Small Business Retirement Plans in Baton Rouge, LA

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Small Business Retirement Plans in Baton Rouge, LA. Establishing a retirement plan for you and your Baton Rouge, LA employees offers a variety of benefits, including tax reductions and a great way to attract and retain your highest-performing workers. However, many business owners understandably have questions about small business retirement plans. What type of plan is best for your business? What are the different laws I'll have to follow? What happens when a new plan seems like a better option, or if I'm closing my business? Correct Capital's team of Baton Rouge, LA financial planners is dedicated to helping business owners and their employees get the most out of their retirement plans and understanding the ins-and-outs of federal regulations. For anything from initial setup and employee guidance to making annual adjustments, call Correct Capital today at 314-930-401K or contact us online.



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What Types of Retirement Plans Are Available to Small Businesses in Baton Rouge, LA?

The federal government and various financial custodians offer numerous investment options and accounts for small business owners and their employees to better prepare for retirement. The most prevalent ones are:


SEP-IRA

This kind of individual retirement account is available to owner-only businesses, freelancers, and businesses with very few employees. It follows the identical rules as a traditional IRA, where the money put into the account grows tax-free. Employers can deduct contributions they make on behalf of their employees. Only employers make contributions, which are flexible and can vary year-to-year. Additionally, the contributions are tax-deductible.

Benefits of a SEP-IRA

  • High Contribution Limits: Employers have the ability to contribute up to 25% of each employee’s compensation, with the maximum set at $69,000 for 2024.
  • Flexibility: For businesses with changing profits, this plan is ideal as employers are not obligated to contribute annually.
  • Simple Administration: The plan requires minimal paperwork and does not require annual filings with the IRS except for regular tax filings.

Setting Up a SEP-IRA

  • Select a Financial Institution: To hold SEP IRA assets, select a provider like a bank, brokerage firm, or credit union. Another option is a virtual financial institution.
  • Execute a Written Agreement: Notify eligible employees by establishing a plan document for the SEP IRA plan.
  • Make Contributions: Contributions can be made by calculating a predetermined percentage of each employee’s compensation. Alternatively, contribute based on a variable percentage determined by business performance.
  • Maintain Records: Keep complete records of all contributions made to employee accounts, including dates of contribution and figures. Additionally, ensure records are neatly arranged and easily accessible for inspection purposes.

SIMPLE IRA

"SIMPLE" stands for "Savings Investment Match Plan for Employees," and these IRAs are for businesses with up to 100 employees. Employees can fund their own accounts through deductions from their salaries, and employers can also contribute. This plan is inexpensive as it's mainly funded by employees, and their contributions can be deductible from taxes.

Benefits of a SIMPLE IRA

  • Ease of Setup and Administration: SIMPLE IRAs are straightforward to establish and maintain, with no need for yearly filings for employers. This makes them ideal for small businesses with restricted administrative resources.
  • Employer Contributions: Employers are required to make contributions, by either matching employee contributions up to 3% of their salary or making a non-elective contribution of 2% of each eligible employee’s salary.
  • Employee Contributions: Employees can contribute up to $16,000 in 2024, with an extra catch-up contribution of $3,500 for those aged 50 and older.
  • Immediate Vesting: All contributions to the SIMPLE IRA are promptly 100% vested, meaning employees have full ownership of all funds in their accounts as soon as contributions are made.

Setting Up a SIMPLE IRA

  • Select a Financial Institution: Choose a financial institution, mutual fund, or brokerage firm to hold the SIMPLE IRA assets.
  • Execute a Written Agreement: Use IRS Form 5304-SIMPLE or 5305-SIMPLE to create a written agreement outlining the terms of the plan.
  • Employee Notification: Notify eligible employees about the plan, including information on how to participate and the benefits provided.
  • Employee Enrollment: Assist employees in setting up their accounts and making their contributions.
  • Employer Contributions: Decide whether to match employee contributions or make non-elective contributions, and ensure these are made promptly.

Personal Defined Benefit Plan

This plan is solely for single-owner businesses, or those with a maximum of 5 employees. With this plan, you target a desired level of retirement income, and contribution limits are adjusted each year based on that, with a maximum limit set each year. While this plan is highly customizable and allows for significant contributions, there may be startup costs and annual fees associated with it.

Benefits of a Personal Defined Benefit Plan

  • High Contribution Limits: Allows for significantly higher contributions compared to other retirement plans, potentially reaching $two hundred seventy-five thousand dollars annually (in the current year) depending on age, income, and the desired retirement benefit.
  • Predictable Retirement Benefits: The plan promises a specific benefit at retirement, providing more predictability for retirement planning compared to defined contribution plans like 401k accounts.
  • Tax Advantages: Contributions are tax-deductible, reducing current taxable income. The investments grow tax-deferred until distribution.

Setting Up a Personal Defined Benefit Plan

  • Consult with a Plan Provider: Work with a bank or retirement plan provider that has experience with defined benefit plans to establish the plan.
  • Create a Plan Document: Draft a plan document that details the terms of the plan, including contribution requirements and how benefits are calculated.
  • Actuarial Calculations: Have an actuary calculate the necessary contributions to meet the promised benefits, per IRS requirements.
  • Annual Administration: To manage the plan’s investments, ensure that required contributions are made annually and conduct annual actuarial reviews to adjust for any changes in funding requirements.
  • Compliance and Reporting: Ensure compliance by filing IRS Form 5500 annually to report on the plan’s status.
  • Permanence: To ensure compliance, a defined benefit plan must be in place for five years. Plans that are quickly terminated can be red flags and subject to regulatory scrutiny.

401(k) Plans

401(k)s are available to firms of any size, and are highly adaptable. Employees may postpone their salary as contributions, and employers can make contributions every year. Most 401(k) plans come with significant tax planning advantages for both businesses and employees. They can include:

Benefits of a 401(k) Plan

  • Tax Advantages: Contributions are made before taxes, reducing the employee’s taxable income. Alternatively, contributions can be made post-tax (Roth). Investments grow without immediate tax.
  • Employer Matching: Many employers offer matching contributions, which can significantly boost an employee's retirement savings.
  • Higher Contribution Limits: For the current year, employees can contribute up to $twenty-three thousand dollars, with an additional $7,500 catch-up contribution for those aged 50 and older.
  • Loan Options: Participants can often take loans against their 401(k) balance, providing flexibility in case of financial emergencies.

Setting Up a 401(k) Plan

  • Choose a Plan Provider: Pick a provider that offers multiple investment choices, administrative services, and staff training.
  • Create a Plan Document: Outline the terms of the plan, including eligibility, contributions, and vesting schedules.
  • Set Up a Trust: Ensure plan assets are held in trust to protect them for employees.
  • Develop a Recordkeeping System: Develop a meticulous record system of contributions, earnings, and distributions.
  • Distribute Plan Information: Employers sponsoring a 401(k) must distribute plan information and modifications in a timely manner.

Individual 401(k)

Also known as a Solo 401(k), this plan is designed to offer the same benefits as a company 401(k), but for individuals who are independent contractors, or whose only employee is their spouse. Each year, you can contribute up to the annual 401(k) limit, and the employer may make a additional contribution up to 25% of compensation or, if self-employed, an amount considering your earned income and deducting half of self-employment tax paid and contributions made by you during the year. Another advantage of individual 401(k)s is that you can opt to open a Roth 401(k) account, or roll over pre-tax assets.

Setting Up an Individual 401(k)

  • Choose a Plan Provider: Select a financial institution or brokerage that offers Individual 401(k) plans. Look for providers with multiple investment options and reduced fees.
  • Create a Plan Document: Create the terms of your plan, including contribution limits, investment options, and loan provisions.
  • Open an Account: Open your Individual 401(k) account with the chosen provider. This typically involves filling out an application and providing necessary documentation.
  • Make Contributions: Set your contribution amounts for the year and make regular contributions. Ensure you stay within the IRS limits for total contributions.
  • Compliance and Reporting: If your plan assets exceed $$250k, you must file IRS Form 5500 annually. Maintain precise records of all contributions and transactions.

Profit Sharing Plans

A Profit Sharing Plan is a type of retirement plan where employers can make discretionary contributions to employee retirement accounts, determined by the company's profits. These plans are intended to share the company’s success with its employees and encourage them to contribute to the company’s profitability.

Benefits of a Profit Sharing Plan

  • Flexibility in Contributions: Employers can choose each year how much to contribute based on the company's profitability. This makes it an adaptable option for businesses with changing earnings.
  • Tax Advantages: Contributions are tax-deductible for the business, reducing taxable income. Additionally, the funds grow without immediate tax, which can benefit employees' long-term savings.
  • Employee Motivation and Retention: Linking contributions to company profits can enhance employee morale and loyalty, as employees directly benefit from the company’s success.
  • High Contribution Limits: Employers can contribute up to the lesser of 25% of an employee’s compensation or $66,000 for this year, making it a generous option for employee benefits.

Setting Up a Profit Sharing Plan

  • Choose a Plan Provider: Select a bank or retirement plan provider to administer the plan.
  • Create a Plan Document: Write a plan document outlining the profit-sharing formula, eligibility requirements, and vesting schedule.
  • Communicate with Employees: Educate employees about the plan, how it works, and the benefits they can expect.
  • Determine Contributions: Each year decide the amount to contribute based on company profits and the predetermined formula.
  • File Necessary Forms: File IRS Form 5500 annually to report the plan’s status and compliance.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOPs)

An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) is a retirement plan that invests primarily in the employer's stock. ESOPs give employees ownership interest in the company, aligning their interests with the business's success, and potentially helping set up the business's next generation of leadership.

An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) is a retirement plan that invests primarily in the employer's stock. ESOPs give employees ownership interest in the company, aligning their interests with the business's success, and potentially helping set up the business's next generation of leadership.

Benefits of an ESOP

  • Employee Ownership: ESOPs grant employees with an equity share in the company, which can improve incentive and commitment.
  • Tax Benefits for the Company: Contributions to the ESOP are tax-deductible, and the company can also gain tax benefits related to the sale of stock to the ESOP.
  • Retirement Savings for Employees: Employees gain from the growth in the value of the company’s stock, offering potentially considerable retirement savings.
  • Succession Planning: ESOPs can be an effective method for business succession, allowing owners to sell their shares to their best employees, who can steadily take the lead as previous owners move into retirement.

Setting Up an ESOP

  • Feasibility Study: Carry out a feasibility study to determine if an ESOP is a appropriate option for your company.
  • Hire ESOP Advisors: Retain financial, legal, and ESOP advisors to help with the setup process.
  • Create a Plan Document: Write a plan document that details the terms of the ESOP, including how shares will be distributed and vested.
  • Establish a Trust: Form an ESOP trust to hold the company stock on behalf of employees.
  • Communicate with Employees: Educate employees about the ESOP, how it works, and the advantages they can expect.
  • Compliance and Reporting: File necessary documents with the IRS and the Department of Labor, including Form 5500, to ensure compliance.

Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs)

A Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) is a type of retirement plan that allows multiple, unrelated employers to participate in a single retirement plan and achieve economies of scale. MEPs are designed to provide small businesses with a affordable and administratively efficient way to offer retirement benefits to their employees.

Benefits of an MEP

  • Cost Savings: By pooling resources with other employers, businesses can cut administrative costs and fees associated with maintaining a retirement plan. This cost-sharing makes MEPs an appealing option for small businesses looking to save on expenses.
  • Administrative Efficiency: MEPs streamline the management of retirement plans by centralizing administrative tasks. This includes plan setup, compliance, reporting, and participant communication, which are handled by the MEP sponsor or administrator.
  • Improved Access to Benefits: Through an MEP, small businesses that might not have the resources to offer a retirement plan on their own can provide competitive retirement benefits, which helps to attract and retain talented employees and give a competitive advantage in hiring they otherwise may not have had.
  • Fiduciary Relief: The MEP sponsor typically assumes most of the fiduciary responsibilities, lessening the liability and administrative burden on individual employers.

Setting Up an MEP

  • Join an Existing MEP or Form a New One: Small businesses can either join an existing MEP or collaborate with other businesses to form a new one. This step involves selecting a MEP sponsor who will manage the plan.
  • Select a Plan Provider: The MEP sponsor will work with a financial institution or retirement plan provider to administer the plan.
  • Adopt the Plan: Each participating employer must formally adopt the MEP by signing an adoption agreement and providing necessary employee information.
  • Employee Enrollment: Explain the plan details to employees and facilitate their enrollment in the MEP.
  • Ongoing Administration: The MEP sponsor handles the majority of the administrative tasks, including compliance with IRS and Department of Labor requirements, submitting required documents, and managing plan assets.

There are pros and cons to each plan, and which may be "best" for you will depend on your business and your and your employees' needs. Different plans and accounts have different tax benefits, fees, required minimum distributions, contribution limits, and more. A reputed financial advisor like those at Correct Capital will be able to help you determine which plan works best for you and your team.



Why You Should Set Up a Small Business Retirement Plan in Baton Rouge, LA

The specific, financial-based advantages to your Baton Rouge, LA small business retirement plan is dependent upon which plan you set up. That said, a small business retirement plan, whichever one you choose, has universal benefits. Three out of five workers say that a retirement plan is a "very important" factor in how good they feel at their present employment, while employers reap the benefits both during tax season and in office productivity. Below are some of the main benefits for both businesses and employees of setting up a small business retirement plan:


Employee Benefits

  • Better confidence in their retirement planning
  • Tax deductions
  • Contributions can be easily made through salary deferral
  • Contributions and investment gains are not taxed until they take them out
  • Over the years small savings grow into considerable sums of money
  • Ability to conduct a 401(k) rollover if they change employers

Business Benefits

  • Attract, recruit, and retain your best employees
  • Promote great work ethic
  • Employer contributions are tax-deductible
  • Highly customized plans are available
  • Tax credits that can help reduce startup costs

Why Should I Consult With a Financial Advisor in Baton Rouge, LA to Assist With My Small Business Retirement Plan?

Setting up small business retirement plans is complicated. While the federal government does not currently obligate any business to offer a retirement plan to employees, some states require businesses with a minimum number of employees to offer access to a retirement plan. Baton Rouge, LA retirement consultants that are experienced in helping business owners create retirement plans are usually needed to not only ensure you get the benefits you're looking for, but that you abide by frequently chancing tax and business laws.

As your Baton Rouge, LA retirement plan consultants for your small business, our team will:

  • Help you elect the "right" plan for you, and the right custodian to hold plan assets
  • Assist you in establishing your plan, including adopting a written plan, arranging a trust for plan assets, helping employees understand the plan's terms, and implementing a record keeping system
  • Help you operate your plan by adapting as we need to to relevant laws, managing the plan's assets, and distributing benefits
  • Help educate your employees on your plan, its benefits, and how it can serve as a part of their ongoing financial journey

Correct Capital's Baton Rouge, LA advisors hold ourselves to the fiduciary standard, meaning we are obligated, by law and by regulatory oversight to do what's best for you and your employees. As an independent firm, we have the freedom and flexibility to tailor our offerings to best suit the goals of our clients. Request a meeting with a member of our advisor team today.

Common Challenges and Solutions in Small Business Retirement Plans


Challenge 1: High Setup and Administrative Costs

Many small businesses are reluctant to set up retirement plans due to the expected high costs.

Solution:

  • SIMPLE IRA and SEP IRA: These plans have decreased setup and administrative costs compared to traditional 401(k) plans.
  • Tax Credits: The SECURE Act 2.0 offers tax credits for small businesses to offset the costs of setting up retirement plans. Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 annually for three years to cover startup costs, with an additional credit for automatic enrollment plans.

Challenge 2: Administrative Complexity

The administrative burden of maintaining a retirement plan can be daunting for small business owners.

Solution:

  • Outsource Administration: Many plan providers offer administrative services that can handle the majority of the paperwork, compliance, and record-keeping tasks. Providers offer comprehensive administrative support, including payroll integration and fiduciary management.
  • Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs): Participating in an MEP can significantly reduce the administrative burden as the MEP sponsor handles most of the administrative duties, including compliance and reporting.

Challenge 3: Employee Participation and Engagement

Minimal employee engagement can limit the effectiveness of a retirement plan.

Solution:

  • Automatic Enrollment: Implementing automatic enrollment can significantly increase participation rates. Employees are automatically enrolled at a default contribution rate but can opt out if they choose. This approach has been shown to increase participation and savings rates.
  • Employee Education: Providing regular education and communication about the benefits of the retirement plan can help increase employee engagement. Provide workshops, seminars, and one-on-one meetings to ensure employees understand how the plan works and the importance of saving for retirement. Correct Capital offers employee education, including one-on-one meetings and quarterly webinars, if you choose us as your retirement plan advisors.

Issue 4: Regulatory Compliance

Navigating the complex regulatory landscape can be challenging, especially for business owners who need to keep their attention on their core business.

Solution:

  • Professional Guidance: Hiring a financial advisor or consultant who specializes in retirement plans can help ensure compliance with ERISA, IRS, and Department of Labor regulations. We can assist with plan setup, annual filings, and ongoing management.
  • Use of Technology: Many retirement plan providers offer online platforms that help manage compliance by automating reporting, tracking contributions, and ensuring that all regulatory requirements are met.

Challenge 5: Flexibility and Adaptability

Business owners need plans that can adapt to changing business conditions.

Solution:

  • Flexible Plans: Opt for retirement plans that offer flexibility in contributions. SEP IRAs, for example, allow employers to decide each year how much to contribute based on the company’s profitability, making it a suitable option for businesses with variable income.
  • Regular Plan Reviews: Conduct regular reviews of your retirement plan to ensure it continues to meet the needs of your business and employees. Modify the plan as necessary to align with changes in your business environment and workforce demographics.

With the help of dedicated Baton Rouge, LA financial advisors and retirement plan specialists, your business can navigate these challenges to create a small business retirement plan that works for both you and your employees.

Other services we offer in Baton Rouge, LA include:

Small Business Retirement Plans Baton Rouge, LA | Financial Advisors | Retirement Consultants Near Baton Rouge

Small Business Retirement Plans in Baton Rouge, LA | Correct Capital

Owning a small business involves a mountain of daily, monthly, and annual tasks to ensure things run smoothly — setting up and maintaining a small business retirement plan shouldn't be one of them. Correct Capital currently manages over 37 plans in both small and large companies, and represents over $212 million in total plan assets* nationwide. To set up a retirement plan for your small business, or learn what other services we offer to business owners, speak to a financial advisor at Correct Capital today at 314-930-401K or contact us through our website.

*as of March 2024

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