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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 account. How to qualify

Pricing and fees

Pricing and fees

Account fees if opened online

Setup fee:
Annual administrative fees:
Merrill Edge offers participants simple, flat-rate pricing of $6.95 per online stock and ETF trade.* If you're a sole proprietor, learn how to qualify for $0 tradesFootnote 3learn how to qualify for $0 trades.Footnote 3
*Other fees may apply. 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 Edge 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
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 Edge 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.

Recognized for excellence

J.D. Power Contact Center Certification
An outstanding customer service experience
Merrill Edge has been recognized by J.D. Power by providing "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience" for Phone support for 8 years in a row.Footnote 6
Kiplinger's Best Online Brokers 2017"
Received 5 out of 5 stars for "research" and "user experience" — Kiplinger's Personal Finance, "Best Online Brokers" 2018Footnote 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 Edge 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.
Footnote 3 $0 trades are only available with an individual or joint Merrill Edge self-directed brokerage account. When placing a trade, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S) determines whether you meet the balance or relationship requirements to qualify that trade for the $0 waiver. To determine the number of qualifying trades, MLPF&S adds the qualifying trades in your individual accounts and joint accounts. Commission fees apply when qualification requirements are not met, or when you exceed the number of qualifying trades a month. Brokerage fees associated with, but not limited to, margin transactions, option trading, special stock registration/gifting, account transfer and processing, research request and termination apply.
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.
J.D. Power 2018 Certified Contact Center ProgramSM recognition is based on successful completion of an evaluation and exceeding a customer satisfaction benchmark through a survey of recent servicing interactions. For more information, visit J.D. Power popup. The ranking or ratings shown here may not be representative of all client experiences because they reflect an average or sampling of the client experiences. These rankings or ratings are not indicative of any future performance or investment outcome. Participation in this survey was paid for by Merrill Lynch.
Merrill Edge Self-Directed was ranked 5 out of 10 online brokers by Kiplinger's Personal Finance's "Best Online Brokers," survey August 2019. To be included, firms had to offer online trading of stocks, ETFs, funds and individual bonds. Results based on ratings in the following categories: commissions and fees, investment choices, mobile app, tools, research, advisory services and user experience. Learn more at Kiplinger's Personal Finance popup, August 2019 © 2019 The Kiplinger Washington Editors. Used under License. Merrill provides access to research from BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, CFRA (powered by S&P Global), Morningstar and others. Rankings and recognition from Kiplinger's are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a current or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance results and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement.
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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.
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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