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Will The Recently Passed Pension Legislation Affect You?

Congress recently passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) 2.0 Act, a landmark piece of legislation that significantly impacts retirement planning strategies for individuals and businesses alike. This comprehensive guide dives into the pension legislation, unpacking its key provisions and their potential implications for your future.

What’s in the SECURE 2.0 Act for You?

The Act boasts over 300 pages of provisions affecting tax-favored retirement benefits, modifying many aspects of the original SECURE Act passed in 2019. These provisions are rolled out over several years, with some taking effect as early as 2023 and others stretching to 2027. Let’s explore some of the most significant changes:

Changes Effective in 2023

  • Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs): The age for starting RMDs is gradually increasing, giving you more time to accumulate savings. It’s now 73 in 2023 and will reach 75 by 2033.
  • RMD Penalty Reduction: The penalty for missing an RMD has been reduced from 50% to 25%, with further reductions for timely corrections.
  • Excess Contribution/Distribution Penalty: A 3-year limit on penalty assessments for excess contributions or missed RMDs provides finality for taxpayers.
  • Nanny Retirement Contributions: Employers can now offer retirement benefits to domestic employees through Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plans.
  • Credit for Small Employer Pension Plan Start-up Costs: The Act enhances the credit for small businesses starting pension plans, offering higher credit amounts and extended duration.
  • Military Spouse Retirement Plan: Small employers receive tax credits for making military spouses immediately eligible for their retirement plans and vesting their contributions quickly.
  • Firefighter Retirement Distributions: The age exemption for penalty-free withdrawals is extended to private sector firefighters.
  • Domestic Abuse Victims: The Act allows penalty-free withdrawals for victims of domestic abuse, up to certain limits.
  • Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs): One-time, $50,000 distributions to charities through specific vehicles are now permitted.
  • Qualifying Longevity Annuity Contracts (QLACs): Limitations on QLACs are eased, making them more accessible and attractive for retirement income planning.

Changes Effective in 2024

  • Tax-Free Sec 529 Plan to Roth Rollovers: Funds leftover in 529 education plans can now be rolled over to Roth IRAs under certain conditions, offering tax-free access to the funds.
  • Additional Nonelective Contributions to SIMPLE Plans: Employers can make additional contributions to employee SIMPLE plans, up to specified limits.
  • Indexing IRA Catch-Up Contributions: Catch-up contribution limits for IRAs will be adjusted for inflation starting in 2024.
  • Employer Matching for Student Loan Payments: Employers can offer matching contributions for employee retirement plans based on student loan repayments.
  • Withdrawals for Certain Emergency Expenses: Limited penalty-free withdrawals are allowed for specific emergency expenses starting in 2024.
  • Emergency Savings Accounts: Employers can offer optional emergency savings accounts linked to retirement plans.

Changes Effective in 2025

  • Increased Catch-Up Contributions for Ages 60-63: Individuals in their early 60s will have access to higher catch-up contribution limits for retirement plans.
  • Automatic Enrollment in 401(k)/403(b) Plans: New plans will automatically enroll eligible employees, encouraging broader participation in retirement savings.

Changes Effective in 2027

  • Enhanced Saver’s Credit: The existing Saver’s Credit is revamped, offering a government matching contribution for retirement plan contributions by lower- and middle-income individuals.

The Future is Bright (and Secure)

The SECURE 2.0 Act isn’t just a law, it’s a paradigm shift. It opens doors to greater access, flexibility, and resilience in retirement planning. By understanding these changes, you and your business can proactively adapt your strategies to create a more secure future. Remember, staying informed and seeking professional guidance is crucial as further regulations unfold. Embrace these changes, and watch your financial future blossom!

JS Morlu LLC is a top-tier accounting firm based in Woodbridge, Virginia, with a team of highly experienced and qualified CPAs and business advisors. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive accounting, tax, and business advisory services to clients throughout the Washington, D.C. Metro Area and the surrounding regions. With over a decade of experience, we have cultivated a deep understanding of our clients’ needs and aspirations. We recognize that our clients seek more than just value-added accounting services; they seek a trusted partner who can guide them towards achieving their business goals and personal financial well-being.
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