Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP):
SEPs can provide a significant source of income at retirement by allowing employers to set aside money in retirement accounts for themselves and their employees.
Under a SEP, an employer contributes directly to traditional individual retirement accounts (SEP-IRAs) for all employees (including the employer). A SEP does not have the start-up and operating costs of a conventional retirement plan and allows for a contribution of up to 25 percent of each employee’s pay.
Advantages of a SEP
❑ Contributions to a SEP are tax deductible and your business pays no taxes on the earnings on the investments.
❑ You are not locked into making contributions every year. In fact, you decide each year whether, and how much, to contribute to your employees’ SEP-IRAs.
❑ Generally, you do not have to file any documents with the government.
❑ Sole proprietors, partnerships, and corporations, including S corporations, can set up SEPs.
❑ You may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $500 per year for each of the first 3 years for the cost of starting the plan.
❑ Administrative costs are low.
Useful Definitions in SEP Plans:
Employee – An “employee” is not only someone who works for you, but also may be a selfemployed person as well as an owner-employee who has earned income. In other words, you can contribute to a SEP-IRA on your own behalf. The term also includes employees of certain other businesses you and/or your family own and certain leased employees.
Eligible Employee – An eligible employee is an employee who:
1. Is at least 21 years of age, and
2. Has performed service for you in at least 3 of the last 5 years.
All eligible employees must participate in the plan, including part-time employees, seasonal employees, and employees who die or terminate employment during the year.
Your SEP may also cover the following employees, but there is no requirement to cover them:
❑ Employees covered by a union contract;
❑ Nonresident alien employees who did not earn income from you;
❑ Employees who received less than $500 in compensation during the year (subject to cost-of-living adjustments).
Compensation – The term generally includes the pay an employee received from you for a year’s work. As the owner/employee, your compensation is the pay you received from the company.
Employers must follow the definition of compensation included in the plan document.
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