(Simplified Employee Pension plan)

Easy, inexpensive plan for self-employed individuals and small businesses

  • Flexibility with employer contributions
  • Employer contributions deductible as a business expense
  • Offers a full range of investment choices
  • Use the Small Business Selector to find a plan

Up to 25% of compensation

$61,000 in 2022, whichever is less


Self-employed individuals without retirement plan coverage1

Why a SEP IRA?

Eligibility information

Available for self-employed individuals and owners of small businesses. Employees must be age 21 or older, receive annual compensation of $650 or more, and have worked for the company for at least three of the past five years.


Let E*TRADE Capital Management manage your account, or diversify with a choice of mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and more

Setup, administration, and contribution deadline

Account must be established and funded by the employer's tax filing deadline (plus extensions). IRS Form 5500 filing not required

Trade more, pay less

With E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley, you pay $0 commissions for online US-listed stock, ETF, mutual fund, and options trades. Here’s a quick overview of our clear, competitive per-trade pricing.1


See all FAQs

Already have a SEP IRA? Contribute now.

Can an individual make contributions to a SEP-IRA while also contributing to a Traditional IRA?

Yes. However, since an individual will be considered an active participant in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, some or all of their personal IRA contributions may not be deductible. Refer to the Contribution Limits & Deadlines table for more information.

How much can a sole proprietor or unincorporated business contribute to a SEP-IRA?

If a business owner receives compensation as personal income, such as a sole proprietor or unincorporated partnership, the annual contribution limit is up to 20% of their net adjusted self-employed income or net adjusted business profits.

Is it possible not to include employees in a SEP-IRA plan?

All employees age 21 or older who have worked for the business owner in three of the past five years and earn $650 or more must be included.

What are the basic distribution rules for a SIMPLE IRA?

Generally distributions from a SIMPLE IRA are subject to the same distribution rules as a Traditional IRA. SIMPLE IRA distributions may be taken at any time and are taxable in the year distribution occurs. Withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ are subject to an additional 10% early distribution penalty. However, if a distribution from a SIMPLE IRA is taken within 2 years of first participation in the plan, the 10% early distribution penalty is increased to 25%.

Can I open a SEP-IRA if my business has been open less than five years?

Yes, a business owner can use less restrictive participation requirements than those listed by the IRS, but not more restrictive ones. For example, IRS participation requirements state that an employee must have worked for the company in at least three of the past five years. Employers are permitted to decrease or remove this requirement; however they are not permitted to increase it. This also applies to self-employed business owners.

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