New IRS Site Simplifies Small-Business Retirement Plans

The average American’s retirement plan isn’t worth as much as it was a few years ago — but offering such plans is still a huge perk that helps small businesses attract potential employees. No longer are retirement plans just for big companies. You’ll find a good selection of plans out there for companies with only a few employees and even for sole proprietors.

However, wading through all your options can be intimidating. To help, the IRS just launched a new Web site, IRS Retirement Plans Navigator, that simplifies the process of choosing and managing a retirement plan by putting all the information you need in one place.

IRS Small Business Retirement Plan site

Looking for a retirement plan? The IRS Retirement Plans Navigator takes you through the options in four categories:

  • plans with IRAs
  • 401(k) and profit sharing plans
  • defined benefit plans
  • tax-exempt plans

The site explains the features of each type of plan so you can figure out what is best for you. There’s also a useful side-by-side comparison chart that lets you compare the features offered by various plans. When it comes to setting up a plan, the site links you to the main IRS Web site for details, or you can contact a plan administrator for help.

Once you have a retirement plan, it’s crucial to keep up with changing regulations and requirements. The site recommends an annual review of your plan and offers “check-up” brochures that explain what to review in various types of plans. The site also includes checklists for each type of plan that make staying compliant with tax rules simple.

Made a mistake in your plan? No need to panic. Lots of mistakes can be corrected on your own without notifying the IRS. For each type of plan, the IRS Retirement Plans Navigator offers a “Fix-It” guide that lists potential mistakes; how to find the mistake; how to fix the mistake; and how to avoid the mistake in the first place — so you might want to look at the fix-it guides even if you think you’re in full compliance.

You’ll also find plenty of helpful links to additional retirement plan information, including IRS publications; articles, videos and presentations from the IRS; and other government Web sites that can help guide you through the world of retirement plans. Last but not least is a glossary of terms to help you understand it all.

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.