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Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP)

SEPs are ideal for self-employed people and small-business owners who wish to make tax-deductible contributions of up to 25% of their income, while maintaining complete contribution flexibility each year. In general, your client must contribute the same percentage of pay for himself and any eligible employees through their IRAs. SEPs are the easiest retirement plans to administer and are a good choice for firms with few or no employees, including individuals who do either full-time or part-time freelance work.
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Who May Establish Sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, nonprofit, and government entities.
Establishment Deadline Tax filing date, including extensions.
Contribution Deadline Tax filing date, including extensions.
Who Contributes Employer.
Annual Contribution Limit¹ 25% of pay (20% for unincorporated business owners) with no more than $275,000 of compensation being taken into account, up to $55,000.
Contribution Requirements Contributions are discretionary each year.
Employee Eligibility All employees age 21 or older who have worked three out of the last five years and have earned at least $600 in 2018.²
Vesting Always 100%.
Withdrawals Allowed anytime, subject to income tax. A 10% penalty may apply before age 59½.
Loan Feature Not available.
Plan Administration None.

Visit the Download forms page for more information on what you need to open or modify a SEP IRA account.


1For 2017, no more than $270,000 of compensation may be taken into account, with a total plan contribution not to exceed $54,000.

2$600 in 2017.


This material is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, tax advisor, or insurance agent. Before your client makes any financial commitment regarding the issues discussed here, make sure he or she consults with the appropriate professional advisor.