Powerful plans for
businesses of any size

Our 401(k) plans come with low monthly costs and no transaction fees. So you won’t have to pay extra for plan setup, plan transfers, or 5500 prep.

  • Starter
    / month
    + $4/month per active participant

    A simplified 401(k) with limited features and easy administration.

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    • $6,000 employee contribution limit

    • No employer contributions

    • Must be a new 401(k) plan

    • Must connect with an eligible payroll provider

  • Core
    Most popular
    / month
    + $8/mo per active participant fee

    A foundational 401(k) with robust features and more plan design options.

    Get started
    • $23,000 employee contribution limit

    • Safe Harbor or Traditional 401(k)

    • Features like employer contributions and profit sharing

    • Can connect with any payroll provider

  • Enterprise
    / month
    + active participant fee

    Our most custom 401(k) with exclusive pricing options and premium support.

    Contact sales
    • $23,000 employee contribution limit

    • Exclusive pricing options

    • Premium support for plan admin and employees

    • Access to Participant Perks

    • Support for 401(k) plan transfers

Features that fit your business and team

  • Plan administration
  • Plan features
  • Employee experience
  • $0 rollover fee
  • $0 loan fee
  • $0 distribution fee

Refer to Guideline’s Form ADV 2A Brochure for additional information regarding Guideline’s fees.

Help employees save more

Active employees are only charged an annual account fee starting at 0.15% (0.0125%/month) with no transaction fees.

Refer to Guideline’s Form ADV 2A Brochure for additional information regarding Guideline’s fees.

Estimate your 401(k) plan costs with our calculator

Your company could be eligible to receive up to $16,500 in tax credits over the plan’s first three years to help offset initial plan costs.

More ways to save for retirement


$8/month base fee + 0.08%/year

With a Guideline SEP IRA, self-employed individuals and other small business owners can contribute a significant amount toward their retirement with minimal paperwork.

  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA

$4/month base fee + 0.08%/year

$2/month base fee + 0.08%/year if your total account balance is under $10,000

Traditional and Roth IRAs aren’t tied to an employer and withdrawals may be easier. They can be a good option for individual savers who want financial flexibility for today and the future.

Frequently asked questions

What plan fees do employers pay?

Employers pay a flat monthly base fee and a flat monthly participant fee based on the number of active participants in the plan. Learn more.

When do employers start getting invoiced?

Monthly payments aren’t due until after your plan is active and the first contributions have been made.

What Guideline fees do individuals pay?

All 401(k) participants pay an account fee, as chosen by the plan sponsor. It’s based on their account assets, and ranges between 0.15% and 0.35% depending on the plan tier and pricing selected. When an employee leaves your company, they will also be responsible for a $4/month account fee after a 90-day grace period if they maintain a balance.

SEP, Traditional and Roth IRA account holders are responsible for a monthly fee starting at $2/month plus a 0.08% base fee based on the account assets. Guideline deducts this fee on a monthly basis based on the month-end account balance. This fraction of a percentage on accounts starting at 0.08% comes out to about 67¢ a month for every $10,000 saved.

See our Form ADV 2A Brochure for more information on our fees.

What happens when an employee leaves my company?

You only pay for active employees who are currently employed by your company and are participating in the 401(k) plan. When an employee leaves your company, they will be responsible for any charges on the account.

How are former employees’ 401(k) accounts charged?

Former employees who have balances in your 401(k) plan are charged a $4 monthly base fee. Guideline starts charging this fee after an initial 90-day grace period following termination of employment, or after the end of the blackout period if the retirement plan was recently transferred to Guideline from another 401(k) provider. The monthly account base fee is deducted from their account for any month during which the month-end account balance is greater than $0. Former employees will continue to pay the applicable account fee (0.08%-0.35%, as chosen by the plan sponsor) based on their account assets.

How much does it cost to terminate a 401(k) plan?

We don’t charge a termination fee if you decide to terminate your Guideline 401(k) plan.

Can I use a credit card to pay for the monthly base cost?

Guideline accepts credit cards as a payment method for your monthly plan billing. You can set this up from the Plan Settings page once you’ve logged in to your new account. See our Help Center for more information on how to set this up.

Which payroll providers do I need to use in order to set up a Starter plan?

Starter plans must be connected with one of our full integration payroll providers:

  • Gusto
  • QuickBooks Online
  • QuickBooks Desktop
  • Paylocity
  • Square
  • OnPay
  • TriNet PEO
  • Miter HR
  • ADP Run
  • ADP Workforce Now

Which payroll providers do I need to use in order to get 3(16) fiduciary services on my plan?

Our 3(16) fiduciary services are only available to clients who utilize a fully integrated payroll or supported payroll:

  • Gusto
  • QuickBooks
  • Square
  • OnPay
  • Paylocity
  • Rippling
  • TriNet PEO
  • TriNet HR Platform
  • Miter
  • ADP Workforce Now
  • RUN Powered by ADP
  • Housecall Pro
  • Eddy
  • Monograph
  • Warp
  • Belfry
  • BambooHR
  • Isolved
  • Justworks
  • Namely
  • Paychex
  • Paycom
  • Paycor

This information is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. It shouldn’t be used as a substitute for specific tax, legal and/or financial advice that considers all relevant facts and circumstances. Investing involves risk and investments may lose value. Tax laws and regulations are complex and subject to change. You should consult a qualified financial adviser or tax professional before relying on this information.