Payroll 401(k) Benefits

Square Payroll partners with Guideline so that you can offer 401(k) retirement benefits to your employees. It’s easy to setup and works in the background when you process payroll.

How it Works

Employers can enroll in Guideline directly from the Benefits tab of their Payroll dashboard and seamlessly offer retirement benefits. Guideline makes 401(k) plans easy by handling all of the onboarding of your employees, administration, compliance, and investment management. Guideline allows employees to make both traditional pre-tax 401(k) contributions as well as post-tax roth 401(k) contributions. When you process payroll through Square, all contributions and deductions sync automatically each pay run.

Sign Up with Guideline

  1. Visit the Benefits tab of your Payroll dashboard.

  2. Click Get Started on the Retirement tile.

  3. Click Start Setup. Square Payroll syncs your business information with Guideline.

  4. Enroll in the plan and decides how much (if at all) to contribute.

  5. Eligible employees will receive an invitation to enroll in the 401(k) account on their online Square Payroll Employee Dashboard.

Run Payroll with a Retirement Plan

Once your employees have enrolled in the retirement plan, all contributions and deductions are automated each pay period. To process payroll

  1. Log in to the Payroll section of your online SquareDashboard or Square Payroll app > click Pay Employees as usual.

  2. After entering employee hours and any additional pay, click Continue.

  3. Employee deductions and employer contributions will appear on the Adjustments screen. You are able to edit the employee deduction if needed. Note: Changes to the employer contribution will need to be made directly in Guideline.

  4. Click Continue to proceed with processing payroll.

Guideline will debit for the full 401(k) amount (company contribution and employee deferral) the business day after payroll is processed.


How much does Guideline cost?

Guideline costs $39/month + $8/month per employee. Guideline bills monthly on the first of each month.

There is no cost to the employee. Employees simply pay the Vanguard 0.06% management fee, which is taken directly out of the employee’s 401(k) account.

What are company contributions?

Employers can optionally contribute to the 401(k). All contributions are calculated pre-tax. You can contribute a percentage of an employee’s gross pay, a fixed amount per month, or match an employee’s contributions. Guideline also supports profit sharing and true-up contributions.

Who is eligible for a 401(k)?

When an employer sets up a retirement plan, you can set eligibility criteria in Guideline based on minimum age and length of tenure. Once those criteria are met, the employee becomes eligible and is invited by Guideline to enroll.

How can I update employer and employee contributions?

Any changes to contributions should be made in Guideline directly. Any updates will be processed on the next pay run.

How can I switch 401(k) plans to Guideline?

If you already have a 401(k) and wants to switch to Guideline, you will need to reach out to the Guideline Sale’s team directly at square@guideline.com or request a call through their scheduling page.

How do I contact Guideline?

For more information, please contact Guideline at 888-228-3491 or email support@guideline.com.

Learn more about: Payroll

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