Guideline for Advisors
Guideline for Advisors

Give your clients a
great 401(k)

Offer your small business clients a 401(k)—at no cost to you.

Give your clients a great 401(k)

Ready to learn more?

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A modern 401(k) built for small businesses

Guideline provides a turnkey, seamless 401(k).

We handle plan administration, employee onboarding, government filings, and more, to make your job easy—and help your clients offer a great 401(k).

Intelligent investments, simplified

Guideline serves as an Investment Manager to our 401(k) plans. Our lineup of funds are designed to help keep investment fees to an industry low, while helping your clients diversify their portfolios.

  • Investment management

    Managed portfolios

    We help employees assess their risk tolerance, then recommend a portfolio of funds that matches their goals.

  • Plan customization


    Employees also have the option of choosing from over 40 index funds from Vanguard and other low-cost providers.

How plan
setup and
billing works

  • You help your clients pick a plan

    You help your clients pick a plan

    You provide your clients with financial education and help them select the 401(k) that’s right for them. You can add your advisory fee to the plan. Guideline will process your fee from participant accounts on a quarterly basis in arrears and send it to your firm.

  • You help your clients pick a plan

    We launch and administer the plan

    Once a plan is selected, we do most of the heavy lifting — from setup to employee onboarding to plan administration. The monthly fee is then paid by your client directly to Guideline.

pricing background

401k plans for small businesses, and all businesses

Learn more about our fees and services.



+ $8 per active participant

A seamless Safe Harbor 401(k) plan for small businesses that want to make an employer contribution.



+ $8 per active participant

A 401(k) for businesses that want the flexibility to pick and choose features to meet their goals.



+ $8 per active participant

Our most customizable 401(k) for business owners who want to maximize savings and receive dedicated support.



per year

This annual account fee comes out to about 67¢ a month for every $10,000 saved.

It’s intended in part to offset separate transaction fees, among others, which means no disbursement, loan, or rollover fees for employees, and no plan termination fees for employers.

A partner you and your clients can trust

  • Compliance testing
  • Fiduciary services
  • Government filing
  • Custodial services
  • Investment management
  • Plan customization
Dashboard Guide | See Everything in One Place
Guideline dashboard macro viewGuideline AdministrationEmployee roosterNon-discrimination testingDocument libraryGuideline Support

See everything in one place

When your clients have questions about their 401(k) plans, our dashboard gives you instant access to all the information you need to answer with confidence.

  • Monitor and manage all of your clients 401(k) plans in one location.

Frequently asked questions

What is Guideline for Advisors?

As Guideline's business has matured, we have received increasing interest from accountants and financial advisors looking to set up and manage Guideline 401(k)™ plans on behalf of their clients. Guideline for Advisors is our answer to that interest. Advisors are now able to set up and manage Guideline 401(k) plans from their very own purpose-built dashboard. Additionally, Guideline can process advisory fees on behalf of financial advisors.

What are Guideline’s key services and pricing?

Guideline has automated many 401(k) administrative tasks and handles nearly everything in house—from recordkeeping to government filing to compliance testing. Employers pay a flat monthly base fee and a flat monthly participant fee based on the number of participants in the plan for plan administration. Additionally, participants pay a 0.08% annual account fee based on their account assets. This fraction of a percentage comes out to about 67¢ a month for every $10,000 saved, and allows us to remove transaction fees.

How does plan design work? Are there any plan design limitations I should know about?

You can schedule a time with a Guideline Account Executive to talk about plan design and compliance testing. Please note that every Guideline plan features automatic enrollment, and we do not currently support an hours-of-service (i.e. part-time employee) eligibility restriction.

What are the investment options?

Guideline cuts participating employees’ costs by eliminating layers of fees and using low-cost index mutual funds. We have designed our managed portfolios using Vanguard index funds, commonly recognized as the market leader in driving down fund costs over the last four decades.

Guideline’s managed portfolios have an average expense ratio under 0.07%. We also curate a list of funds that are aligned with our responsibilities as a 3(38) fiduciary. Most Guideline participants will use our portfolio recommendation tool to invest in one of our recommended portfolios, but participants are given the option to create their own custom asset allocation from among the list of over 40 fund that we have curated.

Can Guideline process my advisory fee?

Yes, Guideline can process and pay asset-based advisory fees on behalf of plan sponsors to pay advisors. Fees are prorated daily and withdrawn from plan assets quarterly, in arrears. If you are interested in having Guideline process your advisory fee, please reach out to us at

Reach out directly

Call or email with any specific questions you have about our partnership, 401(k) plans, or process.