Saturna: Safe Harbor 401(k)

Allows highly compensated employees to maximize contributions without penalty. Employers must make minimum mandatory contributions.

Bundled, customizable plan services

Wide range of investment choices

Web-based employer and employee portal

A Safe Harbor 401(k), in addition to the features in a traditional 401(k), requires business owners to contribute to employees’ accounts in specific ways and allows highly compensated employees to maximize contributions without the testing requirements of a traditional plan. Best suited for companies in which the business owners and/or highly compensated employees want to maximize their yearly contributions, but their income is a lot higher than that of the rank-and-file employees.

The Saturna Trust Company 401(k) plan is a full-service arrangement. Our plans save our clients the costs associated with outside service providers because Saturna’s staff handles everything from recordkeeping to investment management to marketing and education. Full-service arrangements eliminate the need for employers to deal with and monitor multiple service providers. This eases the employer’s burden of considering potential conflicts of interest that may arise when using multiple providers.

We offer 401(k) plans a selection of Saturna Capital no-load mutual funds, as well as an extensive menu of unaffiliated mutual funds, with a variety of investment objectives, through our open architecture platform. Employers select their investment menu, and by investing in more than one fund, employees can tailor their 401(k) accounts to fit their own risk and return objectives.

Plan Details


Eligibility requirements and plan entry dates are customizable by the employer. The employer may choose to have no eligibility requirements or can specify a minimum age and/or a period of service. In general, the most restrictive the plan can be is to exclude employees that are under 21 years old and have worked less than 1,000 hours in the previous 12-month period.

Employer Contribution Requirements

Matching, non-elective employer contribution.

Features and Services


  • Prototype plan/standardized adoption agreement
  • Assistance with customizing plan investment menu
  • Trust agreement
  • Summary plan description
  • Enrollment meeting
  • Processing of contributions, distributions, loans, hardship withdrawals, vesting, and investment selections
  • Daily valuation of plan assets
  • Annual non-discrimination and compliance testing
  • Preparation of Forms 1099-R and 5500
  • Affiliated low-cost Saturna mutual funds
  • Open fund menu platform permits a wide selection of no-commission fund shares
  • Employee online tools
  • Education and support
  • Online statements and account management

Total annual fee

  • 0.44%-0.88%

Rollover/transfer fee

  • $60 for rollovers transferring away from Saturna

Loan Initiation/Maintenance Fee 

  • $60 initiation
  • $60 annual maintenance
Inactive/Dormant Accounts

Leave the account in the plan, request a distribution or roll it over to a new plan.

Investment Options

This plan uses broad categories of investment options; each category contains specific funds. Click on the ‘ticker’ symbol to see the financial performance for that fund. If you choose this retirement plan, the plan provider will help you understand your investment options.


Minimum Account Balance


Minimum Account Contribution



IRS Penalties may apply for late tax form filings and early employee withdrawals. 


401(k) Accounts can be transferred to other eligible qualified plans or IRAs.

Withdrawals and Loans

Withdrawals and loans are allowed (restrictions may apply).


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The Small Business Retirement Marketplace is administered by the Washington Department of Commerce as established in RCW Chapter 43.330.730-750. Plans carried on the Retirement Marketplace are verified by the Department of Financial Institutions and/or the Office of the Insurance Commissioner to meet the requirements set forth in RCW 43.330.732(7) and 735(6)(a).

Enrollment in plans on the Retirement Marketplace is voluntary. Plan enrollment is managed by private financial services firms. Saving through certain plans will not be appropriate for all individuals. Employer facilitation of most retirement savings plans carries certain legal obligations for which employers are entirely responsible. Contributing to a retirement savings plan may offer tax benefits and/or consequences. Other private sector plans not offered on the Retirement Marketplace may charge lower fees. Consult your tax or financial adviser with questions related to investments.

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