Guideline Review 2021: Alternatives, Pricing, Features

Phil Strazzulla, HR Tech Expert
March 19, 2021

Guideline is one of the biggest vendors in this space. It is robust, comprehensive and easy to use. Its low fees are also a bonus.

What's Inside

Guideline Review

Guideline is a full-service, user-friendly and affordable 401(k) platform. Offering both traditional and Roth 401(k) and acting as your 3(16) and 3(38) fiduciary, Guideline takes care of all your retirement plan needs from administration, investment management, compliance testing, and recordkeeping.

When it comes to investments, Guideline offers 40+ index funds including Vanguard funds and ones from other low-cost providers. Alternatively, participants can choose a managed portfolio with blended average fund fees under 0.07%.

Guideline Customers

Guideline Stats

  • Used by over 10,000 small companies
  • 95% customer satisfaction score
  • Syncs with 180 payroll solutions

Guideline Resources

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Key Guideline Features

  • Full-service 401(k)
  • 3(16) and 3(38) fiduciary
  • Payroll integration
  • Employee onboarding
  • Low-cost mutual funds
  • Employee & employer dashboards
  • Compliance testing
  • Custodial services
  • Recordkeeping
  • Government filing
  • New comparability profit sharing
  • Customizable financial & billing reports

Guideline Implementation

Guideline is cloud-based which makes its implementation relatively easy (there isn’t anything to download or physically install). Simply go head to Guideline’s website and click the “Get Started” button on their landing page. This will take you to a few forms where you can create an account and make your plan purchase.

Guideline Customer Success

Guideline has a knowledge base with articles for customers to self-serve. Customers can also submit a support request if further help is needed. A dedicated account manager is also assigned for premium customers.

Guideline Key Integrations

Guideline integrates with 180 payroll solutions for an effortless synchronization of data. Visit Guideline’s integrations page to see what those solutions are.

What to be aware of

Guideline Pricing

Guideline offers two pricing plans:

  • Startup: $39 per month (base fee) + $8 per participant 
  • Prime: $99 per month (base fee) + $8 per participant

Guideline Alternatives

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Low fees

Human Interest

Scalable platform


Integrated payroll and retirement


Advice and investing goals


For small and mid-sized companies


Comprehensive and affordable


15 minute setup