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Firms with 100 or fewer employees can establish a SIMPLE IRA – an employee savings program that in some ways resembles a 401(k). Employees can make pretax contributions through payroll deduction. Employers pay no administration costs and direct all contributions to individual SIMPLE IRAs. Since employer contributions are required each year, this plan makes sense for businesses with predictable income.
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Who May Establish Employers with 100 or fewer employees, including sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, government and nonprofit and entities. Must be employer's only plan.
Establishment Deadline January 1 through October 1.¹
Contribution Deadline Employee contributions withheld each pay period. Employer contributions by tax filing date including extensions.
Who Contributes Employer and employees.
Annual Contribution Limit² Employees can defer up to $12,500 ($15,500 if age 50 or older) in 2018 with no percentage of pay limit. Employer makes additional required contributions.
Contribution Requirements Employer must make required 3% match or 2% of pay contribution for eligible employees each year.³
Employee Eligibility All employees earning $5,000 or more in any two prior years and expected to earn $5,000 in current year.
Vesting Always 100% for both employer and employee contributions.
Withdrawals Allowed anytime, subject to income tax. A 10% penalty (25% during first two years of participation) 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
SIMPLE IRA account.


1Employee notice must be given before plan establishment date.

2For 2017, up to $12,500 ($15,500 if age 50 or older).

3Employer may reduce match below 3% (but not below 1%) in two of every five years.


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.