Save money while saving money

Put more money toward retirement with low monthly fees and no transaction fees.

Let’s get started
Person in a hat smiling.
  • $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

We use technology to our advantage to largely automate administration, investment management and more. Those that can’t be automated, are handled by our team of account specialists.

This allows us to keep monthly prices low while eliminating transaction fees. So you can create a roadmap to retirement and minimize fees along the way.

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

401(k) pricing plans

Get a 401(k) that works for you and your employees

What’s included

The fundamental services needed to offer a great benefit, including:

  • Payroll integration with Gusto, QuickBooks, Square and other payroll providers.

  • Automated recordkeeping, plan admin, and employee onboarding.

  • We serve as your 3(38) and 3(16) fiduciary and handle certain IRS and DOL reporting and filings.

Employer pricing

  • 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 and receive dedicated support.

    Max plans are required for controlled groups and 401(k) plan transfers.

Employee pricing

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

Have 50 or more employees?

Alternative pricing is available. To learn more, contact Sales at

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

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.

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.

Learn more about our SEP IRA
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA

$4 /month base fee + 0.08% /year

Pay only $2/month base fee 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.

Learn more about our IRAs

Everyone has a future.
Now everyone can invest in one.

A graphical accent highlighting benefits of using Guildeline platform
Let’s get started

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 fees do individuals pay?

All account holders pay a 0.08% account fee based on their account assets. This applies to 401(k) accounts as well as SEP, Traditional and Roth IRA accounts. Guideline deducts this fee on a monthly basis based on the month-end account balance. This fraction of a percentage comes out to about 67¢ a month for every $10,000 saved, and allows us to remove transaction fees. Participants will also be charged fund expense ratios by the mutual funds in which they invest. Expense ratios are reflected in the cost of the fund. For a list of expense ratios visit our funds page.

What does the 0.08% account fee cover?

This fee is intended in part to offset maintenance fees which can include costs like custodian fees, among others.

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. By charging a 0.08% account fee, 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 are only responsible to 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 participated 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 0.08% account fee 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. Credit cards cannot be used to pay for the 0.08% account fee.

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
  • Rippling
  • Zenefits
  • Onpay
  • ADP Workforce Now
  • RUN Powered by ADP
  • Miter