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Expanding our plan tiers to fit the needs of more small businesses
401(k) Company news

Expanding our plan tiers to fit the needs of more small businesses

Jeremy Caballero

For decades, retirement plans offered by legacy providers were either too burdensome for small business owners to manage or too expensive for them to afford (or both). Guideline was started to change that. It’s always been our goal to create seamless and affordable—and really good—retirement plans for small business owners and their employees. Over the last five years, we’ve invested a lot in our technology and software to simplify our plans, keep prices low, and eliminate extra fees. Today, we’re announcing two main changes to our pricing and plan structure that will help us deliver an even better product in line with our mission.

1. Revamping our pricing plan structure

Providing more paths to retirement

We've heard that some small business owners wanted more options when building a plan. Starting today, we’re introducing three new 401(k) plan tiers at new pricing: each with a distinct set of features and benefits, and monthly base fee. If you’re looking for a straightforward 401(k) that automatically satisfies most IRS nondiscrimination tests, then our Core plan has you covered. If you want the flexibility to pick and choose specific features, then you should look at our Flex plan offering. And if you want all the bells and whistles with dedicated support, then our Max plan could be a good fit for years to come.

Opening up all plans to all payroll providers

Payroll providers play a big role in 401(k) plan administration and management. It’s why we’ve invested in API integrations with many top payroll providers. But if you don’t use one of our payroll partners, switching providers can become another big change that not every small business owner is ready to make. That’s why we’re removing payroll restrictions—so you can open up any Guideline 401(k) pricing plan, no matter which provider you use for payroll.

Retirement planning at scale

It’s always been our goal to make setting up a company retirement plan as simple as possible. We’ve worked hard to streamline 401(k) plans so more small business owners can open, set up, and manage a retirement plan with ease. And for employers that want more guidance and support, we can provide that with dedicated account managers and onboarding specialists to walk through every step of the retirement journey.

2. Eliminating transaction fees

The other change we’re making is eliminating transaction fees and introducing a 0.08% account fee.

Over time, we’ve heard from some of our customers that one-time transaction fees were a source of frustration, occurring at a time of financial stress, like changing jobs, needing a loan, or even closing down a business. Our new account fee is intended in part to offset separate transaction fees, among others, which means no disbursement, loan, or rollover fees for employees, no plan termination fees for employers, and more. At 0.08%, our new account fee comes out to about 67¢ a month for every $10,000 saved.¹


We’ve helped more than 20,000 small business owners offer 401(k) plans to their employees—nearly all of them doing so for the first time. With our new pricing plans and fees, employers have more options to build the right retirement plan for their company, and employees get more control over their retirement savings. We will continue to invest in new product features across all of our pricing plans with the same mission in mind: helping small business owners and their employees save for today and for tomorrow.

You can learn more about the fees we’re eliminating, and see which pricing plan might be a good fit for your business. If you’re ready to get started, you can schedule a consultation with one of our 401(k) specialists.


¹This information is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the actual costs you may incur as a Guideline client. Information shown here assumes a static balance of $10,000 per month, an annual account fee of 0.08% on assets under management (calculated and deducted on a monthly basis at 1/12 of the annual stated rate (0.08%)) based on the month-end account balance, and does not account for common factors that affect the value of your account balance over time such as gains, losses, distributions, additional contributions, etc., and is not intended to constitute investment advice nor an assurance or guarantee of future performance.  The fee presented does not include other fees that a 401(k) participant may incur, including, but not limited to, from mutual fund expense ratios and a monthly maintenance fee to participants who end employment.