The SECURE ACT and your Retirement

Ben Waller |


The SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) was major legislation passed by Congress and signed into Law at the end of 2019.


Key takeaways—The SECURE Act:

  • Repeals the maximum age for traditional IRA contributions, which is currently 70½. Taxpayers of any age may now contribute to IRAs when other requirements are met.
  • Increases the required minimum distribution (RMD) age for retirement accounts to 72 (up from 70½).
  • Inherited IRA distributions generally must now be taken within 10 years instead of stretched over a non-spouse beneficiary’s lifetime, subject to limited exceptions.
  • Allows long-term, part-time workers to participate in 401(k) plans.
  • Offers more options for lifetime income strategies.
  • Permits parents to withdraw up to $5,000 from retirement accounts penalty-free within a year of birth or adoption for qualified expenses.
  • Allows parents to withdraw up to $10,000 from 529 plans to repay student loans.


What to do now?

    1. RMDs now begin at age 72 for anyone who turns 70 ½ in 2020 or later. This may impact some retirement plans as other options to meet cash flow needs may make delaying distributions from retirement accounts preferable. Contact your WBH advisor to discuss how your plans could change.
    2. If you turned 70 ½ in 2020, some account custodians (including Schwab and Fidelity) may have sent out statements regarding 2020 RMDs that contained errors. Please contact your custodian or advisor to discuss your 2020 RMD if this may have impacted you.
    3. Estate plans may need to be reviewed as a result of the SECURE Act. The benefits of Inherited IRAs for some beneficiaries have been reduced. Understanding how your heirs may be impacted is the first step to considering any changes to long made plans. Please contact your WBH advisor to discuss other options available to you.
    4. Don’t be overwhelmed. While change can be frustrating, there are solutions available and we are here to help!