The SECURE Act contains many changes for individuals with retirement plans as well as small businesses with retirement plans.

  • The elimination of the “stretch” provisions for most non-spouse beneficiaries of IRAs and defined contribution plans (like a 401(k)) is perhaps the most significant and publicized change that is brought about by the SECURE Act.
  • The Act provides for a later starting date for required minimum distributions (RMDs) from retirement accounts, up to 72 from 70½.
  • In addition to the individual retirement updates, the SECURE Act also lends much focus to small businesses. 

After months of speculation and lobbying, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act (the Act) was signed into law by President Trump on December 20, 2019. Many of the provisions of the Act went into effect on January 1, 2020. Throughout the legislative process it continually had bipartisan support in Congress as well as throughout the retirement services industry. The Act provides for major changes to the retirement landscape in an attempt to modernize the country’s retirement system. 

There are also other non-retirement planning changes and updates provided in the Act. This article discusses some of the more significant changes that will now affect many individuals and business owners, and some planning strategies that might be considered in light of the new legislation.

Please see important disclosures at the end of the article.


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