Understanding the Solo 401k

Feb 3, 2020

Many people who own a business have another goal in addition to earning a living. They also want to quickly build their retirement account by investing in alternative assets. If this is you, great news! There’s a plan that will help sole proprietors achieve these goals. Introducing the Self Directed Solo 401k plan. A Self Directed Solo 401k plan is a qualified retirement plan aimed at self-employed professionals which allows them to make large income tax-deferred contributions to their retirement.

Who can establish a Solo 401k?

  • Self-Employed individuals (and their spouse) with no W-2 employees

  • Self-Employed individuals (and their spouse) with only part-time W-2 employees (less than 1000 hours per year)

How much may I contribute to a Solo 401k for the 2020 tax year?

  • For 2020, the Solo 401k contribution limit is $57,000. As the sole proprietor, you are both the owner and the employee of the business; hence, you can make two contributions.
    • One contribution to your 401k as the employee
    • One contribution to your 401k as the employer
  • As the employee, the maximum contribution allowable is up to 100% of compensation up to $19,500. Those 50 or older get to contribute an additional catch-up contribution of $6,500.
  • As the employer, you can make an additional contribution of up to 25% of your compensation or net self-employment income. The maximum compensation that can be used for your contribution is $280,000 in 2020.
  • You can use the plan to cover your spouse. Your spouse would make elective deferrals as your employee, up to the $19,500 contribution limit (plus the 50-and-older catch-up contribution of $6,500). As the employer, you can then make the plan’s profit sharing contribution for your spouse of up to 25% of compensation.
  • Keep in mind that there are two separate deadlines for employer and employee contributions. Employees must make their contributions by December 31, while the employer must make their contributions by April 15 (October 15 for late filers).

What investment may I hold in a Solo 401k?

Solo 401k plans are among the most user-friendly plans you can own when selecting investment options. Your Solo 401k can invest in things you know and understand best. Use your experience and know-how to build exactly the investment portfolio you have always wanted. Invest in real estate, promissory notes, life settlements; the list goes on.

I found the investment, what’s the next step?

Again, with the Self Directed IRA you choose the investment. Once you’ve found your investment, you will work closely with our investments and compliance team. We handle all of the administrative work and ensure documents are in proper order to make the process seamless. 


For information about the Self Directed IRA or Solo 401k, call IRA Club at 312-795-0988

IRA Club offers no investments, products, or planning services. Therefore, please consult your attorney, tax professional, financial planner, and any other qualified person before making any investments.