Attract employees while you build your retirement assets

Do you have fewer than 100 employees? Gain a competitive hiring advantage with the SIMPLE IRA as you work toward your retirement.
A SIMPLE IRA offers:
  • The ability to provide employee tax-deferred contributions through payroll deductions
  • The opportunity to contribute twice as much as a Traditional IRA
  • Potential tax benefits for your business and your employees
  • A wide range of investment choices including stocks and mutual funds
 
Tab One

Good for you, good for your business

A Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA gives you a simplified way to contribute toward your employees'—and your own—retirement. Consider this low-maintenance retirement plan if your cash flow is steady.

Save on taxes

  • Contributions made by your business are generally tax-deductible
  • Tax-deferred contributions have the potential to grow until withdrawn at retirement

Contribute more

  • Employee pre-tax contributions up to $12,500
  • If you are 50 or older, you can defer an additional catch-up contribution of up to $3,0001
For details, see the SIMPLE IRA fact sheet (PDF).
 

Frequently asked questions

Who contributes to a SIMPLE IRA?

The plan is funded by employees who participate through salary deferrals, as well as required employer contributions. As the business owner, you decide how you make the employer contribution by choosing either:
  • A flat 2% of compensation for each eligible employee regardless of participation
  • A dollar-for-dollar match of employee salary-deferral contributions, capped at 3% of compensation (may be reduced to as low as 1% in any two years during a five-year period)

Who is eligible to participate in a SIMPLE IRA?

Any employee who received $5,000 or more in compensation in any two preceding calendar years and who is reasonably expected to earn $5,000 in the current year can participate.

What are the contribution limits?

In addition to the required employer contribution, employees (including you) can defer up to $12,500 of compensation annually. If you are 50 or older, you can defer an additional catch-up contribution of up to $3,000.1

What are the advantages to my employees of participating in a SIMPLE IRA?

Interest, dividends, employer-matched contributions and other investment earnings have the potential to grow tax-deferred until they are withdrawn at retirement.

Does it take a lot of time to administer the plan?

Merrill Edge helps you save time and effort in administering your plan, so you can stay focused on your business. With Merrill Edge E-Contribs for Small Business Retirement Accounts™, a free, web-based contribution service, funding your plan is a snap.

What investment choices are available?

  • At Merrill Edge, you'll have access to a full range of investment choices. Select from a wide array of stocks, bonds, options, ETFS, well-known mutual funds and managed portfolios.
  • You may also consider investing in a Money Market IRA or Featured CD IRA offered through Bank of America, N.A.
  • Automated Investment Plans offer a systematic way to invest in mutual funds on a schedule based on your needs

When do plan contributions vest?

Employee and employer contributions are 100% vested immediately.

Can I take a loan or withdraw funds from my SIMPLE IRA before I reach age 59½?

Loans are not allowed. Withdrawals before age 59½ are subject to ordinary income tax plus a 10% federal early withdrawal tax. If funds are withdrawn within two years of first participation in a SIMPLE IRA, a 25% early withdrawal tax applies instead of 10%.

What if my business grows beyond 100 employees?

Consider establishing a small business 401(k) when your business grows to more than 100 employees. A Financial Solutions Advisor™ can help you consider your options.
If you decide to establish a 401(k) plan for the following calendar year, you would stop contributions to the SIMPLE IRA plan and then start the 401(k). Participants that have been in the SIMPLE IRA plan for over two years may roll their SIMPLE IRA assets over to the new 401(k) if it allows rollovers. Before making any decisions, speak with your tax and legal advisor about your situation and the requirements for terminating a plan and establishing a new one.

 
Looking for one-on-one advice?
Meet with a licensed Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor™ in person or on the phone, who will help you pursue your financial goals and plan for what matters most to you.
Tab Two
The SIMPLE IRA offers potential tax advantages through salary deferrals and the benefits of compounding growth. As the business owner, you may receive additional tax deductions through contributions you make from your business.

Awards and recognition

Barrons 2015 Best Online Broker Survey. 4 of 5 stars.
Rated an outstanding customer service experience by JD Power
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.3
 
Looking for one-on-one advice?
Meet with a licensed Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor™ in person or on the phone, who will help you pursue your financial goals and plan for what matters most to you.
Tab Three
You'll find everything you need to help you set up your SIMPLE IRA:
1.
Open your account by printing, completing and returning the required documents
 
2.
Enroll your employees (and yourself) in your new plan
 
3.
Start investing—we can help you create an investment strategy, find the right investments and manage your portfolio
 
 
Questions?
Call 855.667.9451 Mon—Fri 9 a.m.—8 p.m. ET to speak with a member of our Small Business Financial Solutions Advisors™ team.
Tab Four

Pricing and fees

Merrill Edge offers simple, flat-rate pricing of $6.95 per unlimited online equity and ETF trades4—that's lower standard pricing than Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and E*TRADE.5 Learn how you can qualify for $0 trades.6

SIMPLE IRA account fees

Set-up fee
$0
 
Annual administrative fees
$0
 
Annual custodial fee if you work with a Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor™
Open a SIMPLE IRA with at least $5,000 and we'll waive the annual custodial fee for life.
Percentage of net
assets
0.25%
Minimum
$60
Minimum for
multi-employee plans
$50
Maximum
$100
Investments may be subject to commissions, loads, and operating expenses. Fees may also apply for certain transactions including account closure.
 
Looking for one-on-one advice?
Meet with a licensed Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor™ in person or on the phone, who will help you pursue your financial goals and plan for what matters most to you.
Ready to get started?
Speak with a Financial Solutions Advisor™
855.667.9451
Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-8 p.m. ET
1 Contribution limits apply for 2016. Compensation limit per employee is $265,000. Limits for subsequent years may vary.

2 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 http://webreprints.djreprints.com/51875.html. Barron's is a trademark of Dow Jones & Co., L.P. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of Barron's.

3 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 www.jdpower.com/ccc.

4 Other fees may apply. Sell trades 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 merrilledge.com/pricing.

5 Fidelity's standard online price is $7.95 per equity or ETF trade (excluding certain iShares and Fidelity ETFs offered commission-free). Schwab's standard online price is $6.95 per equity or ETF trade (excluding ETFs available through Schwab ETF OneSource™ when placed in a Schwab account that are available commission-free). E*TRADE's standard online price for equity, ETF or option trade is $9.99, $7.99 for customers who trade at least 150 times per quarter, $6.99 for customers who trade 1,500+ times per quarter. TD Ameritrade's standard online price is $9.99 per equity or ETF trade. Note: Competitive comparison pricing information as of 02/02/2017 excludes special promotional offerings and sales of fractional shares.

a E*TRADE's standard online price for equity, ETF or option trade is $9.99, $7.99 for customers who trade at least 150 times per quarter, $6.99 for customers who trade 1,500+ times per quarter
b For TD Ameritrade ETFs: the ETF must be on list of 100+ commission-free ETFs and must be held for a minimum of 30 days in order to not incur a fee. Also, the user must be enrolled to qualify.
c Price per non-Schwab ETF
d Price per non-iShare ETF

6 $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.

Neither Merrill Edge nor its financial solutions advisors provide tax, accounting or legal advice. Clients should review any planned financial transactions or arrangements that may have tax, accounting or legal implications with their personal professional advisors.

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