On May 23, the House of Representatives passed the Setting Every Community Up For Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, a bill endorsed by both Republicans and Democrats designed to improve the retirement system of our nation. Approximately one out of five working Americans has no savings for retirement. According to a survey conducted by Bankrate.com, not saving enough for retirement is Americans’ top financial regret.
The proposed bill would bring significant changes to retirement plans. The bill includes 29 provisions, many of which provide new or enhanced opportunities to save. Below are some of the provisions that are included in the proposed bill:
- Repeal maximum age for traditional IRA contributions (currently 70 ½)
- Allow long-term part-time workers to participate in 401(k) plans
- Provides penalty-free withdrawals from retirement accounts for any “qualified birth or adoption distributions”
- Increase the age for required minimum distributions to 72 (currently 70 ½)
- Expand 529 education savings accounts to cover additional related expenses, such as payment of qualified student loan repayments and homeschooling
- Downside: eliminate the “stretch” IRA for non-spouse beneficiaries
One of the issues the bill will be addressing is that many workers do not have access to 401(k) plans, primarily because smaller companies are reluctant to offer this benefit. The SECURE Act attempts to make it easier for small businesses to pull their resources together and offer 401(k) plans, potentially with lower costs and better investment options.
The next steps are for the bill to pass the Senate and then be signed by the president into law. There is a possibility that some of the provisions will be either modified or excluded. However, both chambers of Congress appear to have similar objectives and there is a high probability the SECURE Act will become a law.
We closely monitor any new developments associated with the bill. Once it passes in its final form, CBM plans to prepare a presentation to update the community and our clients on how the SECURE Act would affect their financial readiness.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Executive Vice President Judy Barnhard.
Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell (CBM) is a professional services firm delivering tax, accounting and business advisory expertise throughout the Mid-Atlantic region from offices in Bethesda, MD and Washington, DC.