Banking & Savings, Insights


flik eco finance personal sarsep vs sep

Making the decision between a SARSEP and SEP can be difficult. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it can be hard to decide which is the best option for you.

In this guide, we will compare and contrast these two options, so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

What is a SARSEP?

A SARSEP is a retirement plan that allows small business owners and their employees to make tax-deductible contributions to individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

What is a SEP?

A SEP is a Simplified Employee Pension. It’s a retirement plan that allows employers to make contributions on behalf of their employees. The contribution limit for a SEP is much higher than that of a traditional IRA, making it an attractive option for small business owners and self-employed individuals.

What is The Difference Between a SARSEP and a SEP?

The biggest difference between a SEP and a SARSEP is that with a SEP, contributions are made directly to the employee’s IRA. With a SARSEP, contributions are made through payroll deductions to either the employer’s or the employee’s account.

What Are The Different Types of SARSEP?

There are two types of SARSEP:

  • Traditional SARSEP
  • Payroll Deduction SARSEP

Traditional SARSEP

The traditional SARSEP is set up as a defined contribution plan, where employees make contributions to their own individual accounts. The employer may also make matching or discretionary contributions.

Payroll Deduction SARSEP

With the payroll deduction SARSEP, employee contributions are deducted from their paychecks and then deposited into the plan. Employers may also make matching or discretionary contributions.

What Are The Different Types of SEP?

There are two types of SEP plans:

  • Traditional
  • Roth

Traditional SEP

Traditional SEP plans allow you to make tax-deductible contributions to the plan, and your money grows tax-deferred until you withdraw it in retirement.

Roth SEP

Roth SEP plans work in the opposite way: you make after-tax contributions to the plan, but your money grows tax-free and you can take tax-free withdrawals in retirement.

What Are The Advantages of a SARSEP?

There are a number of advantages associated with setting up a SARSEP. One of the main benefits is that it can help you to save on taxes. Contributions made to a SARSEP are tax deductible, meaning that you can reduce your overall taxable income. This can result in significant savings come tax time.

Another advantage of using a SARSEP is that it can help you to build up your retirement nest egg more quickly. This is because the money that you contribute is not subject to taxes, allowing it to grow at a faster rate.

Finally, SARSEPs offer flexibility when it comes to how much money you can contribute. You can choose to make catch-up contributions if you feel that you are behind on your retirement savings, or you can scale back your contributions if you need to free up some extra cash.

What Are The Advantages of a SEP?

There are a few advantages of SEP plans. First, they’re easy to set up and administer. You don’t have to file any special paperwork with the IRS or your state tax agency.

Second, you can make contributions for the current year up until the filing deadline for your tax return (generally April 15th). This makes them a great option for business owners who want to make a last-minute contribution to their retirement savings.

Third, SEP plans have high contribution limits. For 2022, you can contribute up to 25% of your eligible compensation (up to a maximum of $57,000). This is significantly higher than the contribution limit for traditional IRA’s, which is just $6000 for 2020.

This high contribution limit makes SEP plans a great option for business owners who want to save a significant amount of money for retirement.

Fourth, SEP plans are flexible. You can choose to contribute more or less from year to year, depending on your business income. This flexibility can be helpful if your business has a down year and you need to reduce your retirement contributions.

Finally, SEP plans are tax-deferred. This means that you don’t have to pay taxes on the money you contribute to your SEP until you withdraw it in retirement. This can provide a significant tax break if you’re in a high tax bracket.

What Are The Disadvantages of SARSEP?

The main disadvantage of a SARSEP is that they can be expensive to set up and maintain. This is because you need to have a qualified retirement plan administrator overseeing the plan, and this can cost thousands of dollars each year.

Additionally, if your business has less than 25 employees, you may not be eligible to set up a SARSEP.

What Are The Disadvantages of SEP?

There are a few disadvantages of SEP that you should be aware of before making your final decision.

First, if you have employees who are not highly compensated, they may not be able to contribute the maximum amount to their SEP IRA. This can limit the amount of money they can save for retirement.

Second, if you have employees who are highly compensated, they may be able to contribute more to their SEP IRA than you can afford to match. This can create an unfair advantage for those employees.

Third, if you terminate an employee’s participation in the SEP IRA plan, they may not be able to take their contributions with them. This could discourage employees from participating in the plan.

Finally, if you have a small business, you may not be able to afford the administrative costs associated with setting up and maintaining a SEP IRA plan.

So, Which One Should You Use?

This is really the key question that you need to answer. If you are self-employed or have a small business with just a few employees, then a SARSEP may be the better option. If you have a large business with many employees, then a SEP may be more advantageous.

There are definitely some pros and cons to each retirement savings plan. It really just comes down to what works better for you and your business.

What Are Some Alternatives to Using a SARSEP or a SEP?

If you’re not interested in using a SARSEP or SEP to save for retirement, there are other options available.

You could choose to invest in an individual retirement account (IRA), which offers many of the same benefits as a SARSEP or SEP.

Another option is to participate in your employer’s 401(k) plan, if one is offered.

Both SARSEP and SEP plans have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh all your options before deciding which retirement savings plan is right for you. Be sure to consult with a financial advisor to get the most accurate information and advice for your unique situation.

Saving for retirement is an important goal, and there are a variety of ways to do it. The best way to save is to start early and contribute as much as you can on a regular basis. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to a comfortable retirement.

What Are Some Tips For Using a SARSEP?

There are a few key things to keep in mind when using a SARSEP:

First, make sure that you set up the account with a reputable financial institution. This will ensure that your money is safe and sound.

Second, be sure to contribute the maximum amount allowed each year. This will maximize your tax benefits and help you save more for retirement.

Finally, remember that you can only contribute to a SARSEP if you are self-employed or have a small business with no more than 25 employees. If you do not meet these criteria, then you will need to look into other retirement savings options.

What Are Some Tips For Using a SEP?

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about using a SEP.

Make sure that you’re contributing the maximum amount possible. The sooner you start saving, the better off you’ll be.

Consider using a Roth IRA instead of a traditional IRA. With a Roth IRA, you won’t have to pay taxes on your withdrawals in retirement.

Make sure that you have a good investment strategy in place. You don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket, so diversify your investments.

Don’t forget about other retirement savings options, such as a 401(k) or 403(b). A SEP can be a great supplement to your other retirement savings, but it shouldn’t be your only source of income in retirement.


About Jermaine Hagan (The Plantsman)

Jermaine Hagan, also known as The Plantsman is the Founder of Flik Eco. Jermaine is the perfect hybrid of personal finance expert and nemophilist. On a mission to make personal finance simple and accessible, Jermaine uses his inside knowledge to help the average Joe, Kwame or Sarah to improve their lives. Before founding Flik Eco, Jermaine managed teams across several large financial companies, including Equifax, Admiral Plc, New Wave Capital & HSBC. He has been featured in several large publications including BBC, The Guardian & The Times.

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