Offering a 401(k) Plan May Not Be as Expensive as You Think
- Beneficios para empleados
Lectura de 6 minutos
Last Updated: 01/05/2023
Table of Contents
Businesses have various reasons for not offering their employees a 401(k) plan. Affordability often tops the list; company executives may assume that starting and managing a 401(k) is cost-prohibitive to both the company and its employees.
But offering a 401(k) plan isn't as expensive as many employers assume. Plans can be designed as extensively or as basically as you desire — simply giving employees an easy way to save and invest a portion of each paycheck for the future can go a long way.
Designing a Low-Cost 401(k) Plan
The fees charged by plan advisors and administrators can vary, so it's important to work with an experienced plan advisor and compare your options. Fees may include a one-time startup cost as well as recordkeeping and investment management fees.
However, the way a plan is designed can help minimize costs. For example, the plan's administrative fees could be paid in full or in part from the plan assets, reducing the out-of-pocket expense for an employer. Moreover, a basic 401(k) plan — one that offers a simple investment menu and just key features — can keep total costs manageable.
Keep in mind that employers are not required to match their employees' contributions or make any employer contribution. They can contribute as much or as little as they please, within federal limits However, some employers make so-called safe harbor contributions to their employees' retirement accounts in order to avoid federal nondiscrimination testing rules.
If a company does want to offer a matching contribution, it can set up a vesting schedule so that employees only receive the full matching contribution once they've worked for the company for a set amount of time.
Incentives for Offering a Plan
Beyond keeping plan design simple, companies also have financial incentives for setting up a 401(k).
Under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, companies with 100 or fewer employees might be eligible for a tax credit worth up to $16,500 annually for three years that includes $500 per year for implementing auto-enrollment for employees. This credit would help cover their retirement plan startup costs.
Additionally, under SECURE Act 2.0, the employer contribution credit is available to eligible employers. This credit generally is a percentage of the amount contributed by the employer, up to $1,000 per employee. This credit is limited to employers with 50 or fewer employees and reduced for employers with between 51 and 100 employees
There are many good reasons to offer a 401(k); retirement plans are often among the most desired employee benefits. And the good news is that it doesn't have to be expensive.