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Could A Second Secure Act Tweak Retirement Rules?

June 23, 2021

When the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act became law in 2019, it altered retirement plan contribution and distribution rules. There may be an encore. The Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021, nicknamed SECURE Act 2.0, has bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, and public policy analysts widely believe it will become law either this year or next.

This new bill proposes to raise the starting age for required minimum distributions from retirement plans from 72 to 75. (The age threshold would rise gradually over a ten-year period.) The penalty for a missed RMD would be halved, from 50% to 25%. The new law would allow employers to auto-enroll workers in retirement savings plans, and let them offer small financial perks to employees to stimulate plan contributions. Employers could even adjust matching contributions in view of a plan participant's student loan burdens; if student loan payments are stopping a worker from fully funding their retirement account, the company match would be permitted to increase in response. Retirement savers aged 62 and older would have a chance to make larger catch-up contributions to retirement plans. Investment choices would broaden for certain types of retirement savings accounts. Companies with 50 or fewer workers could offset more of the start-up expenses for retirement credits using new tax credits. The bill would also authorize a nationwide lost-and-found website for old retirement plans, making it easier for people to find and make decisions with past retirement balances.1