Even if the SEP rules remain unaltered for the next several years, employers will want to continue questioning whether their retirement contribution objectives are best served by conventional plans that are increasingly more difficult to administer and keep tax-qualified.9 In effect, the SEP may become more attractive by default, as I.R.C. § 401(a) plans continue to become less attractive as a result of the overly complex legislative and regulatory tinkering to which they are subject. Practitioners should reconsider this point when reviewing each new change or interpretation of law affecting standard qualified retirement plans.

The discussion that follows is organized under headings reflecting the major plan design differences that distinguish the SEP from its more complicated alternatives.

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