Rules of Simple IRA Your Business Needs to Know
A Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees plan, better known as a SIMPLE plan, is an IRA-based retirement plan available to employers with fewer than 100 employees.
Under a SIMPLE IRA plan, an employee can contribute a portion of his pay to his SIMPLE IRA account. An employee can make a maximum contribution of $9,000, ($10,500 if age 50 and over), to his SIMPLE IRA account for 2004. You, the employer, are required to make a contribution for every worker who receives $5,000 or more in compensation.
You can match up to 3% of the salary for the employees who contribute to their SIMPLE IRA account. You only have to match for those employees who contribute to the plan. In any 2 years out of a 5 year period, after notification to the employees, you may elect a lower matching contribution percentage but not less than 1% of salary.
Your business also has the option to select a "non-elective" mandatory company match of 2% of annual salary for every employee. Under the "non-elective" contribution formula, even if an eligible employee doesn't contribute to his SIMPLE IRA, you must still contribute to his account 2% of his salary.
Advantages of the SIMPLE IRA
Disadvantages of the SIMPLE IRA
While the SIMPLE IRA make senses under certain circumstances, this plan comes with a lot of strings attached. If your business has no employees and you do not expect to hire employees in the near future, consider using a Solo 401(k) with a loan feature instead of a SIMPLE IRA. And, if you have more than 20 employees, look at setting up a regular 401(k) as an alternative.
To terminate a SIMPLE IRA plan, notify the financial institution that you chose to handle the SIMPLE IRA plan that you will not be making contributions for the next calendar year and that you want to terminate the contract or agreement with it. You must also notify your employees that the SIMPLE IRA plan will be discontinued.
About The Author
Daniel Lamaute, CEO of Lamaute Capital, Inc. (www.InvestSafe.com) specializes in setting up retirement plans. You may visit http://www.investsafe.com to access a free calculator that will help you estimate what your maximum contribution might be under different plans.
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