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Small Business 401(k)

Give your business an edge with competitive retirement benefits

A Small Business 401(k)Footnote 10 is a streamlined and affordable retirement plan designed with small business owners and their employees in mind.

Small Business 401(k) Features

Enjoy contribution limits 3 times higher than that of a traditional IRAFootnote 1
Make contributions that are generally tax deductible by the businessFootnote 2
Take the guesswork out of investing with a menu of funds and model portfoliosFootnotes 3,4
Reduce your admin with a plan that's straight forward and easy to manage
Employees' primary financial goal is saving for retirement and 66% say their 401(k) will build enough savings for retirement.Footnote 5

To learn more about how a Small Business 401(k) can benefit you and your business, select any of the links below.

Discover affordable and straightforward pricing

Pricing for your businessFootnote 6

One-time set up feeFootnote *:
Monthly administration:
Footnote *Setup fee is non-refundable

Pricing for individuals with a balanceFootnote 7

Monthly recordkeeping fees:
Annual asset based costsFootnote :
Footnote  For investment fiduciary services (0.07%), participant servicing through the call center (0.20%) and account services for the ongoing product management, vendor oversight, trading and custodial services (0.25%).Footnotes 3,4
Fees example: Sue has $10,000 in her account. This year, she will have approximately $52 withheld to cover the asset-based fee and $48 ($4 x 12 months) for recordkeeping fees.

What's a key difference between a Small Business 401(k) and a SIMPLE IRA?

Any type of employer regardless of their business size can open a Small Business 401(k) plan, while a SIMPLE IRA is designed for businesses with 100 or fewer employees.

Get started with a Small Business 401(k) in 3 easy steps


Answer a few questions

Tell us about yourself and your business, and we'll customize a plan to fit your needs.

Review your proposal

We'll send you a proposal for your review. If you want, you can modify plan features before purchasing.

Purchase your plan

After reviewing your proposal, you can purchase your plan online in just a few minutes.
Need help? Speak with an Ascensus consultant for step-by-step guidance.
Call 866.890.4177 Mon-Fri 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Explore all plans available for small business

Get more details about small business retirement plans available at Merrill and find the one that works best for your needs.
Interested in getting more details on self-employed retirement plans?

Frequently Asked Questions

Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.
Footnote 1 Contribution limits apply for 2024, per tax law cost-of-living adjustment. Amounts for subsequent years may vary.

Footnote 2 Contribution and compensation limits are subject to a cost-of-living adjustment annually pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code. Contribution and compensation limits for subsequent years may vary. For more information visit the IRS website popup. You should talk to your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Footnote 3 Plan- and participant-level administrative and recordkeeping services for Merrill Small Business 401(k) plans are provided by Ascensus. Investment advisory and fiduciary services are provided by Morningstar Investment Management LLC, a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. Morningstar Investment Management LLC is a provider of investment management solutions, including investment advisory and retirement plan services. Educational call center support will be provided by Ascensus. Bank of America Corporation, Ascensus and Morningstar Investment Management LLC are not affiliated.

Footnote 4 Morningstar Investment Management LLC selects the investments and is responsible for the ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the investments and model portfolios. Merrill is responsible for ongoing product management and vendor oversight, as well as trading and custodial services of plan assets and monthly transaction statements.

Footnote 5 Learn more from the 2024 Bank of America Workplace Benefits report (PDF).

Footnote 6 Fees will be deducted from the business account.

Footnote 7 Fees will be deducted from each participant's account.

Footnote 8 Please consider the advantages and disadvantages of taking a loan before initiating one.

Footnote 9 While you can contribute a profit sharing contribution up to 100% of an employee's eligible compensation, you can only deduct up to 25%.

The endorsement of Morningstar Investment Management LLC ("Morningstar") for the MESB 401(k) Program is not made by Merrill in the capacity of a client of Morningstar or as a MESB 401(k) Program client. Cash and non-cash compensation will be provided to Merrill for this endorsement if you enroll in the MESB 401K Program. Merrill has material conflicts of interest giving this endorsement of Morningstar on this website because Merrill's compensation for services under the MESB 401(k) Program is dependent on customer use of Morningstar's investment advisory services. Morningstar's investment advisory services are the only investment advisory services offered under the MESB 401(k) Program and lack of customer's use of Morningstar's investment advisory services would, therefore, result in Merrill unable to receive compensation for this product. For more information about the compensation provided to or received by Merrill, Merrill's material conflicts of interest in giving the endorsement, and disclosure of past disciplinary matters of Merrill, please read more information here (PDF).
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Investing in securities involves risks, and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

Asset allocation, diversification, and rebalancing do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.
Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

This material is not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or investment strategy. Merrill offers a broad range of brokerage, investment advisory (including financial planning) and other services. Additional information is available in our Client Relationship Summary (PDF).

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as "MLPF&S" or "Merrill") makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation ("BofA Corp."). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, Member Securities Investor Protection (SIPC) popup and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation ("BofA Corp").
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