Independent 401(k)


DEFINITION of 'Independent 401(k)'

A 401(k) plan set up for an individual running a sole proprietorship or a small business with a spouse/immediate family member. Plan contribution limits for the individual are equal to a typical company-sponsored 401(k), but the sole proprietor can also make an employer contribution to an independent 401(k), thereby raising the total contribution allowed.

The independent 401(k) may also be called a "solo 401(k)" or an "indie K".


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BREAKING DOWN 'Independent 401(k)'

As with standard 401(k) plans, catch-up contributions are allowed for those above age 50 who have indie 401(k)s - up to $5,000 in 2006. Contributions made to the plan as an employer are also tax-deductible, which can help to save the sole proprietor a great deal in taxes.

The independent 401(k) offers many of the same features as a Keogh plan or an SEP IRA, but an independent 401(k) can be cheaper to establish and maintain, and loans are often allowed against an independent 401(k).

The major drawback to the independent 401(k) is that no outside employees can be hired, or the window of applicability closes.

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  1. Who is eligible for an independent/individual 401(k)?

    A business owner who operates his or business with the intent of making a profit and does not hire full-time employees is ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the benefits of an independent/individual 401(k)?

    An individual or independent 401(k) retirement account is no different from a traditional 401(k) account in its structure ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. I have a small business (LLC), which I operate part-time. I also work full time for ...

    As long as you have no ownership in the company for which you work full-time and the only relationship you have with the ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. 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 >>
  6. 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 >>

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