Vermont Retirement Planners, LLC

54 Highland Avenue
Manchester Center, VT 05255
nick@vtretirement.com
(802) 367-3958

87 North Main St.
Rutland, VT 05701
nick@vtretirement.com
(802) 772-7945

Retirement Read Time: 4 min

Choosing a Retirement Plan that Fits Your Business

If you have yet to develop a retirement plan for your business, or if you're not sure the plan you've chosen is the right one, here are some things to consider.

How much can my business afford to contribute?

The cost of contributions may be managed by the plan type.

A simplified employee pension plan (SEP) is funded by employer contributions only. SEP contributions are made to separate IRAs for eligible employees.1

Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers (SIMPLE) IRAs blend employee and employer contributions. For example, some employers match employee contributions up to 100% of the first 3% of compensation. Others may contribute 2% of each eligible employee’s compensation. It’s up to the employer to decide the formula based on what works best for the business.2

A 401(k) is primarily funded by the employee; the employer can choose to make additional contributions, including matching contributions.3

What plan accommodates high employee turnover?

The cost of covering short-tenured employees may be managed by eligibility requirements and vesting.

With the SEP-IRA, only employees who are at least 21 years old, earn at least $750 in compensation, and have been employed in three of the last five years must be covered.4

The SIMPLE IRA must cover employees who have earned at least $5,000 in any prior two years and are reasonably expected to earn $5,000 in the current year.5

The 401(k) and defined benefit plan must cover all employees who are at least 21 years of age. These retirement plans are open for employees who have either worked 1,000 hours in the space of one full year or to those who have worked at least 500 hours per year for three consecutive years.6

Vesting is immediate on all contributions to the SEP-IRA, SIMPLE IRA and 401(k) employee deferrals, while a vesting schedule may apply to 401(k) employer contributions and defined benefits.

Do I want to maximize contributions for myself (and my spouse)?

The SEP-IRA and 401(k) offer higher contribution maximums than the SIMPLE IRA. For those business owners who are starting late, a defined benefit plan may offer even higher levels of allowable contributions.

My priority is to keep administration easy and inexpensive.

The SEP-IRA and SIMPLE IRA are straightforward to establish and maintain. The 401(k) can be more onerous, but complicated testing may be eliminated by using a Safe Harbor 401(k). Generally, the defined benefit plan is the most complicated and expensive to establish and maintain of all plan choices.

1. Like a Traditional IRA, withdrawals from a SEP-IRA are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. In most circumstances, once you reach age 73, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.
2. Like a Traditional IRA, withdrawals from a SIMPLE IRAs are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. In most circumstances, once you reach age 73, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.
3. In most circumstances, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plan in the year you turn 73. Withdrawals from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plans are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty.
4. IRS.gov, 2023
5. IRS.gov, 2023
6. Investopedia.com, August 29, 2022

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

 

Related Content

Inflation and the Real Rate of Return

Inflation and the Real Rate of Return

Learn about the role of inflation when considering your portfolio’s rate of return with this helpful article.

Countdown to College

Countdown to College

Preparing for college means setting goals, staying focused, and tackling a few key milestones along the way.

A Decision Not Made Is Still a Decision

A Decision Not Made Is Still a Decision

Investors who put off important investment decisions may face potential consequence to their future financial security.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Questions to Ask About Medicare

Take the guesswork out of your IEP or SEP with this helpful article.

A Living Trust Primer

Living trusts are popular, but their appropriateness will depend upon your individual needs and objectives.

Making a Charitable Contribution

There are benefits and limitations when you decide to donate stock.

View all articles

Can I Refinance My Mortgage?

This calculator can help determine whether it makes sense to refinance your mortgage.

Contributing to an IRA?

Determine if you are eligible to contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA.

Inflation & Retirement

Estimate how much income may be needed at retirement to maintain your standard of living.

View all calculators

Bursting the Bubble

Tulips were the first, but they won’t be the last. What forms a “bubble” and what causes them to burst?

Tuning Your Social Security Benefit

When should you take your Social Security benefit?

What You Need to Know About Social Security

Every so often, you’ll hear about Social Security benefits running out. But is there truth to the fears, or is it all hype?

View all videos