Meridian Star


June 29, 2014

Consider the benefits of a retirement plan for your business


Does your business offer a retirement plan for employees? If not, consider setting one up. A retirement plan may be beneficial for several reasons. It can help you to recruit employees as part of your overall compensation package. You can help your employees by giving them a tax-advantaged way to save for their retirement. A plan can also provide tax credits or deductions for your business. Finally, it can help you provide for your own retirement.

    Small businesses and the self-employed can choose from a variety of plans specially designed to keep costs low and administration relatively simple.

    SEP-IRA Plans. Perhaps the easiest plan to set up is a simplified employee pension plan (SEP). With a SEP, you make retirement plan contributions for your employees. The contributions are a percentage of their earnings, generally up to 25 percent, subject to dollar limits. The contributions you make go into individual retirement accounts set up for each employee. Employees manage the investments in their accounts, just like a traditional IRA. You don’t have to contribute every year, but if you do, you can’t discriminate among employees. You have until the due date of your tax return to set up a plan for the previous tax year.

    SIMPLE Plans. SIMPLE plans allow your employees to defer part of their salary into their retirement accounts. You, as employer, can either match those contributions up to certain limits, or you can make nonelective contributions to each eligible employee.

    Generally, you can set up a SIMPLE plan if you have 100 or fewer employees, subject to some additional restrictions. The plans come in two varieties – SIMPLE IRAs and SIMPLE 401(k)s. Generally, they’re slightly more complex than SEPs to set up and administer.

    Qualified Plans. Qualified plans come in many flavors. Generally, they require a trustee and are more complex and costly to administer.

    David Compton is a Certified Public Accountant with offices in Meridian and Birmingham, Ala.

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