Below is a list of questions frequently asked by employers about their SIMPLE IRA plans. Find answers to questions about employer and employee eligibility, fees, contributions, employee notification requirements, withdrawals and distributions, and contribution timing requirements.

Which employers can establish a SIMPLE IRA plan for their company?

Generally, employers (including tax-exempt and governmental employers) with 100 or fewer employees who earned $5,000 or more in compensation during the last calendar year may establish a SIMPLE IRA plan. For purposes of the 100-employee limitation, all employees employed at any time during the calendar year are taken into account, regardless of whether they are eligible to participate. An employer may not establish a SIMPLE IRA plan in any calendar year during which the employer maintained or contributed to any other plan.

What if the 100-employee limitation is exceeded after the SIMPLE IRA plan is established?

You may continue to use the SIMPLE IRA plan for no more than two years after the most recent calendar year in which you exceeded the 100-employee limitation.

Which employees are eligible to participate in the plan?

Generally, any employee who earned at least $5,000 during any two prior calendar years and who is expected to earn $5,000 in the current year. As the employer, you may reduce these requirements, but you may not make them more restrictive. You may choose to exclude those employees covered under a collective bargaining agreement for which benefits were the subject of good faith bargaining.

Are there any employer fees associated with setting up or maintaining the plan at T. Rowe Price?

No. The only cost associated with the plan is an annual $20 account service fee charged directly to each mutual fund account with a balance below $10,000 for each participant. The $20 account service fee will be waived for the following circumstances: Subscribe to electronic delivery of statements and confirmations*; maintain an individual combined balance of $50,000 or more for all T. Rowe Price accounts (including mutual funds, Brokerage, Variable Annuity, and Small Business Retirement Plans); or qualify for T. Rowe Price Select Client Services based on higher asset levels of $100,000 or more. If the Participant Account is closed during the year, a $20 closeout fee will be deducted automatically from the proceeds of the total redemption. However, the closeout fee is waived when an account service fee was previously assessed to the participant for that year or when the proceeds are being used for a rollover, transfer or conversion to a T. Rowe Price retirement plan account or T. Rowe Price IRA account.

*Participants can subscribe to paperless delivery via the T. Rowe Price website once their account is established.
How do I make a contribution to my retirement plan?
Electronic Contributions

The Plan Sponsor website is a convenient way to make contributions via the Automated Clearing House (ACH).

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Contribution by Check
Already enrolled in Plan Sponsor website?

Log into Plan Sponsor Web to enter your contribution information and then simply print the confirmation and mail it with your check.

Not enrolled yet?

Print out an Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan Contribution form.

Mail to:
T. Rowe Price
P.O. Box 17479
Baltimore, MD 21297-1479
Express Delivery only:
T. Rowe Price Mail Code 17479
4515 Painters Mill Rd
Owings Mills, MD 21117
Are annual employer contributions required?

Yes. However, there are two options. No matter which contribution type you choose, you must notify each employee of the contribution type and amount of contribution within a reasonable period of time before the employee's 60-day election period for the calendar year. (See Employee Notification Requirements below for an explanation of the 60-day election period.)

One of the following contributions must be made each year:

Matching Contributions: Each calendar year, the employer may make a dollar-for-dollar match of an employee's contribution up to a limit of 3% of compensation, or

  • The employer may reduce the matching contribution limit to as low as 1% in no more than two years out of five continuous calendar years.

Nonelective Contributions: Annual limit of 2% of compensation.*

  • For any calendar year, the employer may make a nonelective contribution of 2% of compensation for each eligible employee.
*Under current tax law, the maximum amount of compensation that can be used in determining employer nonelective contributions is $265,000 for 2016.
How are contributions submitted to T.Rowe Price?

The initial contribution may be submitted via mail or as an ACH (Automated Clearing House) contribution via the Plan Sponsor Web site; all subsequent contributions will be made via Plan Sponsor Web.

What is the vesting schedule or these contributions?

SIMPLE IRA plans require immediate 100% vesting on the total account balance.

Are employees required to make contributions to plans?

No, there is no rule requiring employees to participate. However, if you select the Nonelective Contribution option, each eligible employee must establish a SIMPLE IRA account.

Is there a limit to the amount of salary deferral dollars a participant can contribute to the plan?

For tax year 2016, each participant can contribute up to $12,500 and $15,500 if the employee is age 50 or older.

When must participants receive notice of their initial eligibility to participate in the SIMPLE IRA plan?

You must notify employees of their opportunity to participate in the plan and the type and amount of the employer contribution. Each eligible employee must receive the notification prior to a 60-day election period. The period during which the employee may make the election is a 60-day period that includes either the date the employee becomes eligible (which could also be the effective date of the plan) or the day before.

Must employees receive other notices about their ability to start or change their salary reduction agreements?

Each year you must notify all eligible employees of their right to enter into or modify their salary reduction agreements for the next year. This notice must be provided no later than November 1.

Can employees take loans from a SIMPLE IRA?

No. The IRS does not allow loans from a SIMPLE IRA.

When can an employee take a distribution from a SIMPLE IRA?

Rules for distributions from SIMPLE IRAs are the same as the rules for IRAs. Distributions taken before the participant reaches age 59½ may be subject to a 10% tax penalty, unless an exception applies. However, withdrawals made within two years from when the employee (if under age 59½) began participation in a SIMPLE IRA may be subject to an increased penalty of 25%.

After two years of participation in a SIMPLE IRA, SIMPLE IRA money may be transferred to a Traditional IRA without penalty. (A transfer from one SIMPLE IRA to another SIMPLE IRA is not subject to a penalty.)

When does the employer have to submit participant (salary reduction) and employer contributions to the designated financial institution?

The employer must remit employee salary reduction contributions to the SIMPLE IRA as soon as the amounts can reasonably be segregated from employer assets but no later than the end of the 30-day period after the end of the month in which the employer normally would have paid the money to the employee. Employer contributions to a SIMPLE IRA may be made in periodic contributions or in a lump sum, as long as the contributions are deposited before the employer's tax filing deadline (including extensions).