Safe Harbor

A plan option that can help business owners maximize savings and pass compliance testing.

What is Safe Harbor?

Safe harbor is a type of employer contribution that can be added to a 401(k) plan to help the plan pass compliance testing. A 401(k) safe harbor can boost participation in your retirement plan enabling owners and top employees to contribute more money to their own retirement account.

How Safe Harbor Works

Safe harbor is a type of employer contribution that is added to a 401(k) plan to help business owners and top employees save more for retirement while helping the plan pass compliance testing. There are three types of contributions an employer can choose from: non-elective, basic match, enhanced match.

Why Safe Harbor is Important

Adding a safe harbor provision to your 401(k) plan allows the plan to pass compliance testing. This means highly compensated employees can maximize their annual personal contributions. And if you choose a safe harbor match, you’re incentivizing enrolled employees to increase their retirement savings themselves.

How Fisher Can Help

Fisher is one of America's top advisory firms with deep experience helping business owners navigate the ins and outs of evaluating and setting up a safe harbor strategy tailored to meet their specific objectives.

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View Transcript For the Safe Harbor Video video

Safe Harbor Video

Watch this short video to learn how successful business owners can leverage a safe harbor 401(k) to increase retirement savings for themselves and highly compensated employees, maximize tax advantages, and pass annual compliance testing. Plus, it can help employees save more for their own retirement.

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Find out what business owners need to know about adding a safe harbor to their 401(k) plan:

  • Learn how a safe harbor 401(k) works
  • Consider when a safe harbor makes sense
  • Review safe harbor scenarios

There are 3 Options for Safe Harbor Contributions

Non-Elective Safe Harbor

Eligible employees get an annual employer contribution of 3% of their salary. This amount is immediately fully vested and the employee gets it whether or not they contribute to the plan.

Basic Safe Harbor Match

The employer matches 100% of the first 3% of each employee's contribution and 50% of the next 2%. Employees are required to contribute to their 401(k) in order to get the match.

Enhanced Safe Harbor Match

The employer matches 100% of the first 4% of each employee's contribution. Like a Basic Safe Harbor Match, employees are required to defer money to their 401(k) in order to qualify for the match.

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Safe Harbor Case Study

Consider how highly compensated employees can maximize their 401(k) contributions.

  • Run the numbers for three principals at a law firm.
  • See how much this one change increases their 401(k) savings.
  • Find out if you’re a good fit for a safe harbor 401(k).
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Solutions for Top Heavy 401(k) Plans

Top earners tilting your 401(k)? Learn how to rebalance without asking highly compensated employees and owners to sacrifice.

The Fisher Advantage

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Fisher provides flexible investment solutions, superior fund lineup management, and ongoing investment guidance to maximize wealth creation.

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We streamline retirement plan administration and payroll processes and provide a dedicated-point-of-contact for all plan servicing, troubleshooting and vendor management.

Unparalleled Service

We offer services other providers can’t or won’t provide. With Fisher you’ll receive tailored participant education programs along with one-on-one meetings to increase employee participation and improve retirement readiness.

Legal Protection

As an ERISA 3(38) Investment Manager, Fisher takes full legal responsibility for selecting, monitoring, and updating the funds in your plan. This protects you and other plan sponsors from investment-related legal risk.

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Contact Us

One of our 401(k) business specialists would love to talk to you about your company’s retirement plan needs.

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(844) 238-1247

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