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Focus on your business with an easy‑to‑manage retirement plan
If you have 100 or fewer employees, a Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA is a cost efficient, easy-to-manage way to contribute toward your employees' — and your own — retirement.
Take advantage of tax breaks for you and your employees
Contributions made by your business are generally tax deductible by the business. You may also benefit from a tax credit of up to $500 for 3 years.Footnote 1 Tax-deferred contributions made by employees — including you — have the potential to grow tax free until withdrawn at retirement.
Attract and retain valued employees with high contribution limits
Employees can make pre-tax contributions up to $13,000 ($16,000 if age 50 or older) annually, more than twice as much as a Traditional IRA.Footnote 2 For details, read the SIMPLE 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 and well-known mutual funds. You may also consider a savings IRA from Bank of America, N.A. Learn more about investment choices
of small business employees say they'd likely take a job with slightly lower pay but better benefits.Footnote 3

Pricing and fees

Pricing and fees
Account fees
Setup fee:
Annual administrative fees:
Merrill offers participants simple, flat-rate pricing of $6.95Footnote 4 per online stock and ETF trade.* If you're a sole proprietor, learn how to qualify for $0 trades pop uplearn how to qualify for $0 trades.Footnote 4
*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. Learn more about Merrill pricing

Get started

Open a SIMPLE IRA in 3 easy steps

One Open your account

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

Two Make contributions

Fund your and your employees' accounts 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

Three 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 investing account 24/7 — online and on your mobile device.


The plan is funded by employee salary deferrals and required employer contributions.
You can choose to contribute a flat 2% of compensation for each eligible employee regardless of participation, or a dollar-for-dollar match of employee salary-deferral contributions capped at 3% of compensation. If needed, the cap may be reduced as low as 1% for any 2 years during a 5-year period.Footnote 2
Employees, including business owners, can defer up to $13,000 ($16,000 for those age 50 or older) of compensation annually.Footnote 2
Any employee who received $5,000 or more in compensation in any 2 calendar years and is reasonably expected to earn $5,000 or more in the current year.

Recognized for excellence

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 5
One of the best online brokers
One of the best online brokers, receiving 4 out of 5 stars six years in a row (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019).Footnote 6
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

Important disclosures

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 3 Aflac Workforces Report, April 2015.
Footnote 4 $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.
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 was one of 14 brokers evaluated in the Barron's 2019 Best Online Broker Survey, February 22, 2019. Barron's evaluated firms in — the trading platform, usability, mobile, research, education, news, information, international offerings and retirement/divided-related services—to rate the firms. Merrill earned an overall score of 28 out of a possible 50. All costs assume customer has a minimum of $100,000 in assets with broker. Occasional Trader: six stock and two options trades per month. Assumes customer qualifies for 100 $0 stock trades per month through Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors. If not, occasional fee is $70.60 per month. Learn more at Who Are 2019's Best Online Brokers? popup Barron's is a trademark of Dow Jones & Co., L.P. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of Barron's. Rankings and recognition from Barron'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.

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.

Set up a SIMPLE IRA today. Designed for small businesses with less than 100 employees, save and contribute more to your employees' retirement plans. self employed simple ira, simple ira