A Comparison Between a solo 401k and a SEP


Self-employed individuals alongside small business owners often lack a company retirement plan or pension to rely on. For this reason, it would be wise to secure a comfortable retirement plan that suits your entire needs and demands. Apparently, there are dozens of tax-advantaged plans that can help you realize your set goals and objectives.

Choosing an ideal retirement plan could prove to be somewhat daunting, though. Direct comparisons are rather confusing. Subtle differences that diverse plans boast shouldn’t be ignored. We’ve compiled a comprehensive comparison between a solo 401k and a SEP to help you in decision making.

It’s imperative to note that Solo 401k and SEP IRA have immense flexibility as well as high contribution limits. However, the Solo 401k plans often comprise higher administration responsibilities compared to the SEP IRA. While the IRS regulations prohibit borrowing against an SEP, it’s possible to get a loan of at least half the actual account value (including a $50,000 cap) with an SEP IRA.


This is the ultimate best choice for self-employed people who want to savesrj54r for their retirement in tax-advantaged plans. Although it is somewhat identical to conventional retirement accounts, it encompasses some unique qualities making it a great choice for people with self-employed income.

The SEP IRA provides a simple and inexpensive approach for small business owners and self-employed people to contribute around 25 percent of their W-2 income, or 20 percent of their net earnings, to meet the SEP IRA contribution limit.

It is an ideal choice for people who run their small businesses, and any company owner can easily establish it. This option provides utmost flexibility when it comes to funding the SEP IRA. Similarly, it isn’t necessary to contribute to this plan each year—making it enticing for businesses that boast inconsistent earnings every year.

The SEP IRA retirement plan offers the much-desired flexibility, and business owners may reduce or completely forego their annual contributions—especially during low seasons—when the profits aren’t appealing or are below the owner’s expectation.

The Solo 401k plan

In a rather sharp contrast to the typical 401k plans that exist, the Solo 401k simply covers a business owner along with the spouse. Consequently, this plan is not exclusively subject to the stringent ERISA rules, which often set essential standards for employer pension plans with the non-owner employees.

A self-employed worker who qualifies for the Solo 401k plan receives a number of tax benefits like those of any traditional 401k. If you are a business owner who would like to contribute more than the maximum limit endorsed by an SEP IRA, you can reap immense benefits from establishing a solo 401k plan.

Ideally, business owners contribute at least 100 percent of the first 18,000 dollars (50+ individuals contribute 24,000 dollars) of their net earnings or W-2 compensation for a sole proprietorship. In addition, up to 20% of net self-employment earnings (or 25% of W-2 wages) may be included to constitute the profit sharing contribution. Loans are equally allowed, and the interest rate for the Solo 401k plan is the prime plus one percent.


A lot of business owners face many challenges when it comes to choosing between these two options. The Solo 401k plan boasts about two key benefits; the ability to grab a tax-free loan, and potentially higher contributions regardless of business level.

For those who wish to maximize their annual retirement plan contributions, or would like to borrow a loan against their specific retirement accounts—the Solo 401k could be ideal. Otherwise, the SEP IRA boasts a far-fetched simplicity that makes it a standout option. The choice is yours, though.

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