Retirement Plans


You can set up and maintain the following small business retirement plans for yourself and your employees.

  • SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) plans
  • SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) plans
  • Qualified plans (including Keogh or H.R. 10 plans)

SEP, SIMPLE, and qualified plans offer you and your employees a tax favored way to save for retirement. You can deduct contributions you make to the plan for your employees on line 19 of Schedule C. If you are a sole proprietor, you can deduct contributions you make to the plan for yourself on line 28 of Form 1040. You can also deduct trustees’ fees if contributions to the plan do not cover them. Earnings on the contributions are generally tax free until you or your employees receive distributions from the plan. You may also be able to claim a tax credit of 50% of the first $1,000 of qualified startup costs if you begin a new qualified defined benefit or defined contribution plan (including a 401(k) plan), SIMPLE plan, or simplified employee pension.

Under certain plans, employees can have you contribute limited amounts of their before-tax pay to a plan. These amounts (and earnings on them) are generally tax free until your employees receive distributions from the plan.

For more information on retirement plans for small business, see Publication 560, Retirement Plans for Small Business (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans). Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), discusses other tax favored ways to save for retirement.

Source: IRS Publication No. 334

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Bill Wortman

Bill Wortman

Bill Wortman is the Chief Business Consultant for, with over 40 years of business experience. In addition to 12 years consulting small business owners, Bill’s professional career includes a big-eight CPA accounting firm, national consumer finance, big-three automotive manufacturing, Arby’s fast food, marketing, and other industries. He’s held multiple executive-level positions and fulfilled the role of CFO at large, publicly held (NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX) corporations. In addition, he’s been an owner of private ventures involving residential real estate development and a General Motors new car dealership.