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Contribute as your cash flow allows
You decide how much to contribute, and you have until your tax-filing deadline (including extensions) to establish your plan and contribute for the previous year.
Focus on your business, not your retirement plan
SEP IRAs require less paperwork than many small business retirement plans, leaving you more time for your business.
Receive tax breaks that add up
Contributions you make as the business owner are generally tax deductible by the businessFootnote 1, and you can contribute nearly 10 times more to a SEP IRA than a standard Traditional IRA. For details, read the SEP IRA fact sheet (PDF).
Choose from a full range of investment choices
You and your employees can access a full range of investment choices, including stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, well-known mutual funds and managed portfolios. Learn more about investment choices
You may qualify for a tax credit of up to
for the first
3 years2
Get up to $600 when you invest in a new Merrill Edge® Self-Directed account. How to qualify

Pricing and fees

Pricing and fees

Account fees if opened online

Setup fee:
Annual administrative fees:
Unlimited $0 online stock and ETF trades.Footnote 3
Other fees may applyFootnote *
*Other fees may apply. Free and $0 means there is no commission charged for these trades. $0 option trades are subject to a $0.65 per-contract fee. Sales are subject to a transaction fee of between $0.01 and $0.03 per $1,000 of principal. There are costs associated with owning ETFs. To learn more about Merrill pricing, visit

Get started

Open a SEP IRA in 3 easy steps

Open your account

It takes just minutes to set up your account. Your employees, if you have them, will set up their own, and there are no program or administrative fees for accounts opened online.

Fund accounts

Fund accounts for you and your employees using Merrill Lynch E-Contribs for Small Business Retirement Accounts™ — a free, web-based solution for making contributions. No paperwork to complete. No checks to write. No postage to pay. Go to E‑Contribs
Transfer cash
Real-timeFootnote 4
Fund instantly from your Bank of America® bank account or Merrill Edge investment account.
Up to 3 business days
Fund within a few days from an eligible linked account at another financial institution.
Wire transfer — Same day
Wire funds electronically from another financial institution.
Write a check — 3 to 5 days
Fund your account by mailing a personal, cashier's or bank check.
Transfer accounts or securities — 8 or more days
Transfer an existing brokerage account, IRA account or securities from another financial institution. You can also transfer securities instantly between your Merrill Edge accounts.
Roll over into an IRA — 10 or more days
Consolidate your retirement assets by rolling over accounts held in former employers' 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans into a Merrill Edge SEP IRA.
A Rollover IRA isn't right for everyone. Consider all of your choices and learn if a Rollover IRA may be right for you. For additional information, call 888.637.3343888.637.3343 to speak with a rollover specialist, 24/7.

Start investing

Create an investment strategy
Build a balanced portfolio aligned to your investment goals.
Find the right investments for you
Choose from a full range of stocks, bonds, options, ETFs and well-known mutual funds — all with simple flat-rate pricing. Narrow your investment choices with our easy-to-use screening tools.
Manage your portfolio
Access your new Merrill investing account 24/7 — online and on your mobile device.


With a SEP IRA, your business and employees (including you) can benefit. Contributions you make to the individual accounts under your plan are generally tax deductible by your business.Footnote 1 You also have the opportunity to contribute nearly 10 times more to a SEP IRA than a Traditional IRA.
Employer contributions are limited to the lesser of $56,000 ($55,000 for 2018) or 25% of eligible compensation (20% of self-employed net earnings).Footnote 5 Learn more about SEP IRA contribution limits.
Contributions are made only by you as the employer.
Yes. You can consolidate your retirement assets by rolling over accounts held in former employers' 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans into a Merrill Edge SEP IRA.
A Rollover IRA isn't right for everyone. Consider all of your choices and learn if a Rollover IRA may be right for you. For additional information, call 888.637.3343888.637.3343 to speak with a rollover specialist, 24/7.

Need help setting up your plan?

Call 855.667.9451855.667.9451
Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET to speak with a Financial Solutions Advisor
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. Visit or call a Merrill rollover specialist at 888.637.3343888.637.3343 for more information about your choices.

Important disclosures

Footnote 1 As the business owner, your contributions to your SEP IRA account and deductions for such contributions may vary based on your net earnings and self-employment tax deduction. Please consult your tax advisor.
Merrill waives its commissions for all online stock, ETF and option trades placed in a Merrill Edge® Self-Directed brokerage account. Brokerage fees associated with, but not limited to, margin transactions, special stock registration/gifting, account transfer and processing and termination apply. $0 option trades are subject to a $0.65 per-contract fee. Other fees and restrictions may apply. Pricing is subject to change without advance notice.
Certain banking and brokerage accounts may be ineligible for real-time money movement, including but not limited to transfers to/from bank IRAs (CD, Money Market), 529s, Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking™, Credit Cards and transfers from IRAs, Loans (HELOC, LOC, Mortgage) and accounts held in the military bank. Accounts eligible for real-time transfers will be displayed online in the to/from drop down menu on the transfer screen.
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.
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, a 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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Investment products offered through MLPF&S and insurance and annuity products offered through MLLA:
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Open a SEP IRA today from Merrill Edge and get a self-directed retirement plan perfect for your sole proprietorship, self-employed business, & your employees. sep IRA, self employed retirement plans, retirement plans for self employed