The SECURE Act is the most substantial change to our retirement savings system in over a decade, says Covering Katy (TX) News’ recent article titled “Laws Change for IRA and 401K Retirement Savings Plans.” The new law, called the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, includes several important changes. Let’s take a look at them.
There is a higher age for RMDs. The current law says that you must start taking withdrawals or required minimum distributions from your traditional IRA and 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored plan when you turn 70½. The new law delays this to age 72, so you can hold on to your retirement savings a while longer.
No age limit for contributions to traditional IRAs. Before the new law, you could only contribute to your traditional IRA until you were 70½. However, now you can now fund your traditional IRA for as long as you have taxable earned income.
Stretch IRA Limitations. Previously, beneficiaries could stretch taxable RMDs from a retirement account over his or her lifetime. Under the SECURE Act, spouse beneficiaries can still take advantage of this "stretch" distribution, but most non-spouse beneficiaries will have to take all the RMDs by the end of the 10th year after the account owner dies. Therefore, non-spouse beneficiaries who inherit an IRA or other retirement plans could have tax issues because of the need to take larger distributions in a shorter amount of time.
Early withdrawal penalty eliminated for IRAs and 401(k)s when a new child arrives. Usually, you must pay a 10% penalty when you withdraw funds from your IRA or 401(k) if done prior to 59½. However, the new legislation allows you take out up to $5,000 from your retirement plan without paying the early withdrawal penalty, provided that you withdraw the money within a year of a child being born or an adoption becoming final.
There are provisions of the SECURE Act that primarily impact business owners, which include the following:
New multi-employer retirement plans. The new law allows unrelated companies to coordinate to offer employees a 401(k) plan with less administrative work, lower costs, and fewer fiduciary responsibilities than individual employers now have when offering their own retirement plans.
Tax credit for automatic enrollment. There’s now a tax credit of $500 for some small businesses that create automatic enrollment in their retirement plans. A tax credit for establishing a retirement plan has also been increased from $500 to $5,000.
Annuities in 401(k) plans. The Act makes it easier for employers to add annuities as an investment option within 401(k) plans. Before the SECURE Act, businesses avoided annuities in these plans because of the liability related to the annuity provider. However, the new rules should help decrease any concerns.
Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney to examine the potential impact on your investment strategies and determine any possible tax and estate planning implications of the SECURE Act.
Reference: Covering Katy (TX) News “Laws Change for IRA and 401K Retirement Savings Plans”