401(k) pricing

Plans that fit your company,
budget, and goals

All Guideline
plans include

  • Payroll integrations with popular payroll providers like Gusto, QuickBooks, and Rippling.

  • Automated plan admin, including recordkeeping, custodial services, compliance testing, and guided employee onboarding.

  • 3(38) and 3(16) fiduciary services, including filing IRS and DOL reports and signing your 5500.

  • Mobile app, which makes it easy for participants to set up and manage their account.

Employer pricing

  • Core

    $49/ month 

    + $8/mo per active participant

    A foundational Safe Harbor 401(k) plan with streamlined admin and an employer contribution.

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    • Safe Harbor plan with an employer contribution

    • Must connect with an integrated payroll provider

  • Flex

    $79/ month

    + $8/mo per active participant

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

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    • Safe Harbor or Traditional plan with an optional employer match

    • Additional features like vesting and profit sharing

    • Supports any payroll provider

  • Enterprise

    Starting at

    $129 / month

    Contact sales for pricing

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

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    • Exclusive pricing options

    • Dedicated, preferred support for plan admin and employees

    • Early access to new features

    • Support for conversion plans and legally-related groups

Employee pricing

Starting at

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.

  • $0 rollover fee
  • $0 loan fee
  • $0 distribution fee
  • $0 plan termination fee
  • $0 5500 prep fee

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

See the fees you won’t be paying

At Guideline, we don’t charge employers or employees for routine one-time transactions. So you won’t have to pay extra for things like 5500 prep, rollovers, or distributions.

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.

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

  • Core

  • Flex

  • Enterprise

  • Mobile app

    Mobile app for all Guideline 401(k) participants who would like to set up and manage their account on their phone.

  • Recordkeeping and custodial services

    We’ll track your 401(k) plan’s balances, transactions, and deferrals. We also handle executing trades, safeguarding plan assets, and more.

  • Government filing

    We prepare standard annual reports, including Forms 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.

  • Personalized portfolio options for participants

    Participants can select from Guideline’s curated set of low cost mutual funds across a range of asset classes. 

  • Ongoing compliance testing

    We complete necessary annual testing to be compliant with the IRS, including non-discrimination tests and limit tests. Our compliance dashboard monitors in near-real time to resolve any potential compliance issues.

  • Auto-enrollment and auto-escalation services

    We require auto-enrollment in all plans. Additionally, for QACA plan designs, we offer the ability to add auto-escalation.

  • Safe Harbor plan design

    Safe Harbor 401(k) plans automatically satisfy most IRS nondiscrimination testing if certain requirements are met. They require an employer contribution that either immediately vests (traditional) or can be subject to a short vesting schedule (QACA). Learn more

  • Non-Safe Harbor plan design

    A plan design that does not have 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

  • Premium support for you and employees

    Includes a dedicated onboarding specialist and dedicated client relationship manager. Plus, faster response times for you and your team, as requests are prioritized at the top of the queue.

  • Exclusive pricing options

    The ability to choose a price structure that’s best for your growth goals, budget, and team.

  • Support for legally-related groups

    We require all legally related groups to be in Enterprise, as their onboarding and ongoing support is more customized to their specific situation and needs.

  • Support for conversion 401(k) plans

    We require all plan sponsors transferring an existing 401(k) to Guideline to set up and maintain an Enterprise plan for at least one year before becoming eligible to switch to a different pricing plan. This ensures you receive the premium support that you need for a smooth transition.

  • Early access to new features

    Get exclusive access to new features that can improve the employer and employee experience.

Set up an easy, affordable Guideline 401(k) in just 20 minutes

Get started

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 fees do employers pay for 401(k) plans?

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. In addition, if an employer is participating in the plan, his or her account will also be charged, as a 401(k) plan participant, a 0.08% account fee on assets under management. 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) account holders pay an account fee, as chosen by the plan sponsor, between 0.08-0.35% based on their account assets, and the plan tier selected. SEP, Traditional and Roth IRA account holders will pay a 0.08% account fee based on their 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.

Is the account fee an ongoing fee?

Yes. We’ve heard from customers that transaction fees are a source of frustration because they often occur at a time of financial hardship. Starting at 0.08%, Guideline’s account fees are up to 10x lower than the industry average.

By charging account fees, we are able to remove transaction fees, including, but not limited to: rollover fees, distribution fees, loan application fees, loan maintenance fees, QDRO fees, check stop payment fees, expedited mail fees, and plan termination fees. Learn more.

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. This will occur 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 and the fund expense ratios by the mutual funds in which they invest. Expense ratios are reflected in the cost of the fund. See all of our fund options.

What kind of customer support and education does Guideline provide?

From opening an account to distributing funds, we support employees and employers via phone and email. We also offer a video library, a detailed knowledge center, and conduct educational participant webinars.

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 open up a Core plan?

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

  • Gusto
  • QuickBooks
  • Square
  • OnPay
  • Paylocity
  • Rippling
  • TriNet Zenefits
  • TriNet
  • Miter
  • ADP Workforce Now
  • RUN Powered by ADP