1. Established and funded by a business (including a sole proprietorship)
  2. Must be established and funded by the employer's tax filing deadline, including extensions
  3. Contribution limit is 25% of compensation or $45,000, whichever is less. For a sole proprietor, the contribution limit is 20% of the sole proprietor's adjusted net business income
  4. Contribution within the limits is deductible on the employer's business tax return
  5. Earnings grow on a tax-deferred basis
  6. Distributions will be treated as ordinary income and subject to income tax and early withdrawal penalties if you are under age 59.5 when the withdrawal is made, unless you are eligible for an exception

Roth IRA

  1. Established and funded by the individual taxpayer
  2. Must be established and funded by individual taxpayer's tax filing deadline (usually April 15), extensions not included
  3. Contribution limit is the lesser of 100% of compensation or $4,000 ($5,000 if you are at least age 50 by the end of the year for which the contribution is being made)
  4. Contributions are not deductible
  5. Earnings grow on a tax-free basis (certain rules apply)
  6. Qualified distributions are tax and penalty free

If you fund an SEP IRA and then convert those assets to a Roth IRA, the converted amount will be treated as ordinary income and subjected to income tax for the year you convert the assets.

Here are some additional points to consider:

Choosing the right plan type for your business (including sole proprietorship) - When you are trying to choose the best plan for your business, the options you consider are usually SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs or qualified plans (such as profit sharing, money purchase, 401k plan etc.). (See our article Plans The Small Employer Can Establish for more information on these employer plans.)

Choosing the right type of IRA - In addition to your sole proprietorship making an employer contribution to an SEP IRA, you may also make an individual participant contribution to a Roth or Traditional IRA.

Generally, SEP IRAs and Roth IRAs are not substituted for each other, as they are two different types of retirement plans. An individual may be able to participate in both, if he or she meets the eligibility requirements. Consult with your tax professional to ensure that you choose the plan best suited to your financial profile.

This question was answered by Denise Appleby
(Contact Denise)

  1. What are the risks of rolling my 401(k) into an annuity?

    Though the appeal of having guaranteed income after retirement is undeniable, there are actually a number of risks to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How can I determine if a longevity annuity is right for me?

    A longevity annuity may be right for an individual if, based on his current health and a family history of longevity, he ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does a Roth IRA grow over time?

    Your Roth IRA account grows over time thanks to two funding sources: contributions and earnings. While your contributions ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures?

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can my 401(k) be seized or garnished?

    As long as your retirement funds are held in your 401(k) and you do not take them as distributions, your 401(k) cannot be ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can my IRA be taken in a lawsuit?

    Whether your IRA can be taken in a lawsuit depends largely on your state of residence and the judgment in question. There ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    3 Stocks that Are Top Bets for Retirement

    These three stocks are resilient, fundamentally sound and also pay generous dividends.
  2. Professionals

    How to Protect Retirement and Help Adult Kids

    Parents can both protect their retirement money and help their adult kids. Here's how.
  3. Retirement

    10 Ways to Save Your Retirement: It's Not Too Late

    It's not too late to start saving for your retirement, even if you took longer to start thinking about it and doing something about it.
  4. Investing

    Why Is Financial Literacy and Education so Important?

    Financial literacy is the confluence of financial, credit and debt knowledge that is necessary to make the financial decisions that are integral to our everyday lives.
  5. Investing

    10 Ways to Effectively Save for the Future

    Savings is as crucial as ever, as we deal with life changes and our needs for the future. Here are some essential steps to get started, now.
  6. Retirement

    How Robo-Advisors Can Help You and Your Portfolio

    Robo-advisors can add a layer of affordable help and insight to most people's portfolio management efforts, especially as the market continues to mature.
  7. Professionals

    How to Protect Your Portfolio from a Market Crash

    Although market crashes are usually bad news for your portfolio, there are several ways to minimize losses or even profit outright from market movement.
  8. Professionals

    Why Women Are Underprepared for a Spouse’s Death

    Women are typically less prepared for the death of a spouse than men. An advisor can help mitigate some of the financial burdens widows may end up facing.
  9. Professionals

    3 Benefits of Working Longer (and Retiring Later)

    There are many reasons why folks in their 60s may want to keep working until at least age 70. Here are three.
  10. Retirement

    What Does It Cost to Retire in Costa Rica?

    Tally up the costs associated with taking your retirement in Costa Rica, and determine whether you have what it takes to live in paradise.
  1. Put-Call Parity

    A principle that defines the relationship between the price of ...
  2. Maturity

    The period of time for which a financial instrument remains outstanding. ...
  3. Employee Stock Option - ESO

    A stock option granted to specified employees of a company. ESOs ...
  4. Implied Volatility - IV

    The estimated volatility of a security's price.
  5. Plain Vanilla

    The most basic or standard version of a financial instrument, ...
  6. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a ...

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  2. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  3. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  4. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  5. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  6. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!