Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Groskopf, J., Walters, C., Nelson, D. “One-Participant 401(k) as a Tool for Farmers and RanchersCAP Series 23-1203, Center for Agricultural Profitability, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Dec. 11, 2023. DOI: 10.32873/unl.dc.cap025.


According to USDA, only 40% of farm households participate in some type of retirement account. For self-employed farmers and ranchers without full-time employees, the opportunity to invest in a One-Participant 401(k) plan is a way to (1) save money for retirement, (2) reduce taxable income, and (3) provide the potential option to borrow from the plan. This series of articles will review these features.

What is a One-Participant 401(k)?

The One-Participant 401(k)is a qualified retirement plan designed specifically for business owners with no full-time employees other than the business owners and their spouses. Visit with your financial planner and tax advisor if you have part-time employees and are considering establishing a 401(k) for your business to make sure you comply with 401(k) funding rules.