A Guide to Small Business Pension Plans

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

The Importance of Retirement Planning for Small Businesses

Small businesses have several options for providing retirement benefits for their owners and employees. This guide will compare Personal Pension Plans and Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) Plans, highlighting their features, benefits, and suitability for different business needs. It is crucial for every small business to have a retirement plan in addition to business insurance to ensure financial security for both the business owner and employees.

Personal Pension Plans for Small Business Owners

What is a Personal Pension Plan?

A personal pension plan for small business owners involves purchasing an annuity, often with a Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB), which provides a predictable income stream during retirement.

How Does it Work?

  1. Purchase of Annuity: The business owner buys an annuity contract with after-tax funds.
  2. Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB): Ensures a specific annual income during retirement, regardless of market performance.
  3. Income Forecast: Allows precise forecasting of retirement income.


  • Stable Income: Provides a reliable, steady income during retirement.
  • Longevity Protection: Ensures income for life.
  • Market Protection: Shields retirement income from market fluctuations.

Contribution Limits

  • No Contribution Limits: No contribution limits exist for personal pension plans through annuities, allowing flexible investment amounts based on retirement goals.


  • John’s Bakery: John, the owner of a bakery, purchases an annuity with a GLWB, ensuring a steady income after retirement without worrying about market volatility.

Taxation in Retirement

  • tax-deferred Growth: Investments grow tax-deferred.
  • Withdrawals: Only the interest earned is taxable as ordinary income in retirement.

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) Plan

What is a SEP Plan?

A SEP Plan is a retirement savings plan designed for small businesses and self-employed individuals. It allows for substantial tax-deferred contributions.

How Does it Work?

  1. Employer Contributions: Up to 25% of an employee’s compensation or the annual contribution cap, whichever is less.
  2. Tax Benefits: Contributions are tax-deductible and grow tax-deferred.
  3. Eligibility: Employees must be 21+, have worked in the business for 3 of the last 5 years, and have earned a minimum amount.


  • Simple and Low-Cost Setup: Easy to establish and maintain.
  • Higher Contribution Limits: More than traditional IRAs.
  • Flexible Contributions: Employers are not required to contribute every year.

Contribution Limits for 2024

  • 2024 Contribution Limits: The lesser of 25% of compensation or $69,000.
  • Catch-Up Contributions: No catch-up contributions are allowed for SEP IRAs.


  • Created in 2023: Allows for after-tax contributions, enabling tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals in retirement, similar to a Roth IRA.


  • Proportional Contributions: Required for all eligible employees.
  • Limited Employee Control: Employees cannot make their own contributions.


  • Sara’s Consulting Firm: Sara sets up a SEP Plan, contributing up to 25% of each employee’s salary, reducing her taxable income while providing significant retirement benefits for her employees.

Taxation in Retirement

  • Traditional SEP IRA: Tax-deferred growth, with withdrawals taxed as ordinary income.
  • Roth SEP IRA: Contributions are after-tax, with tax-free growth and withdrawals.
Pension Plan For Small Business

How We Can Help

At The Annuity Expert, we understand the challenges you face in securing your future and that of your employees. With over 15 years of experience as an insurance agency, annuity broker, and retirement planner, we specialize in finding the best retirement solutions at the lowest costs. We believe in empowering small business owners like you to make informed decisions that benefit everyone involved.

We know that navigating retirement options can be overwhelming. Whether it’s choosing between a Personal Pension Plan or a SEP Plan, we’re here to simplify the process and provide you with tailored advice that meets your unique needs and goals.

 Small Business Pension Plans

What We Recommend

Step 1: Initial Consultation

  • What Happens: Contact us for a free initial consultation where we assess your business structure and retirement goals.
  • Main Benefit: Gain a clear understanding of your retirement options and how they align with your business needs.

Step 2: Personalized Plan Design

  • What Happens: We design a customized retirement plan tailored to your specific requirements, whether it’s a Personal Pension Plan or SEP Plan.
  • Main Benefit: Receive a tailored plan that maximizes your retirement benefits while minimizing costs.

Step 3: Implementation and Ongoing Support

  • What Happens: We help you implement the chosen retirement plan and provide continuous support to ensure its effectiveness.
  • Main Benefit: Secure a stable and predictable retirement income for you and your employees, ensuring long-term financial stability.

Features and Benefits

  1. Expert Consultation: Personalized advice based on 15 years of industry experience.
    • Benefit: Make informed decisions with confidence.
  2. Custom Plan Design: Retirement plans tailored to your specific needs.
    • Benefit: Optimize retirement benefits for both you and your employees.
  3. Ongoing Support: Continuous monitoring and adjustments as needed.
    • Benefit: Ensure your plan remains effective and aligned with your goals.

Addressing Common Objections

  • Objection: “Retirement plans are too complex and time-consuming.”
    • Counter: Our expert team simplifies the process, handling your details.
  • Objection: “It’s too expensive.”
    • Counter: We specialize in finding cost-effective solutions that fit your budget.

Ignoring retirement planning can lead to financial instability and missed opportunities for both you and your employees. By working with The Annuity Expert, you can secure a prosperous future, ensuring peace of mind and financial security for everyone involved. Contact us today for free advice or a quote and take the first step towards a brighter future.

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Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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