IRS document that contains the rules for your plan. While there's typically no special tax filing for the SEP IRA, the 5305-SEP states that there are certain steps the employer must take to qualify for relief from the annual 5500 filing. The 5305-SEP covers what you need to know about your eligibility to offer this plan, the eligibility of employees, contribution limits, and more.

4. Update your plan document

If you change your plan from year-to-year, you'll need to fill out a new 5305-SEP form and retain it in your files along with all previous versions. If you are audited the IRS may ask you for your current contribution agreement and all previous versions.

5. Correct errors of operation

  1. If an error is made operating your plan, it's your responsibility as the employer to make necessary corrections. You may wish to review the SEP IRA fix-it Guide from the IRS and/or consult a tax advisor.
  2. One of the most common errors is over contributing to an employee's SEP IRA. A good practice is to double check all contributions before making them. Over contributing can be hard to correct, costly and difficult to properly report to the IRS. If you find that you've over contributed and need to remove funds from the account(s), please fill out the SEP IRA Return of Excess Contribution Request form (PDF) and return it to Fidelity for processing. Note: Funds must be in cash to be distributed.

Helpful resources:

1. SEP IRA Return of Excess Contribution Request (PDF)
2. IRS 10990-R and 5498 Instructions (PDF)
3. What We Offer
5. IRS SEP IRA fix-it guide
6. Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS)
8. Retirement plans for small business (PDF)
9. Small Business Retirement Plan Contribution Calculator

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