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Reduce your personal and business taxes while having access to your money through loansFootnote 2 with this affordable plan for self-employed business owners and their spouses. Below, you'll find answers to frequently asked questions about Individual 401(k) plans, rules, contribution limits and more.

Can I start a 401(k) if I'm self employed without employees?

Yes, you can. An Individual 401(k) is designed for a business owner without W-2 employees and, if married, the owner's spouse. This applies to 1099 contractors and freelancers as well.

You're not required to file Form 5500 unless the plan has more than $250,000 in assets at the end of the plan year. If your plan meets that threshold, a signature-ready Form 5500 will be prepared for your review at no additional cost.

Compare small business retirement plans

Need help or have questions?

Call 866.890.4177866.890.4177
Mon-Fri 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. CT to speak with a PAiFootnote 1 401(k) Consultant
Footnote 
You have choices about what to do with your employer-sponsored retirement plan accounts. Depending on your financial circumstances, needs and goals, you may choose to roll over to an IRA or convert to a Roth IRA, roll over an employer-sponsored plan from your old job to your new employer, take a distribution, or leave the account where it is. Each choice may offer different investment options and services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, tax treatment, and different types of protection from creditors and legal judgments. These are complex choices and should be considered with care. For more information on rolling over your IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or SEP IRA, visit our rollover page or call a Merrill rollover specialist at 888.637.3343.

Important disclosures

Footnote 1 Plan- and participant-level administrative and recordkeeping services for Merrill 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.
Footnote 2 Please consider the advantages and disadvantages of taking a loan before initiating one.
Footnote 3 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.
Footnote 4 Businesses with less than $250,000 in plan assets will pay $20. Businesses with more than $250,000 in plan assets will pay $25.
Footnote 
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.
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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).

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Investment products offered through MLPF&S and insurance and annuity products offered through MLLA:
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Are Not Deposits Are Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency Are Not a Condition to Any Banking Service or Activity


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