Top 7 Employee Retirement Plan Providers for Small Business

Top 7 Employee Retirement Plan Providers for Small Business
  • Many companies also offer employee retirement benefits.
  • When choosing a provider of employee retirement benefits, cost and investment options should be taken into consideration.
  • An employee retirement benefits provider should provide sound service but not investment advice.
  • This page contains the top picks for business owners looking for the best retirement plan provider for their employees.

When your company is financially stable, and especially if you have employees, you should set up an employer-sponsored retirement program to help them save and invest. Best employee retirement providers provide plan design and administration as well as for recordkeeping and integration with company payroll.

Top Employee Retirement Plans

1. Human Interest Employee Retirement

Human Interest, a dedicated provider of employee retirement benefits, offers affordable and user-friendly online services. Fully Automated Plans -Complete with all recordkeeping, administration, and payroll integration -Start at $120 per month, plus $4 per Employee per Month. Employers have three options: Essentials, Complete, and Concierge. Each plan offers increasing levels of management.

Complete offers administration, tax support, and 3(16), fiduciary services in addition to the payroll integration and automated admin available through the Essentials Plan. All of these features are included in the Concierge plan, along with access to dedicated account managers. Human Interest offers many investment options including stock, bond, and international mutual funds as well as real-estate funds and an FDIC insured cash deposit account.


  • Monthly rates start at $120 per month plus $4 per employee per calendar month.
  • Human Interest offers investment advice and portfolio rebalancing services for employees.


  • Some users have issues connecting to the customer support team.

Also read: Top Financial Tools to Easily Manage Business Finances

2. ADP Employee Retirement

ADP is the best small business employee retirement provider because it offers comprehensive payroll, outsourcing, and benefits services. All of these can be integrated via the company’s SMARTSync Comprehensive plan Automation. ADP provides a basic 401k plan for business administrators that allows them to choose and monitor the investment options available to their employees. You can invest in stock and income mutual funds as well as specialty funds like real estate or technology.

The Essential plan allows you to customize auto-enrollment options, employee eligibility requirements, and contributions. You can also set vesting schedules, vesting times, and other details. The standard HTML401(k) plan, on the other hand, requires more active management from plan administrators. This can be too difficult for many business owners, particularly employers with many employees or those who don’t have dedicated HR departments. Employees have access to ADP’s mobile app regardless of plan. This makes it simple to enroll in benefits or choose investments.

ADP’s pricing is not available online, as it does with other top providers. To start building a small-business retirement plan, contact ADP by phone or by clicking the Start Quote button.


  • ADP offers flexible plans that can be customized for all businesses.
  • It is simple to enroll in and can be done via a mobile application.


ADP doesn’t disclose its fees online.

3. American 401k

American 401k, a small independent provider of retirement benefits, offers services through MassMutual’s subsidiary. American 401k has transparent pricing, which is a departure from other top-rated employee retirement providers. The company doesn’t charge exchange fees, 12b-1 fees, or minimum balance fees. The company is small, with one representative based in Philadelphia. This raises concerns about customer service.

Employers have the option to choose between the Premier plan for companies with less than 100 employees or the Elite plan for those with more than 101 employees. Premier is the best option for companies that don’t offer a 401k plan, while Elite is better if you have one. Employees have access to concierge-level support throughout implementation and ongoing administration. They can also take advantage of payroll integration, compliance assistance, and reporting.


  • The website of the company lists transparent and clear pricing and fees.
  • American 401k provides investors with more than 15,000 funds, 1,000 ETFs, and Vanguard as an option.


  • Certain plans restrict access to investments which may impact adoption rates.

4. ShareBuilder 401k

ShareBuilder 401k was owned previously by ING Direct, Capital One and then Capital One. However, it was recently spun out and is now independent. It is an outstanding company in the retirement benefits industry due to its low cost. The company specifically designs employee retirement plans that cost less than 1% each year. ShareBuilder 401k makes it affordable to invest in low-cost options so that the total cost remains below 1%. Plans start at $25/month for solo 401(k), plus 0.75% for plans that have 11-25 participants and less than $500,000 in assets.

ShareBuilder 401k’s other major benefit is the digitalization of the entire process for setting up and managing a small business retirement program. You can easily access your account from any location, as all paperwork and administration is automated. ShareBuilder 401k recently added ETFs that include funds for environmental, governance, and governance (ESG). This expands investment options for participants, which we like.

ShareBuilder 401k allows you to work with a customer support manager to develop a tailored program that meets the needs of your company and your employees. ShareBuilder 401k is able to help you create a comprehensive program, from vesting schedules to employee educational efforts. You can then focus on your employee’s and business’ financial goals.


  • ShareBuilder 401k makes low-cost investments so that investment fees are kept below 1%.
  • All documentation and administration for plans are digitally accessible and easily accessed.


The website of the company does not include information about ongoing investment management.

5. Paychex Employee Retirement

Paychex offers all-in-one payroll, benefits, HR, and payroll solutions. It also provides 401(k), and retirement services to businesses of all sizes. Paychex can help small business owners create a custom retirement plan. This includes a traditional 401k, an owner-only 401k, and a solo 401k for sole proprietors. Paychex assists small business owners to simplify their plan management, reduce reporting errors, and save time for HR professionals.

Paychex offers a mobile app that allows you to view your accounts. This app allows you and your employees to view your investments and check the contribution amounts. The app also offers other functions that can be accessed from a desktop computer.

Paychex assigns each customer a dedicated team that will help them create, manage and troubleshoot their retirement plan. Paychex, unlike many other top employee retirement providers, does not publish its pricing or fees online. To request a quote, you must call the company. This can be done online or by phone.

Paychex users have the option to receive financial wellness services via FinFit. This program helps employees to understand their financial situation and can help them make informed decisions about how much they should invest in retirement.


  • Paychex offers a complete suite of payroll- and HR tools, including retirement and 401(k) services.
  • Customers receive a dedicated support team to answer any questions.


  • The company doesn’t disclose pricing and fees online.

6. Guideline

Guideline is a relatively young company and has a strong safe harbor 401k offering. Small business owners love safe harbor 401(k), as they allow them to maximize their contributions even if employees are not included. The IRS has limitations on the participation and contribution rates of employees, so business owners who choose to use a traditional retirement plan (401(k)) may not be able to maximize their contributions.


  • Guideline offers safe harbor plans for 401(k), at multiple price points.
  • Pricing for the plan is very transparent.


  • For larger or more complex businesses, the features might not be enough.

7. Vanguard

Vanguard is one of the largest mutual fund companies worldwide and has a large selection of mutual funds and ETFs available for account holders. Vanguard also offers retirement services including small employer-sponsored plans and individual retirement accounts.


  • Vanguard offers many funds, including Vanguard Target Retirement Funds.
  • Vanguard’s average fund expense ratio is 84% less than the industry average.


  • The trading platform is not as user-friendly as some of its competitors.

Also read: Top 20 Payment Processing Companies for Small business

Choosing an Employee Retracement Provider

It takes careful research and consideration of your specific circumstances to choose the right employee retirement provider. You should always reevaluate your platform after you have settled on one. This will ensure that you are getting all the benefits you deserve. These steps will help you choose the best employee retirement provider for your business.

1. Research providers.

You should first research the different providers offering retirement accounts. Consider what plans and services they offer, and how much they cost.

2. Review these reviews.

After you have a better understanding of the features offered by each platform, it is time to read reviews from customers and be aware of red flags. Pay attention to how satisfied customers are with the service, the problems they have had, and the reputation of the provider.

3. Assess the investment choices.

Once you have found a reliable firm that offers the plan you desire, you should consider what types of investments they allow employees to make with that plan. Do you have the freedom to invest in what you like?

4. Examine the fees.

Once you have decided on the type of plan that you would like, the providers you trust, and the types of investments they will allow you to make, you can start looking at the fees charged by your preferred provider for the account you are interested in and the investments you require. You should understand the total cost of a plan before you make a decision.

5. Reevaluate periodically.

Once you have chosen a provider and created an account, it is important to review your account and the provider periodically to assess their performance. Both accounts and providers should be inspected at least once a year to ensure that there are no significant changes.

Benefits of Employee Retirement Plans

Although anyone can create a retirement plan for their business, there are many benefits to choosing the best employee retirement providers. These are only a few.

  • Helps you attract and keep talent. There is a competitive job market. You must offer top-of-the-line benefits to attract and retain the best employees.
  • Increases productivity. Your employees and your HR manager will be more productive if all retirement benefits are managed centrally by a professional provider.
  • Reduces the time required for recordkeeping. The software used by retirement plan providers is completely automated and makes plan administration and record-keeping simple.
  • Reduces the pressure of compliance requirements. Professionals who work with retirement services companies are current on regulations and know the best practices.

Features of Employee Retirement Providers

Many features are common to all employee retirement providers. Many offerings include core services such as plan administration, recordkeeping, and preparation of IRS filings. They can also manage employee enrollment and plan design (investment selection), and act as plan fiduciaries.

  • Onboarding: Employees must be informed about the benefits of Enrolment. To help employees understand the benefits, some providers offer training courses and/or an introduction course.
  • Simple online administration: Your plan’s benefits administration should be easy to manage online, without the need to visit an advisor.
  • Compliance and recordkeeping: Plan providers must handle all aspects regarding plan compliance, annual filings, and any documentation.
  • Investment selection: Many providers assist you in selecting the right investment options for your plan. They also guide you in employee eligibility, matching the company’s 401(k), and company.
  • Mobile enrollment of employees: Employees will be able to manage their accounts via a mobile browser or app.
  • Resources for employees: Plan providers can be a resource to employees with questions about their benefits. However, most plan providers don’t offer investment advice.

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