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Small-business plans—easy, low-cost ways to save for retirement

Take advantage of this plan's generous contribution limits to save quickly and reduce taxes.

Quick facts

ParticipantsSole proprietors or partners who have no
common-law employees.
Employer contributionsMaximum employer contribution per eligible employee is $53,000 for the 2016 tax year, and $54,000 for the 2017 tax year. Maximum tax deductible employer contribution is 25% of compensation. Deductible as a business expense and not required every year.
Employee contributionsEither pre-tax or Roth employee deferral contributions can be made for up to $18,000 for the 2016 and 2017 tax years ($24,000 for employees age 50 or older). Contributions can't exceed 100% of compensation.
Total contributionsThe combined amount of employer plus employee contributions can't exceed $53,000 for the 2016 tax year ($59,000 for employees age 50 or older).
The combined amount of employer plus employee contributions can't exceed $54,000 for the 2017 tax year ($60,000 for employees age 50 or older).
Investment choicesMore than 100 Vanguard mutual funds.
EligibilityNo age or income restrictions.
Account service fees$20 per year for each Vanguard fund held in a Vanguard Individual 401(k) account. If at least one participant qualifies for Flagship Select™, Flagship®, Voyager Select®, or Voyager® Services, the account service fee will be waived for all participants in the plan. However, if the plan administrator is the only person enrolled in Flagship Select, Flagship, Voyager Select, or Voyager Services, but he or she doesn't participate in the plan, the fee will apply.

Tool to help you choose

Why choose a Vanguard Individual 401(k)

Save money
The average Vanguard fund expense ratio is 81% less than the industry average.* Our plans also don't require a setup fee.
Find the right investments
We offer a diversified fund lineup with no minimum initial investment that has delivered solid long-term investment results.** See our listings in Money magazine.*** Vanguard also is one of the few investment companies to offer a Roth 401(k) option.
Simplify your plan
Take a tour of Small Business Online to see how you can manage and make contributions to your plan. Your employees can use vanguard.com to track their investments.

It's easy to get started

We can provide all the help you need to set up your plan. Call a small-business specialist at 800-992-7188.

An employee other than an owner, a business partner, or a shareholder of a corporation and their respective spouses. (Independent contractors are not employees.)
Money magazine named 17 Vanguard funds on its "Money 50" list—more than any other fund company.