Help your clients discover what they can do with a Guideline 401(k)

Help your clients discover what they can do with a Guideline 401(k)

If you have small business clients, you’ve probably heard them express frustrations with staying competitive, especially from an employee benefits perspective. It’s no wonder. As an accountant, you know how much it costs to offer employee health insurance, paid time off, and retirement savings accounts.

But offering employee benefits has a significant payoff too, especially in retention and hiring great talent. 75% of employees said a good benefits package would make them take one job over another. 48% said they would stay at their current job if the benefits were good, even if they were offered higher pay elsewhere. That’s according to a 2019 employee benefits report which also found the inverse to be true. 41% of employees surveyed said they wouldn’t want to work for a company that didn’t offer benefits.

QuickBooks Online Payroll® teamed up with Guideline to offer affordable 401(k) plans. And here’s the thing—this benefit is great for employees and employers. Here are a few reasons you should give your small business clients a heads up.

Offering a 401(k) has significant tax savings

There are significant tax savings and additional benefits for small businesses that offer a 401(k) plan to employees. Yet few small business owners understand the tax implications or have any idea those implications are in their favor.

If you think your clients are unaware of the tax advantages, here are two from the IRS you should pass along:

  1. Employer contributions are deductible from federal income taxes.
  2. Elective deferrals and investment gains are not currently taxed and can be deferred until distribution.

Be sure to let them know that in order to receive those tax benefits, your client’s 401(k) plan must meet certain criteria. This includes language called “qualification rules” and following specific operations.

If all that sounds a little complicated, don’t worry. QuickBooks has partnered with longtime 401(k)   to offer a 401(k) integrated service experience. Now, should your clients decide to add 401(k) benefits to their Online Payroll account, they won’t be going at it blindly. They’ll have an expert on their side who can help. That expert will even ensure your clients are set up to get the tax benefits that come with offering a 401(k).

Offering a 401(k) doesn’t have to be costly

Many small business owners also assume they can’t afford to offer a 401(k), but the reality is this key benefit may be more affordable than they realize. Typically, a plan with Guideline costs just $39 per month, plus $8 per employee per month.

Now through December 31, 2020, however, your clients can get their first three months with Guideline for free—a deal only offered to QuickBooks Online Payroll customers.

Here’s what that plan with Guideline includes:

  • Plan administration
  • Recordkeeping
  • Compliance testing
  • Reporting and disclosures
  • Investment management

Guideline doesn’t charge participants any fees on investments, regardless of the value of their account balance. The company also offers traditional and Roth accounts, as well as compliance-friendly Safe Harbor plans, employer matching, vesting, and profit sharing.

For employees, there’s an additional benefit beyond the… well, benefit. Guideline’s self-serve retirement savings dashboard allows employees to maintain more control and visibility over their account. On the dashboard, they can set contribution rates, adjust their investment portfolio, check their balance, and review statements all in one place.

Talk to your clients about offering a 401(k) benefits plan

If you love and trust QuickBooks, you know Intuit® does not take our partnerships lightly. Already, QuickBooks offers several “beyond payroll” benefits customers love: HR services through Mammoth HR, workers’ comp through AP Intego, and health benefits through SimplyInsured.

Helping small business owners and their employees by offering an easy 401(k) benefits service is the next step in providing an all-in-one payroll solution.

Next time you have a client wishing they could be more competitive from an employee benefits perspective, why not share the good news? QuickBooks Online Payroll is offering a great opportunity to support employee retirement savings. There’s no better time to take advantage of a benefit that benefits everyone. Check it out today.


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  1. HR services: Provided by experts at Mammoth, Inc. See Mammoth’s privacy policy and Terms of Use. HR Support Center available only to QuickBooks Online Premium and Elite subscriptions. HR Advisor support only available in QuickBooks Online Payroll Elite. HR support is not available to accountants who are calling on behalf of their clients.
  2. Health benefits: Powered by SimplyInsured and requires acceptance of SimplyInsured’s privacy policy and Terms of Service. Additional fees will apply. SimplyInsured does not offer insurance in HI, VT, and DC. Insurance coverage eligibility is not guaranteed, and dependently solely on the rules of the insurance carrier. The insurance carrier has sole and final discretion as to the eligibility for health insurance products.
  3. Workers’ comp: Benefits are powered by AP Intego and require acceptance of AP Intego’s privacy policy and Terms of Service. Additional fees will apply. There is a monthly fee (currently, $5 per month) for QuickBooks Online Payroll Core users for the QuickBooks Workers’ Comp Payment Service. This non-refundable fee will be automatically added to each monthly Intuit invoice at the then-current price until you cancel. The fee is separate from any workers’ comp insurance policy premium by AP Intego Insurance Group. Workers’ Compensation Service requires an active and paid QuickBooks payroll subscription. Eligibility criteria applies to transfer active insurance policy broker of record, including insurance carrier, policy renewal date, and payment method. Workers compensation insurance is not available in OH, ND, WA and WY.