No employer fee for 3 months.

Grow your business with us

With Guideline, you get the tools and tech needed to offer an affordable, automated 401(k).

Let’s get started
payroll switch

Your business, your team, our tech

Our platform can make retirement planning and plan admin easier, faster and more secure.

  • Payroll integration

    Payroll integration

    We connect with top payroll providers to create a largely automated 401(k). We can securely sync employee data, track eligibility, and process deductions so you don’t have to. Learn more

  • An infographic showing the different investment options available through Guideline 401(k) plans.

    401(k) dashboards

    Our dashboards give you and your employees a holistic view of your 401(k). You can monitor activity, track eligibility and stay on top of deadlines. Your employees can make updates and access resources at any time.

  • Automated investing

    Automated investing

    We offer professionally managed investment portfolios, make portfolio recommendations, and rebalance them automatically to make retirement investing simple. See how it works


401(k) plans, all bundled up and ready to go

Cost for employers

  • Core

    $49/ month
    + $8/mo per active participant

    A seamless Safe Harbor 401(k) plan for small businesses that want to make an employer contribution. Core plans must be connected with our full integration payroll partners.

  • Flex

    $79/ month
    + $8/mo per active participant

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

  • Max

    $129 / month
    + $8/mo per active participant

    Our most customizable 401(k) for business owners who want to maximize savings or transfer an existing 401(k) to Guideline.

Cost for participants

0.08% / year

That’s about 67¢ a month for every $10,000 saved

Your employees will get access to educational webinars, live support and more.

See how else you can empower your employees

See a side-by-side comparison of our pricing plans

  • Core

  • Flex

  • Max

  • Recordkeeping

    We’ll track your 401(k) plan’s balances, transactions, and deferrals.

  • Government filing

    We prepare standard annual reports, including Form 5500 and 1099-R.

  • 3(38) fiduciary - investment management

    We are responsible for managing the investment portfolio, and selecting and monitoring funds.

  • 3(16) fiduciary - plan administration

    We take on the responsibility of handling reporting and disclosures to both participants and the IRS. Our 3(16) fiduciary services are only available to clients who utilize an eligible payroll provider.

  • Custodial services

    Through our third party partner, we’ll process transactions, execute trades, safeguard plan assets and more.

  • Compliance testing

    We help identify potential issues and manage required corrections.

  • Safe Harbor plan design

    Guideline offers traditional and QACA Safe Harbor 401(k) plans. Safe Harbor plans automatically satisfy most IRS nondiscrimination testing if certain requirements are met. Learn more

  • Traditional plan design

    Plan design with no IRS requirements around employer contributions or vesting schedules.

  • Vesting schedules

    Set a schedule for employer contributions to become vested in participants’ 401(k) accounts.

  • Same dollar profit sharing

    Profit sharing method where every employee receives the same contribution amount.

  • Pro rata profit sharing

    This approach allocates the profit share based on employees’ relative salaries.

  • New comparability profit sharing

    Allows employers to optimize contributions to certain groups of employees over others. Learn more

  • Dedicated onboarding specialist

    One point of contact to help you set up your Guideline plan and answer questions about the onboarding process.

  • Dedicated client relationship manager

    Once onboarded, your dedicated client relationship manager will assist with any 401(k) related questions.


Estimate your plan costs with our calculator

If you’re starting a new 401(k), your small business may be eligible to receive up to $16,500 in tax credits over the plan’s first three years to help offset initial plan costs.

Help your employees save more

  • Help offset your income taxes

    High contribution limits

    With a 401(k), participants can generally contribute up to $20,500 a year. With Guideline, they get even more savings.

  • Coin icon

    No transaction fees

    We don’t charge fees for one-off transactions like rollovers, loans, distributions or plan wind-downs.

  • lower investment fees

    10x lower investment fees

    The total fees for our managed portfolios are about 10x less than the industry average. Learn more

Get set up in 20 minutes

We can walk you through the next steps.

Let’s get started
  • 1

    Select a plan type

    The first decision is whether you want a Traditional 401(k) or Safe Harbor plan.

  • 2

    Add plan features

    Customize your plan with features like employer matching, eligibility requirements, and more.

  • 3

    Set a start date

    You can get a plan up and running in about 40 days.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of a 401(k) plan compared to other retirement options?

401(k) plans are popular because they offer a lot of flexibility in plan design options, integrate with payroll systems, and work as a great hiring tool.

How many employees do you need to set up a 401(k)?

There is no minimum number of employees required when setting up a 401(k) with Guideline. You can set up a 401(k) with just an owner or for a single employee.

Can I set up a 401(k) for my LLC?

Yes, Guideline works with many different types of businesses and entity structures such as LLCs.

When can my plan start?

While setting up a Guideline 401(k) only takes about 20 minutes, it generally takes about 40 days until first contributions are made. This is due to the automatic enrollment feature on all Guideline 401(k) plans. Generally, eligible employees cannot be automatically enrolled in your plan until 30 days after they receive notice of the auto-enroll feature. This gives them sufficient time to opt-out before the plan begins.

What is auto enrollment?

Auto enrollment is a required feature for all Guideline 401(k) plans. Auto enrollment can help improve IRS nondiscrimination testing results, increase employees’ retirement readiness, and much more. Learn more about auto enrollment

What fees are employers charged?

Employers will be charged $49, $79, or $129/month depending on their pricing plan and $8/month for each active participant in the plan. We don’t charge transaction fees—this includes no plan termination fees or Form 5500 prep fees3. Alternative pricing is available for plans with 50 or more eligible employees at the time of signup. To learn more, contact Sales at See our pricing

Which employees are eligible to participate in the plan?

With Guideline, you can determine your plan eligibility based on your employees’ age and length of service with your company:

Age: 18, 19, 20, or 21 years
Length of service: 0, 3, 6, 12 months

We do not distinguish between part time and full time employees.