Weekend Reading: 10 Ways Secure 2.0, Part of Spending Bill, Changes Retirement Planning

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

Retirement provisions in the recently passed SECURE 2.0 Act offer new planning opportunities for today’s retirees, even more so than the original 2019 SECURE Act.


Of the 350 pages in provisions, here are some of the high points you should be aware of:

📌 Expansion of automatic enrollment in retirement plans: Eligible employees will be automatically enrolled in respective 401(k) and 403(b) plans, beginning at three percent and maxing out at 10 percent.

📌 Increases in RMD age: As of January 1, the required minimum distribution (RMD) age increased to 73. In 2033, it will increase again to age 75.

📌 An indexed IRA catch-up contribution limit to inflation: Currently, for those aged 50 and older, the limit on IRA contributions is increased by $1,000 (not indexed). Secure 2.0 “indexes that limit and is effective for taxable years beginning December 31, 2023.”

📌 Distribution exception for emergency expenses: In the case of “unforeseeable or immediate financial needs”, there is a distribution exception which allows an up to $1,000 withdrawal per year, and an option to repay the distribution within three years (with no further withdrawals allowed unless payback is in full).

📌 529 plan rollovers to Roth IRAs: Under certain conditions, this permits 529 account beneficiaries to roll over up to $35,000 throughout their lifetime to their Roth IRA, tax and penalty-free.

📌 Creation of a retirement savings “lost and found”: A national online database will be developed to provide individuals currently or previously employed by the Labor Department the ability to search and find lost pensions or 401(k) plans.

Keep in mind: While there are planning opportunities you should be aware of in SECURE 2.0, these new provisions will have minimal impact if you are near retirement.