Can You Contribute to a 401k and a Sep Ira

Yes, you can contribute to both a 401k and a SEP IRA. A 401k is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that allows you to contribute pre-tax dollars from your paycheck. A SEP IRA is a Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Account that is available to self-employed individuals and small business owners. Contributions to a SEP IRA are made by the employer on behalf of the employee. Both 401ks and SEP IRAs offer tax-deferred growth, which means that you don’t pay taxes on your investment earnings until you withdraw the money in retirement.

Can You Contribute to a 401k and a Sep Ira?

Yes, you can contribute to both a 401(k) and a SEP IRA. Both plans offer tax-advantaged savings for retirement, but they have different rules and contribution limits.

Types of 401k Plans

There are two main types of 401(k) plans:

  • Traditional 401(k): Contributions are made pre-tax, reducing your current income and taxes owed. Earnings grow tax-deferred until you withdraw them in retirement, when they are taxed as ordinary income.
  • Roth 401(k): Contributions are made after-tax, so you don’t get an immediate tax break. However, earnings grow tax-free and you can withdraw them tax-free in retirement.

Your employer may offer one or both types of 401(k) plans.

Contribution Limits

The annual contribution limits for 401(k) and SEP IRAs are as follows:

401(k) and SEP IRA Contribution Limits
Plan Type20232024
401(k) Employee$22,500$23,500
401(k) Employer$66,000$71,000
SEP IRA$66,000$71,000

The combined total of your contributions to all your 401(k) and SEP IRA accounts cannot exceed these limits.


To contribute to a 401(k) plan, you must be employed by a company that offers one. To contribute to a SEP IRA, you must be self-employed or have employees.

SEP IRA Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to contribute to a SEP IRA, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a self-employed individual
  • Or an employee of your own S corporation or sole proprietorship
  • Have net self-employment income for the year
  • Not be covered by a qualified retirement plan (such as a 401(k))

If you meet these requirements, you can contribute up to 100% of your net self-employment income to a SEP IRA, up to a maximum of $58,000 in 2023 ($64,500 including catch-up contributions). The contribution limit is adjusted annually for inflation.

YearContribution limitCatch-up contribution limit

SEP IRAs are a great way to save for retirement if you are self-employed or work for your own S corporation or sole proprietorship. They offer high contribution limits and tax-deferred growth.

Can You Contribute to a 401k and a SEP?

Yes, you can contribute to both a 401k and a SEP IRA. This can be a good way to save even more for retirement. However, there are some important rules to keep in mind.

Your employer can also contribute to a SEP.

The contribution limits for 401k and SEP IRAs vary depending on your age and income. In general, the contribution limit increases each year with inflation. However, the following are the limits for 2023.

2023 401(k) and Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) Contribution Limits
Employee Elective Deferrals
401(k) Plan$22,500
SIMPLE IRA Plan$15,500

If you are eligible to contribute to both a 401k and a SEP IRA, you should decide how much to contribute to each plan. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best way to decide is to consider your individual financial situation and retirement goals.

Here are some additional points to keep in mind:

  • The IRS limits the total amount you can contribute to all of your retirement accounts each year.
  • The employer’s contribution (plus any SIMPLE IRA elective deferrals) may not exceed $58,000 for 2023
  • The total amount that can be contributed (including salary reduction contributions) may not exceed a maximum of 100 percent of your compensation.

Tax Implications of 401k and SEP IRA Contributions

401k and SEP IRA contributions offer different tax implications that can impact your financial planning. Here’s a breakdown of how each type of account affects your taxes:

401k Contributions

  • Traditional 401k: Contributions are made pre-tax, reducing your current taxable income.
  • Roth 401k: Contributions are made after-tax, but earnings grow tax-free, and qualified withdrawals in retirement are also tax-free.

SEP IRA Contributions

  • Employer Contributions: Contributions made by the employer are tax-deductible for the business.
  • Employee Contributions: Contributions made by the employee are not tax-deductible, but earnings grow tax-deferred, and withdrawals in retirement are taxed as ordinary income.

Table: Tax Implications Summary

Employer ContributionsTax-deductibleTax-deductible
Employee Pre-Tax ContributionsReduce taxable incomeNot applicable
Employee After-Tax ContributionsNot applicableNot tax-deductible
Earnings GrowthTax-deferredTax-deferred
Qualified WithdrawalsTaxed as ordinary income (traditional) or tax-free (Roth)Taxed as ordinary income

Well, there you have it, folks! Now you know the ins and outs of contributing to both a 401k and a SEP IRA. Remember, it’s all about diversifying your retirement savings and maximizing your tax benefits. If you have any more questions, be sure to consult a financial advisor. Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check back for more retirement planning tips and tricks in the future!