What Types of 401(k) Plans Are Available?

401(k) plans are becoming increasingly popular, especially among small businesses. This mainly has to do with the fact that they offer several advantages, including tax breaks, employer matching contributions, and the ability to save for retirement on a tax-deferred basis.There are four primary types of these plans available: the Small Business 401(k) Plan, the Individual /solo/self-employed 401(k), the Self-directed 401(k), and the SIMPLE 401(k).

The Small Business 401(k) Plan

This type of retirement savings plan is employer-sponsored and allows employees to secure their retirement on a tax-deferred basis. The key advantage of a 401(k) plan is that it offers employees the potential to grow their savings more quickly than they could on their own, thanks to the power of compound interest.

A small business 401(k) plan typically works in the same way as a large business 401(k), but with one major exception: small businesses are not required to offer matching contributions. However, many small businesses do choose to offer matching contributions as a way to attract and retain talented employees. By offering a small business 401(k) plan, employers can help their employees secure a comfortable retirement while also enjoying some valuable tax breaks.

The Individual /solo/self-employed 401(k)

The individual or solo 401(k) is a retirement savings plan offered by 401(k) providers to self-employed individuals and businesses where there are no full-time employees. With the solo 401(k), you can contribute both as an employer and an employee, making it an extremely powerful retirement tool. Employee contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, and employer contributions are tax-deductible.

This means that your solo account can grow much faster than a traditional IRA or 401(k). Solo plans also have higher contribution limits than other retirement plans, so you can save more for your future.

The Self-directed 401(k)

A self-directed 401(k) is a retirement savings plan that gives employees more control over their investments. With this type of plan, employees can choose to invest in a wide variety of assets, including stocks, bonds, and real estate. And because the investment decisions are made by the employees, there is less need for a financial advisor.There are several things to weigh before choosing this type of plan. First, it’s important to remember that with this type of plan, you are responsible for your own investment decisions. Second, you’ll need to make sure this type of plan is on offer by your employer, as not all employers do. And finally, you’ll need to ensure you’re contributing enough capital to achieve your retirement goals.

The SIMPLE 401(k)

The SIMPLE 401(k) is a retirement savings plan that is available to small businesses and self-employed individuals. Similar to the traditional 401(k) plan, this plan also allows individuals to make pretax contributions to their accounts. However, the SIMPLE 401(k) has lower contribution limits and fewer rules and regulations than a traditional 401(k) plan. In addition, the employer must make non-elective or matching contributions to employees’ accounts.


Since there is a variety of 401(k) plans available, the most ideal way to determine which type of plan is right for you is to talk to your financial advisor. They can help you understand the different types of plans and how they might fit into your overall retirement strategy. With the right 401(k) plan in place, you can be assured of a stress-free retirement.