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I am now self-employed (with no employees) and want to set up a pension plan. Previously, as an employee of another company, I had a SAR-SEP pension fund that was later rolled over to a regular IRA account that is still open. I also have a SIMPLE IRA that was set up by my former employer that is still open, although I no longer am eligible to add funds to the account.

I have read IRS pub. 560 and am confused about a couple of specific things:

1. For a SIMPLE IRA (which I am leaning toward), the IRS publication states "You can set up a SIMPLE IRA plan if you meet both of the following requirements: a)You meet the employee limit; and b) You do not maintain another qualified plan unless the other plan is for collective bargaining employees"

Does the fact that I have a SIMPLE IRA account from my former job (account name is my name, XYZ Company SIMPLE PLAN) disqualify me from starting a SIMPLE IRA for my own business? If so, how do I transfer or rollover the funds from the old SIMPLE plan so I can start a new one?

2. I would probably prefer a SEP IRA. Do my current IRA accounts conflict with setting up a SEP-IRA? The IRS states "You cannot use Form 5305-SEP (the form for starting a SEP-IRA) if you currently maintain any other qualified retirement plan. This does not prevent you from maintaining another SEP" What the heck does that mean? Do my two current IRA accounts prevent me from opening a SEP-IRA for my self-employed business?

Thank you for any help you can provide.
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1. You were not the spnsor of the old SIMPLE plan, so it would not preclude you from starting one for yourself if you wish.

2. you may have the SEP-IRA. You (as a sole propritor or corp.) do not maintain any qualified plans at this time. You have IRA accounts that came from qualified plans.

You are probably aware of this, and it probably wouldn't matter anyway. but you can longer start any new SAR-SEP plans. Regular SEP's are ok though.

Good luck!
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