Self-Directed Solo 401k Forms Checklist

Looking to start a Self-Directed Solo 401k plan with American IRA, LLC? It’s not a difficult process. But because a Self-Directed Solo 401k plan is a qualified retirement plan under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), it may require a good number of forms to fill out or documents that you must either provide to the IRS, Department of Labor, or have on file at your company.

Here are the most common required forms to set up a Self-Directed Solo 401k:

Basic Plan Document. This document is the primary document establishing the plan rules, including eligibility criteria, vesting, employer matching, and the like.

Summary Plan Description. This is a shorter document explaining the basic points in the Plan Document above, along with responsibilities and obligations of both the employer and plan participants.

A new Employee ID Number. 401(k) rules require you to obtain a new Employer Identification Number for the plan. This is easily done directly with the IRS.

Beneficiary Designations. In the event of the death of a plan member, estate executors will look to the beneficiary listed in the individual beneficiary designation forms on the plan. All of the plan assets will be transferred to the beneficiaries listed on the form. This action will occur regardless of state intestate laws. When the plan participant has designated a beneficiary, the assets bypass the state’s probate courts and intestate laws. The funds go direct to the beneficiary in days, not months.

Each participant should designate primary and contingent beneficiaries, and make trustee arrangements for any minors they want to name as beneficiaries. Most use UTMA rules (Uniform Transfer to Minors Act), which is simple and generally free, and just name a trusted friend or relative to act as trustee for the money.

If your situation is more complicated, you may want to consult with an attorney about drawing up a more formal trust arrangement and designate a trustee. American IRA, LLC does not provide tax advice. For information specific to your individual circumstances, you should consult with a qualified attorney in your state.

Loan Procedure Addendum.

This is a critical feature for self-directed solo 401(k) plans that allow loans to plan participitants. Typically, plan rules allow participants to borrow up to 50 percent of their plan balance, or up to $50,000. But you as the plan sponsor may want to take more advantage of the flexibility and control you have with a self-directed solo 401(k).

Transfer Request Forms. These forms authorize us as your third party administrator for your 401(k) to transfer money directly from your old employer’s 401(k) or an existing IRA or other qualifying retirement account. If you are funding your Self-Directed Solo 401k with existing retirement funds, you may want to fill out this form, rather than have the old form send you a check and then mail it back out within 60 days. If you drop the ball, the IRS may deem the entire amount to be an early taxable distribution, causing you to be liable for early withdrawal penalties and any income taxes due.

Adoption Agreement.  This form is among your company’s bylaws or operating documents and declares that your company is adopting this particular 401(k) plan.

You can find easily downloaded forms of all kinds via our website here. American IRA, LLC, is one of the leading administration firms that specializes in working with owners of self-directed solo 401(k) plans and other self-directed retirement plans.

For more information on how to get started establishing your own self-directed solo 401(k), call us today at 954-663-1776, or visit us on the Web at

We look forward to working with you.