What Is A Keogh Retirement Plan


History Of Keogh Plan

What is The Keogh Plan?
  • Eugene Keogh developed this plan by establishing the Self-Employed Individuals Tax Retirement Act in the year 1962. Still, with the changes in the economy, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act made changes in the plan in 2001. Now this plan is recognized by the name HR 10s or qualified plans in Internal Revenue Code.
  • It is specially designed for employees who want to contribute more for their retirement and benefited to professionals like lawyers, valuers, doctors, who earn high and want to save more for their future cum retirement. Internal Revenue Service has recognized this as a qualified plan and to give the tax benefits and retirement benefits to the self-employed.

What Are The Different Types Of Keogh Plans

Similar to other types of retirement plans, there are two basic types of Keogh plans. These include a defined contribution plan and a defined benefit plan.

Defined contribution plans allow employers to define their contributions. Within this bucket there are two subtypes: profit-sharing plans and money purchase plans. With a profit-sharing plan, you dont actually have to show a profit for you to contribute. You decide how much to contribute to your plan each year. The amount can change from year to year as well. PSPs do come with a cap to how much you can contribute, but anything under that amount is fair game. A money purchase plan , on the other hand, requires you to contribute a fixed percentage of income every year. This can go up to 25% of the compensation amount. You decide the percentage at the outset. You cannot change the amount as long as the company profited that year. If you change the percentage or dont contribute one year, you could face a penalty.

The other kind of Keogh plan, a defined benefit plan, determines the annual benefits youll receive in retirement. A defined benefit plan works like a traditional pension, but you fund it yourself. You can contribute up to 100% of your compensation into this kind of plan. The IRS has the exact formula to calculate your contribution. Your salary, years of employment, expected return on plan assets and other stated benefits will determine the contribution amount.

Understanding The Keogh Plan

Keogh plans are retirement plans for self-employed people and unincorporated businesses, such as sole proprietorships and partnerships. If an individual is an independent contractor, they cannot set up and use a Keogh plan for retirement.

The IRS refers to Keogh plans as qualified plans, and they come in two types: defined-contribution plans, which include profit-sharing plans and money purchase plans, and defined-benefit plans, also known as HR plans. Keogh plans can invest in the same set of securities as 401s and IRAs, including stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit , and annuities.

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Contribution And Withdrawal Rules

Contributions to a Keogh plan are made before taxes, so you can deduct your contribution amount from your taxes for the year you made the contribution. You pay taxes on the plan’s total balance once you retire.

The IRS limits how much you can contribute to a Keogh plan each year depending on the type of plan.

Keogh Plan Contribution Limits

  • Profit-sharing plan: up to 25% of compensation or $57,000
  • Money purchase plan: up to 25% of compensation
  • Profit-sharing plan: up to 25% of compensation or $58,000
  • Money purchase plan: up to 25% of compensation

Defined benefit plan

Up to $230,000

Up to $230,000

Withdrawals from a Keogh plan can be made penalty-free starting at age 59 ½. Withdrawals before this time are subject to a 10% penalty, in addition to regular income tax.

You’re required to take distributions from the account before age 70 ½, otherwise, a 15% penalty tax will apply.

Helping Executives Managetheir Financial Success

What Is a Keogh Plan?

Whether youre looking for assistance in overseeing your current plan or implementing a new one, our team offers the attention and resources to guide you through every step, helping you distinguish among seemingly endless investment options, stay current with regulations and fiduciary responsibilities, as well as educate plan participants on their options.

Having partnered with institutions of varying sizes and industries, we understand how important it is to maximize plan benefits while staying tax efficient. We utilize strategies designed to ensure your plan serves both your needs as an institution, as well as those of your constituents.

Your responsibilities are substantial, and without additional support your duties as a plan sponsor can easily absorb precious time. We aim to serve as a seamless extension of your office, providing the support necessary to allow your leaders to focus on growing and advancing your business. Through every phase, we work closely with you to help ensure your retirement plan remains aligned with your preferences as an institution, always propelling you toward your corporate mission.

We have experience establishing and overseeing a variety of qualified retirement plans and non-qualified deferred compensation plans.

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What Is A Keogh Plan And How Does It Work


If you make a lot of money… and you do it by working for yourself… then a Keogh plan might make some sense.

It costs a lot of money to work for yourself.

On the one hand, self-employment comes with freedom. If you want to sleep in on a Wednesday, go ahead and do so. If you don’t want to take a given project or client, it’s your call whether to accept their money. No one looms by your office to “ask” if you can work over the weekend.

On the other hand, self-employment triggers an unavoidable 9% tax hike. It means paying for your own equipment and expenses, and doing all the jobs for yourself that a business typically hires specialists for.

And you have to fund your own retirement. No pension. No company 401. No matching contributions. Just whatever monthly allowance you give your 65-year-old self.

That’s where Keogh plans come in handy for a very specific set of people.

Keogh Deduction Prohibited Transaction Fiduciary And Funding Rules

The rules for contribution deductions by self-employed individuals are as follows:

  • If the self-employed person is a sole proprietor, the person can take the entire deduction on the individual income tax return.
  • If the self-employed person is a partner, the partner can take the amount of the contribution made by the partnership on the partner’s behalf.
  • A partner, however, cannot deduct contributions made on behalf of his or her common-law employees .

If an owner-employee is engaged in more than one business, but only one business has a Keogh plan, contributions and deductions to that plan on behalf of the owner-employee can be based only on the earned income from the business that has the plan.

Timing for contributions. Both cash-basis and accrual-basis taxpayers may make Keogh contributions after the close of the taxable year if they are made on or before the due date, including extensions, for filing the income tax return for that tax year. You must set up the Keogh by the end of the tax year in order for your contributions made to it to be deductible for that tax year.

If you miss the end-of-the-year deadline for establishing a Keogh plan, you can still establish a simplified employee pension , as long as you do so by the due date, including extensions, of your income tax return. Establishing a SEP in this way does not mean you can’t establish a Keogh later.

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Savings Incentive Match Plan For Employees

You can put all your net earnings from self-employment in the plan: up to $14,000 in 2022 , plus an additional $3,000 if you’re 50 or older , plus either a 2% fixed contribution or a 3% matching contribution.

Establish the plan:

  • complete
  • an IRS-approved prototype SIMPLE IRA plan offered by many mutual funds, banks and other financial institutions, and by plan administration companies and
  • open a SIMPLE IRA through a bank or another financial institution.
  • Set up a SIMPLE IRA plan at any time January 1 through October 1. If you became self-employed after October 1, you can set up a SIMPLE IRA plan for the year as soon as administratively feasible after your business starts.
  • Learn more:

    History Of Keogh Plans

    Keogh Retirement Calculations (with Ivan)

    Keogh plans are also sometimes referred to as HR10 plans. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service calls them qualified plans. They got their actual name from New York Representative James Keogh. He was responsible for creating the Self-Employed Individuals Tax Retirement Act of 1962, which is alternatively known as the Keogh Act.

    In 2001, the basic outline of the act and the name were changed. It is now known as the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act . Because the changes were so extensive, the IRS no longer considers it the Keogh Act but instead refers to it simply at the HR10 Plan.

    1. Defined Benefit Plan

    The defined benefit plan is structured using a fixed contribution, which involves a set sum of money or a fixed percentage of an individuals income. It is done per each period of pay.

    The defined benefit plan can sometimes be set up as part of a profit-sharing plan, wherein an individual can withdraw a specified amount, but the amount is based on how much the individual invested in their plan during the time that they worked.

    2. Defined Contribution Plan

    The second type is a defined contribution plan, which is significantly more complex. The basic structure of a defined contribution plan allows for an individual to put a percentage of his or her income aside. However, instead of being a set amount, the amount is based on a formula created by the IRS.

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    What Do You Want In Retirement Annually

    First, you must decide how much you want the annual benefits that youll get paid each year in retirement to be.

    Based on this amount, the required calculations are made to determine the necessary contributions.


    Figuring out how much to contribute is extremely complex.

    These calculations typically require an actuary. This additional cost takes away money you could have put toward your retirement.

    To make matters worse:

    You dont get a say in how much you contribute. The contribution calculations the actuary makes must be followed in order for the plan to be fully funded.

    If you have a bad year or your plan is underperforming, contributions will still need to be made.

    What Is A Keogh Retirement Plan

    In 1962, the Self-Employed Individuals Tax Retirement Act was established, otherwise known as the Keogh Act. The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act dissociated the distinction between other plans and the Keogh plan. Since this Act, Keogh retirement plans are alternatively referred to as HR-10s or qualified retirement plans.

    A Keogh retirement plan is a tax-deferred plan for self-employed individuals or unincorporated businesses. Contributions are typically tax-deductible to a certain percentage of annual income with dollar amount limits that the IRS can change annually.

    Here well explore the basics of a Keogh retirement plan.

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    How To Set Up A Keogh Plan

    In order to set up a Keogh plan, you must work with a plan administrator who provides these types of plans. Banks, insurance companies, private brokers, independent administrators, law firms, and accounting firms provide Keogh plans. You must hire an actuary for a defined-benefit plan.

    In general, you must establish a Keogh plan by December 31 of the year that you want the plan to take effect, and make your initial contributions by April 15 of the following year. If you qualify for an extension on filing your tax return, that also gives you more time to fund your Keogh plan.

    Anyone with a Keogh plan must file Form 5500 with the IRS each year.

    What Are The Keogh Plan Contribution Limits

    Keogh Plan (Definition, Types)

    You can contribute money to a Keogh plan on a tax-deferred basis. As of 2010, you can contribute a maximum of $49,000 per year to the plan without penalty. However, the amount of money that you can contribute is also based on a certain percentage of your total annual income. The maximum amount of money that you can contribute is 25 percent of your annual salary. This means that you cannot contribute as much as $49,000 if you do not make enough money to avoid exceeding the 25 percent threshold for this amount.

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    Can People Who Work For A Company And Own Their Own Business Have A Retirement Plan Both At Work And Through Their Small Business

    Generally, yes. The restrictions on contributions you can make to a retirement plan are applied to each employer separately. If you work for a company, the company is an employer. If you are self-employed, you are a separate employer, and can have a separate retirement plan for your business. But be careful. If both you and your employer establish some type of salary reduction plan, you might run up against an overall limit on contributions.

    The most common types of salary reduction plans are 401 plans, tax-deferred annuity or 403 plans , and 457 plans . A SIMPLE IRA is also a salary reduction plan.

    Although the amount of your salary or compensation you can defer into each of these plans is limited, the law also puts a limit on the total amount you can defer into all such plans, if you happen to be covered by more than one. The overall limit depends on the type of plan you participate in.

    Keogh Plan Contribution Limits For 2022

    If you have a profit-sharing plan, you can contribute however much you choose, not including contributions for yourself. For 2021, you could contribute up to 25% of compensation or $58,000. For 2022, you can contribute up to 25% of compensation or $61,000. If you have a money purchase plan, you contribute the fixed percentage of your income every year. The contribution amount will come from the IRS formula. Again, you can contribute up to 25% of compensation, without including your own contributions.

    If you have a defined benefit plan, your contributions depend on the benefit you set and other factors. You must have an actuary determine your actual amounts. Otherwise there are no other contribution limits. When it comes to distributions, your maximum annual benefit in 2021 maxes out at $230,000 or 100% of your compensation, whichever is less. For 2022 the maximum annual benefit rises to $245,000.

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    Insuranceopedia Explains Keogh Plan

    HR-10 is either a defined benefit plan or a defined contribution plan. The former specifies how much money a person gets at the age of retirement after a computation that includes salary and length of employment. The latter specifies how much money should be placed into the retirement plan. This plan is famous because of its high contribution compared to other retirement plans. As of 2014, the contribution cap is $52,000. The disadvantage to this plan is that setting this up costs more and it also involves more paperwork compared to other retirement plans.

    Who Can Have A Keogh

    Retirement Plans for Individuals – What are Retirement Plans for Individuals

    The general rule is that if you operate in the form of a sole proprietorship or a partnership, you’re considered self-employed and thus eligible to set up a Keogh plan. If your business is incorporated, you’re not.

    In addition, the following people are also eligible to set up a Keogh:

    • ministers
    • Christian Science practitioners
    • drivers who distribute meat products, vegetable products, fruit products, bakery products, beverages , or laundry or dry cleaning services
    • traveling salesmen who work for wholesalers, retailers, contractors, or operators of hotels, restaurants, or other similar businesses
    • home workers

    Rules for physicians. A salaried doctor is not considered to be self-employed, even if the “salary” is paid by a corporation owned by the doctor. If, however, the doctor has income from other sources, the doctor could contribute to a Keogh from those other sources.


    Dr. Makebetter receives a salary from the local hospital. He also has income from a book he published and from court testimony as an expert witness. Although Dr. Makebetter cannot establish and contribute to a Keogh on the basis of the salary he earned from the hospital, he could do so on the basis of the income he earned from the book and from the court testimony.

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    Let Us Understand The Keogh Plan

    Keogh plans are basically retirement plans for self-employed people and unincorporated businesses, like sole proprietorships and partnerships.

    An independent contractor or self-employed person cannot set up and use a Keogh plan for retirement.

    Keogh plans are referred to as qualified plans by the IRS, and they are of two types: defined-contribution plans, including profit-sharing plans and money purchase plans, and defined-benefit plans, that is sometimes known as HR plans.

    Like 401s and IRAs Keogh plans too can invest in the same set of securities, including stocks, bonds, certificates of deposits, and annuities.

    Choosing And Funding A Keogh

    Keogh plans can be set up through banks, insurance companies, brokerage houses, independent plan administration firms, lawyers, accountants, and any of the firms that typically provide financial services. Most of these firms offer a standard Keogh plan, called a prototype plan, that can be modified to fit your circumstances. Specially customized Keogh plans are also available, but they can be much more expensive than prototype plans.

    Work smart

    You should discuss which option might be best for you with your tax advisor or accountant.

    The main methods of funding a Keogh are:

    • through a trust
    • through the direct purchase of an annuity or other insurance contract from an insurance company
    • through a special custodial account
    • through the purchase of special U.S. government retirement bonds

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