How You Can Get a Low Cost Small Business 401k

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings has been an affordable provider of retirement solutions designed for small businesses, start-ups, and solopreneurs since 1999.

  • Streamlined, flat-fee plans starting at $75/month
  • Easy online set-up and management
  • Flexible investment options
Looking for a 401k for your team?

Customize a simple, affordable retirement plan for your small business in just a few clicks.

How many employees do you have?

Just me and/or my business partner/spouse

A low-cost small business 401k is within your reach – if you know where to look.

First, look for a small business 401k provider who charges a transparent flat fee. You will not be penalized as your plan grows in size, but instead will pay a predictable charge. At Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, we are happy to assist you in finding the right low-cost small business 401k  plan for your needs.

Find a 401k provider who offers a flat-fee pricing structure.

Small business 401k plan providers charge based on a number of pricing structures. Commonly, they will bill using Assets Under Management (AUM) fees combined with a Per-Participant charge. So, for instance, a company with $1 million in assets might pay $1,000 in annual administrative fees, plus a quarterly charge of $15 to $40 for each person in the plan. These fees are designed to compensate custodians and incentivize brokers to grow the plan, but they can really escalate the total cost of plan administration.

At Ubiquity, we charge NO AUM or per-participant fees. Your monthly fee, which can be as low as $75/month, covers:

  • Plan amendments
  • Record-keeping
  • Facilitating payroll contributions
  • Account manager support
  • IRS document submission
  • 401k loan administration, if necessary
  • Monday through Friday employee customer service

Choose a SIMPLE or Safe Harbor 401k

How you structure your 401k plan can also impact the cost. Here are a few affordable options:

  • A SIMPLE 401k requires less overhead administration compared to Traditional 401k plans. Open to business owners with 100 or fewer employees, a SIMPLE 401k is not subject to annual nondiscrimination testing and IRS auditing expenses, but employers must agree to make 100% vested matching contributions up to 3% of an employee’s pay or a nonelective contribution based on 2% of employee pay. There are a few caveats – the annual contribution limits are lower for a SIMPLE 401k, and employees must have received at least $5,000 in compensation in the previous year to qualify – but these rules can also save you money, while still providing benefits to a good deal of employees.
  • A Safe Harbor 401k is not always the least expensive option, but it allows higher contribution limits and a great way to maximize savings for Highly Compensated Employees without worrying about nondiscrimination tests. You can choose from two matching formulas – either 100% match on the first 3% of employee contributions plus a 50% match on the next 2% or a 3% nonelective contribution, regardless of participation.

For most 401k plans, employer matching is completely optional, which can also save money on a new plan, though you will be subject to IRS nondiscrimination tests. Ubiquity’s compliance team will assist you in remaining informed as to employee contributions and letting you know if you might benefit from a Safe Harbor provision.

Work with a broker who can put together a low-cost investment lineup.

Ubiquity can recommend a flexible, low-cost partner if you’re not sure who can best manage your investments OR you are free to use whichever broker you’d prefer. Some employers may use a DIY brokerage or automated system to save money. Here you can try a default lineup based on long-term growth and your risk profile, with automatic rebalancing added, or you can customize your investments from over 30,000 funds.

Generally speaking, you’ll want a broker who can provide you with access to low-cost investments, rather than vehicles with notoriously high commission loads. The average expense ratio is 0.52%, so look for lower percentages if possible. Anything over 2% is considered high. Consider options like low-cost Vanguard index funds, which offer lower expense ratios and outperform many actively-managed funds.

Take advantage of tax savings for small businesses

Generous tax deductions make 401k plans more affordable for small businesses. You can write off the following:

  • Plan administration – Plan administration can be written off as a business tax deduction.
  • Plan startup costs – Deduct up to 50% of all necessary and reasonable 401k startup and participant education expenses to a maximum of $5,000 for 2020, 2021, and 2022.
  • Auto-enrollment – Add another $500 off in 2020, 2021, and 2022 when you choose to add automatic enrollment to your plan.

Keep in mind that any matching contributions that fall below 25% of the employee’s annual compensation (or $285,000) can be deducted from federal, state, and payroll taxes.

Learn More About Low-Cost Small Business 401ks

Contact Ubiquity to get started on your low-cost small business 401k. Since 1999, we have helped companies with 100 or fewer employees find affordable and effective ways to save for retirement.


Ready to start offering a retirement plan for your employees?
Get Started

© 2020 Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
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44 Montgomery Street, Suite 3060
San Francisco, CA 94104
Support: 855.401.4357

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© 2020 Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
Privacy Policy
44 Montgomery Street, Suite 3060
San Francisco, CA 94104
Support: 855.401.4357

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