Advantages Of A Solo 401(k) for the Self-Employed

Last Updated on 26th July 2022 by Jeffrey Camerda

How Do I Open a Solo 401(k) Plan?

Having a retirement savings plan and the associated tax advantages aren’t out of reach just because you’re self-employed, a freelancer, or an independent contractor.

Self-employed individuals have the option of enrolling in a solo 401(k), which is also known as an independent 401(k). For those who are self-employed, the Solo 401(k) provides several advantages over other retirement funds offered to those who work for themselves.


  • A solo 401(k) plan is available to self-employed individuals who don’t have any employees.
  • A married couple operating a company together also falls within the definition of a joint enterprise.
  • Both the employer and the employee may contribute to your single 401(k).
  • In 2021, you may donate a total of $58,000 (which will rise to $61,000 in 2022). You may get an extra $6,500 a year if you’re above the age of 50.
  • Traditional and Roth options are available. In terms of tax benefits, each has its own.

Requirements for Enrollment in the Program

In order to make contributions to a solo 401(k), you must meet a few criteria. You must be self-sufficient and run your own company in order to earn a living. In addition, you or your spouse must be in charge of running the business.

Independent contractors and freelancers, as well as small company owners without workers (other than a spouse), often fall into this category. The company must also generate revenue. This is corroborated by a review of your tax returns.

You can start a single 401(k) plan if you fulfill these requirements.

Fast fact: The solo 401(k) may be the ideal option for you if you are self-employed, a freelancer, or otherwise self-employed. Such a strategy may be used by any entity that does not have any workers, including sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, corporations, or partnerships.

How to Create a Solo 401(k) Plan

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a single 401(k) plan must be set up in a specified way.

An official statement of the sort of plan you wish to sponsor must be made in writing before you can proceed. Traditional 401(k) and Roth 401(k) options are available, just as they are for an employee starting a 401(k) plan. The tax advantages of each are different.

By the end of the tax year in which you plan to make contributions, you must have established a solo 401(k).

At most online and conventional brokers, as well as directly via a financial services provider you may create a solo 401(k). To choose the greatest single 401(k) firm for you, you’ll want to perform some research ahead of time.

An EIN is required to begin the process of enrolling in the program. Apply online to the IRS if you don’t already have an account.

The broker or financial services provider you choose for your account will give the remainder of the paperwork.

The Traditional 401(k) Plan

Pre-tax monies are invested in a traditional 401(k) plan. Since your contributions are immediately tax-deductible, you’re basically claiming a tax benefit throughout your working years.

The money you save for retirement is taxed as soon as you take it out of the bank. You’ll have to pay taxes on both the money you’ve put in and the money you’ve made throughout the years.

Most individuals are in lower tax brackets after they retire than while they were employed. If you think you’ll be in a higher tax rate in the future, you’ll have to pay more in taxes now.

The Roth 401(k)

After-tax funds are used to fund Roth IRAs. Your retirement withdrawals are tax-free since you’ve already paid the IRS a portion of your savings. Even the money you put in and the earnings it generated are completely tax-free.

This might result in a sizable nest egg for your golden years. It’s important to bear in mind, though, that this will have a greater impact on your purchasing power while you’re still employed.

Initiating Your Own Solo 401(k)

As soon as you’ve decided on a financial strategy and formed a trust for the cash, you’ll need to set up the trust. To manage your plan, you may choose an investing business, internet brokerage firm, or an insurance company

In order to properly account for your assets, you need also to set up a record-keeping system.

A Solo 401(k) Plan Has Many Advantages Including;

There are benefits to Solo 401(k)s over other forms of retirement arrangements. Roth and traditional plans are also available, which is a huge perk. SEP IRA, Keogh, and SIMPLE IRA investors may only utilize the traditional option. Traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are open to everyone who has earned money, although the yearly contribution limitations are much lower.

Employers and employees may both contribute to a solo 401(k) plan, which is one of its key benefits. In other words, if you have a single 401(k), you may contribute as both an employee and an employer.

Employee Contribution Limits

The IRS adjusts the contribution limitations each year to keep pace with inflation.

As of 2022, an employee’s 401(k) contribution cap is set at $20,500. A catch-up payment of $6,500 is available to anyone over the age of 50.

Employer Contribution Limits

You may contribute up to 25% of your salary as an employer.

A single 401(k) contribution maximum of $58,000 for 2021 and $61,000 for 2022, or 25 percent of your adjusted gross income, whichever is smaller, applies to both the employer and employee.

A “catch-up contribution” of $6,500 each year is available to anyone over the age of 50. You may contribute a total of $61,000 in 2022 ($20,500 as an employee + $40,500 as an employer) plus a $6,500 catch-up contribution if appropriate for a total of $67,500 for the year.

Added Flexibility

An alternative retirement plan for small-business owners is the SEP IRA. You may take out loans from your single 401(k) before you retire, unlike the SEP, which does not allow this. Although it’s generally discouraged, borrowing from your retirement savings is an alternative if necessary.

If you’re looking for a way to save money for retirement, the solo 401(k) is an excellent option. It is only possible to have a SEP IRA in a regular account.

Jeffrey Camerda

Dr. Jeffery Camerda, PhD, is a financial planner who specializes in wealth management and retirement planning. With a PhD in Economics and Financial Planning, Jeffery represents the highest level of financial planning expertise and achievement in the USA In addition to preparing you for a career in financial planning, a PhD in economics and finance also prepares you for academic pursuits, such as becoming a university professor in teaching or doing research. Here at the Wealth Builder, our financial advisory company was founded in 2007 and services all across the USA with over 16 years of expertise. In order to provide the finest advice and services, we pay close attention to the specific financial circumstances and requirements of each client. In order to guarantee that our clients don't get a sales pitch for insurance or investments, as well as a lack of conflict of interest from a prospective commission-bearing corporations, Jeffery focuses on fee-based services. Financial planning for wealth managers, financial well-being workshops, and personal financial planning packages are all part of the company's offering. Jeffrey Camarda, PhD, CFA, EA is also the founder of the Family Wealth Education Institute, is a member of the Financial Planning Association and serves as the Chairman of Camarda Wealth Advisory Group

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