How to Roll a 401k Into a Business Retirement Fund

If I leave my job and start my own business, can I create a company retirement plan and roll the 401(k) from my previous employer over into my business’ retirement fund?

–Nathan G.

Yes, If you’re starting your own company, you have several options when it comes to socking away money for your (or your employees’) retirement. Your choices include: An individual 401(k), if you’re creating a one-person business or sole proprietorship with no other employees (besides a spouse), you can contribute up to $16,500, plus 20% of your self-employment compensation for a maximum of $49,000 per year. If you’re age 50 or older, the IRS allows $5,500 more in “catch-up” contributions.

A SEP IRA (or simplified employee pension individual retirement account), allows you to contribute up to 25% of your annual income, with a cap of $49,000. This plan is best for the high-income self-employed, since–with its simplified rules–you’d need to earn $245,000 to contribute the maximum.

A SIMPLE (or savings incentive match plan for employees) IRA, allows each employee to contribute $11,500, plus between 2% and 3% of your self-employment income.

You can roll your current 401(k) into any of these plans and manage it yourself. Each of these plans is offered by banks, mutual fund companies, and brokerage firms. Shop around to make sure you’re getting the lowest fees and best service. To review the many differences in plans, head to or read IRS Publication 560. And good luck with the new venture.