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Retirement Plans for the Jobless Made Easy

The plans are simpler than a Keogh. Most banks, brokerages and insurance companies can help with the paperwork. Sole proprietors, partnerships and corporations can set up SEPs. Contributions are tax-deductible, and there are no taxes on earnings. There are even tax credits of up to $500 a year for each of the first three years for the cost of starting the plan.

Participants can't take loans from a SEP-IRA, but they can make withdrawals at any time, subject to a 10% penalty if they're under the age of 59½. The funds can also be rolled over, tax-free, to another SEP-IRA, a traditional IRA or another employer's qualified retirement plan.

-- Reported by Joe Mont in Boston.

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