Receive business and personal tax breaks
Contributions you make as the business owner are generally tax deductible by your business. You may also contribute as an employee, reducing your personal taxes. Total contribution limits, as an employee and employer, are nearly 10 times higher than a Traditional IRA.
Access your money when you need it
Loans and withdrawals are available if you choose these features in your plan, giving you peace of mind knowing your money is available if you need it. Always be sure to understand the tax implications before taking a loan.2
Contribute as your cash flow allows
With an Individual (or solo) 401(k), you decide how much to contribute, and you can choose to contribute as your cash flow allows. You can also make contributions whether or not you have a profit.
Get advice and guidance
Funds and model portfolios — selected and managed by Morningstar Investment Management LLC — help take the guesswork out of investing. You also have access to educational call-center support from Plan Administrators, Inc. (PAi) and a suite of online investor‑education resources.1, 3
Interested in learning more? Read the Individual 401(k) fact sheet (PDF)

Contribution limits nearly 10x a Traditional IRA

limits nearly
a Traditional IRA

Pricing and fees

Pricing and fees

Straightforward, low-cost pricing for your business4

One-time setup fee*:
Estimated monthly administration:
* Setup fee is non-refundable
** $150 if converting an existing 401(k) plan to Merrill Edge

Fees paid by each individual participating in the plan6

Monthly recordkeeping fees1:
Annual asset-based costs***:
*** 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%)1, 3
Fees example: Molly has $10,000 in her account. This year, she will have approximately $52 withheld to cover the asset-based fee and $36 ($3 x 12 months) withheld for recordkeeping fees.

Get started

Get started

Answer a few questions

Take a couple of minutes to answer a few questions, and we'll customize a plan to fit your needs.

Review your proposal

You can modify the features, if you wish, before purchasing.

Purchase your plan

After reviewing your proposal, you can purchase your plan online in just a few minutes.
Set up your plan in as little as 30 minutes with step-by-step guidance. Help is available by phone if you want it.


Yes, you can. An Individual 401(k) is designed for a business owner without W-2 employees and, if married, the owner's spouse.
You can make contributions as an employee, through salary deferrals, and also as an employer, through contributions made by your business. As an employee, you can contribute up to $18,000 ($24,000 if age 50 or older). The employer contribution may not exceed 25% of the employee's compensation (20% of self-employed net earnings). The maximum combined total annual contribution is $54,000 for 2017 ($53,000 for 2016), which includes the employee and employer contributions.7
Employer contributions and plan expenses are generally tax deductible for the business. Pre-tax salary contributions and any earnings are not taxed until withdrawn, and Roth (post-tax) contributions may be withdrawn tax free after age 59½.
Yes. Loans and withdrawals are available if you choose these features in your plan, though you may incur tax penalties and/or fees. For more information, read "Know the facts about loans and withdrawals" (PDF).2

Recognized for excellence

An outstanding customer service experience
Merrill Edge's Contact Centers have been recognized by J.D. Power for providing "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience" for the live phone channel for 6 years in a row.8
One of the best online brokers
Merrill Edge was named one of the best online brokers for Long Term Investors, receiving 4 out of 5 stars — 4 years in a row (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).9

Need help setting up your plan?

Call 866.890.4177866.890.4177
Mon-Fri 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. CT to speak with a PAi1 401(k) Consultant

Important disclosures

1 Plan- and participant-level administrative and recordkeeping services for Merrill Edge Individual 401(k)s are provided by Plan Administrators, Inc. (PAi). 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 PAi. Bank of America Corporation, PAi and Morningstar Investment Management LLC are not affiliated.
2 Please consider the advantages and disadvantages of taking a loan before initiating one.
3 Morningstar Investment Management LLC selects the investments and is responsible for the ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the investments and model portfolios. Merrill Lynch is responsible for ongoing product management and vendor oversight, as well as trading and custodial services of plan assets and monthly transaction statements.
4 Fees will be deducted from the business account.
5 Businesses with less than $250,000 in plan assets will pay $20. Businesses with more than $250,000 in plan assets will pay $25.
6 Fees will be deducted from each participant's account.
7 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.
8 J.D. Power 2016 Certified Contact Center ProgramSM recognition is based on successful completion of an audit and exceeding a customer satisfaction benchmark through a survey of recent servicing interactions. For more information, visit
9 Merrill Edge was one of 16 brokers evaluated in the Barron's 2016 Best Online Broker Survey, March 19, 2016. Barron's evaluated firms in 8 categories to rate and rank the firms in those categories, by investor type and provide an overall rating & ranking. Learn more at Barron's is a trademark of Dow Jones & Co., L.P. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of Barron's.
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Investing in securities involves risks, and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

Neither Merrill Lynch nor any of its affiliates or financial advisors provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Merrill Edge is available through Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S), and consists of the Merrill Edge Advisory Center (investment guidance) and self-directed online investing.

Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A. and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Investment Products:
Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value

MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)Member Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation.

© Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.
Start a Merrill Edge Individual 401(k) or Solo 401(k) for a customized retirement plan designed for self-employed small business owners. Open and get started today. small business individual 401k, solo 401k, individual 401k plans, self-employed 401k