Small Business Retirement Solutions: Guideline 401(k) Has The Options You Need

By: Shay James

plant growing out of coins

Being a small business owner can get complicated fast, and there are countless things you need to stay on top of. For many people, taking on the responsibility of business ownership can feel overwhelming.

One question many business owners ask is how to go about setting up and managing 401(k) plans for the company. Employees depend on 401(k)s for their retirements. It’s no simple matter. 

There are considerations regarding plan administration, employee onboarding, and government filings. There’s the question of how to facilitate 401(k) deductions and integrate them with the current payroll. How will you track your employees’ 401(k) eligibility or process deductions? Which investment options will employees have available? It’s no wonder that the thought of adding this benefit for employees can be so intimidating. 

If you knew there was an easy way to take all of those questions off of your plate, would you take it? There is! Make 401(k) retirement planning easy for everyone in your small business, yourself included. Use the Guideline 401(k) app to answer the many questions swirling around in your brain and make your life easier.

What is Guideline 401(k)?

When it comes to organizing and navigating retirement for small businesses, look no further than Guideline 401(k). Trusted by over 30,000 companies, this resource is perfect for keeping you on track and helping your creative business take the next step as you grow. 

From plan management to investing and payroll integration, Guideline takes the burden of 401(k) administration off your shoulders. This app helps take care of the behind-the-scenes work, making things simple, so you can focus on the more exciting aspects of your creative business! 

Guideline is also amazingly affordable - both for employers and employees. It was built specifically with the small business entrepreneur in mind. With Guideline you get the best of both functionality and affordability. This allows you to keep your cash flow available for building up your company.

Guideline 401(k) Features

Plan Management

The last thing small business owners need is for tools in their arsenal to be complicated - it just wastes time and money! That’s why the Guideline 401(k) app takes care of managing the intricate details. 

A 401(k) can have a lot of moving parts and administrative work. Guideline 401(k) will help guide you through it all, so even if you don’t understand the details, you can still get your plan set up successfully. 

When you sign up, Guideline will collect information on your company and payroll provider and help you design your 401(k) plan. Linking to your current payroll systems allows Guideline to onboard employees in the process as well. Guideline also takes care of government compliance and record keeping so you don’t need to think about the complexities that can make your head spin.

Payroll Integration

Guideline 401(k) takes another administrative task off your plate by including the ability to integrate payroll with major partners in the industry. The platform automatically syncs data from employee activity between Guideline and the most popular payroll providers such as Gusto, Square, Quickbooks, Rippling, and more.

Small business owners need to track eligibility, maintain deductions, and manually enter data without payroll integration. It’s a recipe for mistakes and is a huge drain on your time and energy. The Guideline 401(k) app takes care of this for you, providing a seamless and stress-free experience.


Investing opportunities and ease of use are invaluable for a small business 401(k). Guideline makes it easy to invest and plan for retirement. 

Your employees will complete a simple online form to determine their investment risk tolerance and then can take advantage of a professionally managed portfolio or can create a custom portfolio, suitable to their personal investment strategy. 

Fees and expenses can quickly add up when it comes to portfolio management. Guideline 401(k) keeps these costs low so it’s easy for you and your employees to develop strong 401(k) portfolios without high-cost fees. 

Employees who enroll in your company’s Guideline 401(k) plan will only pay 0.08% on their assets annually and average fund fees run about 0.07%. This brings average annual fees to only 0.15%, nearly 10x lower than the industry average.

Guideline will not allow your employees the ability to invest in individual stocks, but they do supply a range of mutual funds to help your people take a more balanced approach with their retirement plan.

Getting Started with Guideline 401(k)

As one of the lowest-cost 401(k) providers, Guideline 401(k) is a strong choice for your small business. They offer three plans that make it simple to get the features you need for your company’s unique circumstances. Take advantage of one of these options and find the plan that works best for you.


The Core Plan is the perfect place to start for businesses looking to begin making contributions. This Safe Harbor 401(k) plan starts at $49/month with an additional $8 for each active participant. It’s ideal for the business that is starting and offers all the advantages of account management, fiduciary support, and payroll integration.


The Flex Plan offers flexibility for businesses to choose a Safe Harbor 401(k) or a traditional 401(k). The plan starts at $79/month with an additional $8 for every active participant and offers additional features such as vesting schedules and profit sharing.


The Max Plan includes everything in the Flex Plan but takes things to the next level with a dedicated Client Relationship Manager and onboarding specialist. This plan begins at $129/month with an additional $8 per active participant. 

Whichever plan you choose, Guideline will be there to answer questions and provide support. Their top-notch customer service representatives and plan sponsors are available to walk you through whatever it may be you need assistance with. With 4.5 star ratings and great pricing, Guideline 401(k) provides unmatched value.

Find Your Retirement Solution with Lamplight Advisors

At Lamplight Advisors, our goal is to help you improve your business and make it easier to get the help you need to stay on top of things. 

We know navigating the intricacies of a 401(k) for small business owners can be time-consuming, and retirement for small businesses can be confusing. We’re here to help you get the answers you need. 

To see if we can help you further with the needs of your creative small business, click here to schedule a conversation today.