Study: Individual K Plans Booming

June 9, 2004 ( - Individual 401(k) plans were hot during 2003 - red hot, according to a new research report.

FRC estimates that the product sales – aimed at owner-only businesses – have generated $1.5 billion in assets as of year-end 2003 and will have an asset pool twice that size at the end of 2004.

Following the entrance of dozens of providers into the individual K arena in 2003, FRC predicts 40,000 to 50,000 new plans will be adopted in 2004, as financial advisors and small-business owners become more aware of the benefits of the plans, which also include the ability to consolidate multiple retirement accounts and to take loans.

The success of the individual K plan stems from the ability for small business owners to make larger contributions to them ($41,000 in 2004, excluding an additional $3,000 catch-up contribution available to those age 50 or older) at lower income levels than they could in any other defined contribution or IRA-based retirement plan, FRC said in its  research report .

Chris Brown, vice president and Director of Retirement Market Research at FRC, said that the plans are designed for a “vast and growing” niche, including millions of highly compensated self-employed professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, and real estate agents.

“With just 50,000 Indy-k plans adopted to date, investment manufacturers and distributors still have an opportunity to get in during the early stages of what will be a rapidly accelerating and increasingly lucrative market,” Brown said in an FRC news release.