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

Consider this no-hassle plan for small-business owners.

Quick facts

ParticipantsAll SEP contributions are made by the employer. Their employees can contribute to personal IRA accounts.
Employer contributionsThe maximum contribution can't exceed the lesser of:
  • 25% of the employee's total compensation* or
  • $53,000 for the 2015 and 2016 tax years.

Contributions are deductible as a business expense and not required every year.

Employee contributions
  • Up to $5,500 for the 2015 and 2016 tax years (or $6,500 if age 50 or older).
  • This is the total amount the employee can personally contribute to all SEP-, Roth, and traditional IRAs each year.
Investment choicesMore than 100 Vanguard mutual funds, plus ETFs and individual securities through Vanguard Brokerage Services®.
EligibilityGenerally, employees must be allowed to participate if they're 21 or older, earn at least $600 annually (limit for both 2015 and 2016), and have worked for the same employer in at least three of the past five years.
Account service fees$20 per year for each Vanguard fund with an account balance less than $10,000. Fee does not apply to Flagship, Voyager Select, or Voyager Services clients or shareholders who have signed up for paperless communications.

Tools to help you choose

Why choose a Vanguard SEP-IRA

Save money
On average, Vanguard mutual fund expense ratios are 82% 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.††
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 800-662-2739.

*Net compensation for self-employed individuals is generally the net profit from IRS Schedule C reduced by the deductible self-employment tax. The eligible compensation limit, indexed for inflation by the IRS, is $265,000 for 2015 and 2016.

**Vanguard average expense ratio: 0.19%. Industry average expense ratio: 1.08%. Sources: Vanguard and Lipper, a Thomson Reuters Company, as of December 31, 2013.

See the most recent performance of our funds. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.

††The "Money 50" list published in the January/February 2015 Investor's Guide of Money magazine is based on a low expense ratio, a strong record for putting shareholder interests first, a consistent investment strategy, experienced and trustworthy managers, and long-term performance. Note that past performance cannot be used to predict future returns and that fund share prices will fluctuate, so investors could lose money if they sell when prices have fallen.

All investments are subject to risk.

Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.