Historically, small employers have steered clear of 401(k) plans for their employees due to cost and complexity. Providers that specialize in 401(k) plans for small businesses help make the task easier. If you are a small business owner considering initiating a 401(k) plan for you and your employees, here are 10 such retirement plan providers to look at:
In addition to retirement plans, ADP specializes in payroll, tax filing, HR, insurance and administrative services. ADP’s small business (1 to 49 employees) division provides integration of payroll and recordkeeping with 401(k) plans, an important benefit for small employers.
Employees with existing plans have the option to transfer those plans into the new plan, and a mobile app lets employees check their retirement accounts from their smartphones and other devices.
American Funds offers employer-sponsored 401(k) retirement plans for small businesses. With more than 360,000 plans overall, the company provides solutions that can be tailored to any company, including startups and takeovers.
Options, set up as part of the plan, include both traditional and Roth contributions. Investment choices can be objective-focused (preservation, balance and growth) or individual mutual funds.
Betterment for Business
A newer entry in the world of 401(k) plan providers, Betterment for Business started offering its 401(k) plans to smaller businesses in 2016.
As a robo-adviser, Betterment, addressed many of the cost issues associated with administration and management of a company 401(k) plan by using proprietary algorithms. In addition, Betterment says it eliminates fee hiding by using exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
(For more on Betterment see: How Does Betterment Work and Make Money?)
Charles Schwab Index Advantage
Schwab designed its Index Advantage 401(k) plan to “lower costs, simplify investing and help workers better prepare for retirement.” The key is in the title. The program uses index mutual funds with low operating expenses instead of actively managed mutual funds. An ETF option is also available.
In addition, the program has an independent adviser and includes an interest-bearing, FDIC-insured savings feature through Schwab Bank.
Edward Jones offers small employers a variety of options when it comes to investments in its 401(k) retirement plans. They include stocks, bonds, mutual funds and government securities.
The company offers education and administrative support to both business owners and employees. After the plan is established, employees can review their accounts online or through mobile apps made available by Edward Jones.
Rated the Best Small Company 401(k) provider by CBS MoneyWatch, Employee Fiduciary has very low fees. It costs just $500 to start a new plan or $1,000 to convert an old one. Small employers pay $1,500 a year for up to 30 employees plus 0.08% of assets under management.
Fidelity Investments has consultants to help business owners select a plan and then, once the plan is established, provides access for employees and owners via the Internet. The company also offers a mobile app that allows employees to monitor their individual accounts.
Employees can transfer old retirement accounts into their new 401(k) and Fidelity provides integration with payroll services, an advantage for small-business owners.
Merrill Edge lists streamlining, convenience and affordability as key advantages to its small business 401(k) plan. Also included, the usual benefits – tax deductions for the employer, investment fiduciary support and educational support for employees.
Merrill boasts pricing that is lower than many competitors. Its plan includes online account management – a common feature in most 401(k) plans. An automatic enrollment option as well as a Roth 401(k) option are also available. Employers have flexibility to contribute on a year-to-year basis.
ShareBuilder 401(k) has retirement plans specifically designed for small employers. There are four different 401(k) options – individual, simplified, customized and tiered profit sharing.
Each plan has distinct matching, vesting and profit-sharing options and once the plans are established, employees are able to transfer existing retirement accounts into their new 401(k) account. In addition, ShareBuilder retirement plans integrate with the majority of payroll providers.
T. Rowe Price
Advertising its small business 401(k) plans as appropriate for companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, T. Rowe Price says it offers a “cost-effective structure” for both sponsors and participants.
Investment options include a range of T. Rowe Price and non–T. Rowe Price investments. There is a plan sponsor resource center as well as 24/7 website access for participants. Sponsors may select from more than 90 no-load mutual funds and common trusts as well as over 5,400 non-proprietary funds.
For a list of even more providers, see the Directory of 401(k) Retirement Plan Providers for Sole Proprietorships and Small Businesses from 401khelpcenter.com.
The Bottom Line
For small business owners who want to learn more, it’s well worth a visit to 401khelpcenter.com, which has an entire section dedicated to retirement plan options for small business. Of course, nothing replaces due diligence and good old-fashioned homework when it comes to checking out various 401(k) plan providers. Make sure you ask enough questions and more important, the right questions when considering a 401(k) plan for yourself and your employees.
You may also be interested in reading 401(k) Plans For The Small Business Owner.