A SEP IRA is a written plan that allows an employer to make contributions toward their own retirement and their employees’ retirement without getting involved in a more complex qualified plan. Under a SEP, the employer makes contributions to a traditional individual retirement arrangement (called a SEP IRA) set up by or for each eligible employee. A SEP IRA is owned and controlled by the employee, and the employer makes contributions to the financial institution where the SEP IRA is maintained. The employee may also make annual contributions subject to the limits for traditional IRAs.
LimitUp to 25% of compensation
or $56,000 in 2019 ($57,000 in 2020), whichever is less
EligibilityMust be sole proprietor, a business owner, in a partnership, or earn self-employment income by providing a service

Contribution rules
Must be made by the employer

Can vary each year between 0% and 25% of compensation (maximum $56,000 for 2019 and $57,000 for 2020), and each eligible employee must receive the same percentage
Establishment deadline
SEP IRAs must be established and funded by your tax filing deadline plus applicable extensions.
Employee notification of employer's contribution

Employers must fill out and retain Form 5305 SEP (PDF)Opens in a new window in their records.

No plan tax filings with IRS
Each employee must open an individual SEP IRA account.

Withdrawals10% early withdrawal penalty may apply for withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ if no exceptions apply. Penalty-free withdrawals for qualifying first-time home purchase and certain college expenses. Required minimum distributions starting at age 70½.

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