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Retirement Plans Comparison Chart

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PLAN TYPES: SEP IRA SIMPLE IRA PROFIT SHARING 401(k) 401(k) "SAFE HARBOR 403(b) DEFINED BENEFIT
PROVISIONS:
Target Employer:
Small employers, including non-profits 100 or fewer employees and maintains no other plan  All, including non-profits  All, including non-profits, but excluding government entities All, including non-profits, but excluding government entities  Public education institutions, churches, and nonprofit groups under IRC 501(c)3  All, including non-profits
Eligible Employees: Employed for 3 of last 5 years, earned $600 in current year, and age 21 or older. Can exclude certain union and nonresident alien employees.

Can’t exclude part-timers.
Earned $5,000 during any two preceding years and expected to earn $5,000 in current year.

Can exclude certain union employees and non-resident aliens. 
One year of service, 1,000 hours, age 21 or older.

Can exclude certain union employees and non-resident aliens. 
One year of service, 1,000 hours, age 21 or older.

Can exclude certain union employees and non-resident aliens. 
One year of service, 1,000 hours, age 21 or older.

Can exclude certain union employees and non-resident aliens. 
All employees except non-resident alien, student employees, employees who work < 20 hours/week, or employees who defer < $200/year.  One year of service, 1,000 hours, age 21 or older.

Can exclude certain union employees and non-resident aliens. 
Total Maximum Annual Contribution: $58,000 per person  $27,000 per person, or $33,000 if 50 or older $58,000 per person  $58,000 per person + catch-up $58,000 per person + catch-up $58,000 per person + catch-up Amount required to fund a benefit up to $230,000/year
Maximum Employer Deductible Contribution: 25% of compensation Either 2% of compensation to all eligible employees, OR match 100% of the deferral amount up to 3%1 of compensation 25% of eligible compensation  25% of eligible compensation  25% of eligible compensation 25% of eligible compensation Amount required to fund a benefit up to $230,000/year 
Maximum Pre-Tax Employee Deferral: Not available  $13,500, or $16,500 if 50 or older Not available $19,500, or $26,000 if 50 or older  $19,500, or $26,000 if 50 or older $19,500, or $26,000 if 50 or older; 15 years of service catch-up also available Not available
Required Employer Contribution: None, unless plan is top-heavy  Either 2% of compensation to all eligible employees, OR match 100% of the deferral amount up to 3%of compensation None, unless plan is top-heavy None, unless plan is top-heavy Either 3% of compensation to all eligible employees, OR match 100% of the deferral amount up to 3% of compensation and 50% on deferrals of the next 2% of compensation None Yes
Vesting Schedule: 100% immediate 100% immediate Vesting schedules available Vesting schedules available 100% immediate vesting on safe harbor contribution; can apply vesting to other employer contributions Vesting schedules available Vesting schedules available
Testing Required: Top-heavy - Yes
ADP - No
415 - Yes
Top-heavy - No
ADP - No
415 - No
Top-heavy - Yes
ADP - No
415 - Yes
Top-heavy - Yes
ADP - Yes
415 - Yes
Top-heavy - Yes
ADP - exempt
415 - Yes
Top-heavy - No
ADP - No; ACP - Yes
Church & Gov’t plans exempt
415 - Yes
Top-heavy - Yes
ADP - Yes, if deferrrals
415 - Yes 
Distributions Controlled By: Employee Employee Employer Employer Employer Employer Employer
Participant Loans: No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Establishment Deadline: Tax-filing deadline, including extensions October 1 Tax-filing deadline, including extensions2 Tax-filing deadline, including extensions2 October 1 Last day of plan year Last day of plan year
Funding Deadline for Employer Deduction: Tax-filing deadline, including extensions Tax-filing deadline, including extensions Tax-filing deadline, including extensions Tax-filing deadline, including extensions Tax-filing deadline, including extensions Tax-filing deadline, including extensions Tax-filing deadline, including extensions
5500 Filing: No No Yes, for plans with employees or greater than $250,000 Yes, for plans with employees or greater than $250,000 Yes, for plans with employees or greater than $250,000 Yes, for ERISA plans only. Yes, for plans with employees or greater than $250,000
Annual Fees: $10-$40 custodial fee per account $10-$40 custodial fee per account Administration and recordkeeping fees Administration and recordkeeping fees Administration and recordkeeping fees Administration and recordkeeping fees Actuary required

Highest administration fees



1
May reduce match to 2% or 1% of compensation in two out of five years.

2 Plan will need to be established before year-end to make elective deferrals.

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