by +Matt Bagell
(Financial Contributor for Humareso)
As a financial planner, I run into the same question all the time when talking to a business owner, hr specialist or controller. Which retirement plan should we set up for our company? They always seem to be leaning towards a solution but are not sure what the full details are with regard to the various plan options.
You just need to know one simple thing; what is “The Reason” for creating one for your company.
Let’s face it. Some business owners are extremely interested in putting a lot of money away for retirement and taking advantage of as many tax deductions as possible. In a perfect world, a business owner could do this while receiving a tax break from the government at the same time without limitations. Unfortunately, there are caps to what you can do and it depends on what plan you choose. On the other hand, a business may be solely focused on enhancing the benefits they are offering to their employees. The company may see a retirement plan as a way of keeping their employees around and also attracting new ones as well.
I could bore you with all of the details that go along with a SEP IRA, Simple IRA, and 401k plan but if anything else you have to first realize that these plans allow contributions to increase to a level much higher than an individual IRA. In 2015, the traditional IRA contribution limits are $5,500 and $6,500 if age 50 or older. The limit allows for a decent contribution but a business retirement plan such as a SEP IRA allows for contributions up to $52,000 in 2015. Now that is a huge difference. If you put that amount against a 30% tax bracket, you would receive over $15,000 in tax savings in just this year alone. If your company has many employees or is likely to grow, a 401k/ Profit sharing plan might be more suitable. You will have the flexibility to decide if you want to invest more or less each year and can limit the benefits provided to the employees based on actuarial testing.
There are many factors that affect how a retirement plan will work including the age of employees, the number of employees, the salaries of employees and the contribution amount of the employer(s). This is why a decision should not be rushed. A Simple IRA plan, for example, does not allow for higher contribution limits compared to other business plans but the out of pocket cost is less for the employer to set up.
Retirement plans are great ways to really improve your company. The business owner(s) can really take advantage of putting money away and the employees are also set up to come along for the ride. Think about it. When else does the government hook you up with a discount on taxes for saving your own money. By the way, they also let your money grow tax free before withdrawals. Not a bad situation if you are able to contribute steadily throughout your working career.
So, first start with “The Reason” you are considering a plan. From there, it will be a lot easier to figure out what fits your company’s needs.