Choosing a Retirement Plan for the Self-Employed: Solo 401(k)s, SECURE Act, Roth Conversions, CARES Act

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This course will delve into the differences between retirement plans, who is eligible to establish each plan, how plans can be combined to maximize savings, the SECURE Act, and the recent CARES Act changes impacting retirement plan withdrawals. Our panel of retirement experts will provide a thorough explanation of the options available for businesses and self-employed individuals.


Retirement plans are effective financial-building, tax-saving tools for business owners and employees. The ownership structure (individual, LLC, S corporation, etc.), number of employees, owner's retirement goals, and each business' unique characteristics are all considerations when choosing the most appropriate retirement savings vehicle.

A solo 401(k) allows taxpayers to set aside $19,500 in elective deferrals and an additional $6,500 if 50 or older (2020). Plus, you can make profit-sharing contributions in addition to the deferral up to $57,000 (2020). They allow for a mix of pre- and post-tax contributions and substantially higher contributions than your traditional IRAs. However, the solo 401(k) is only available to self-employed taxpayers.

Larger employers may want to consider a defined benefit or contribution plan. These are more complex but allow for loans and withdrawals of contributions. Profit-sharing plans come under the umbrella of defined contribution plans and often contain a deferred element for 401(k) contributions.

Complicating the mix are the recent changes to retirement plans under the SECURE and CARES Act. Required minimum distributions are suspended for 2020, and early withdrawal penalties don't necessarily apply. Declines in market value can make this a prime time for Roth conversions.

Listen as our panel of retirement plan experts reviews the numerous options available for future savings, including IRAs, solo 401(k)s, defined benefit plans, profit-sharing plans, and the recent changes made impacting retirement withdrawals, including RMDs and hardship distributions.



  1. The SECURE Act changes
  2. Self-employed retirement plan
  4. Solo 401(k) or Roth 401(k)
  5. Defined benefit and defined contribution plans
  6. Roth conversions
  7. Coronavirus relief changes
    1. RMDs
    2. Withdrawal rules
    3. Mega back-door Roth


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Which taxpayers are eligible to establish a solo 401(k)?
  • How did the SECURE Act change retirement plans?
  • When should a taxpayer consider converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?
  • How did the CARES Act impact retirement withdrawals?


Brewer, James
James Brewer, MBA, CRPC®, AIF®, PPC®, CFP®, CDFA®, CFSLA

Financial Life Architect
Envision Wealth Planning

Mr. Brewer empowers people to make smarter money choices aligned with their values, goals and passions. He was named to...  |  Read More

Pon, Lawrence
Lawrence K.Y. Pon, CPA/PFS, CFP, EA, USTCP, AEP

Pon & Associates

Mr. Pon has been in practice since 1986 providing comprehensive tax and financial planning, tax preparation and...  |  Read More

Tipper, Christopher
Christopher W. Tipper

Founder and CEO
Hunter Benefits Consulting Group

Mr. Tipper began his career in retirement benefits in 1990, founding Hunter Benefits in 1999 and quickly rising to...  |  Read More

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