Let’s examine the eight sections listed in the breakdown of the Secure 2.0 Act by the Senate Finance Committee.
The federal government is putting into effect a number of new retirement regulations that will increase access to retirement programmes and lower withdrawal fees.
More than 90 clauses make up the Secure 2.0 Act of 2022, which was part of the $1.7 trillion omnibus budget measure that President Joe Biden approved at the end of December.
Here are eight of the provisions listed in the Secure 2.0 Act’s breakdown by the Senate Finance Committee:
Increased automatic enrolment in retirement plans
This clause mandates that upon becoming eligible, members in 401(k) and 403(b) plans must be enrolled automatically. The plan has an opt-out option for employees.
Initial automatic enrollment payments must be at least 3% and cannot exceed 10%. The amount is raised every year after that until it reaches at least 10% but no higher than 15%.
There is a grandfather clause for all existing 401(k) and 403(b) programmes. The clause will go into effect for plan years starting after December 31, 2024.
Contributing to the repayment of student loans
Employees are eligible to receive matching contributions from their employers under a 401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, or SIMPLE IRA with respect to “qualifying student loan payments” to help offset the difficulty they have saving for retirement due to student loan debt.
Contributions made for plan years starting after December 31, 2023 will be subject to the provision.
Match for the Saver
According to current legislation, low-income individuals who qualify and contribute to retirement plans (such as ABLE accounts, workplace retirement plans, and individual retirement accounts) are eligible to receive a nonrefundable tax credit that is given to them in the form of a tax refund. The government matching contribution will be deposited in the taxpayer’s retirement plan in place of the credit under the new law, which will take effect for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2026.
Up to $2,000 per person, 50% of retirement account or plan contributions are matched. In the case of taxpayers filing a combined return, the match phases down between $41,000 and $71,000 ($20,500 to $35,500 for single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately; $30,750 to $53,250 for taxpayers who are head of household).
Age requirement to start obligatory distributions is being raised.
Participants must currently start drawing payments from their retirement plans when they are 72 years old on average. As on January 1, 2023, the new minimum distribution age is 73 and will rise to 75 on January 1, 2033.
Ages 60–63: Higher catch-up limit.
Current law allows employees who have reached the age of 50 to contribute more to retirement plans through catch-up payments than would otherwise be allowed. The cap was $6,500 for 2021, with the exception of the $3,000 cap for SIMPLE plans.
For people aged 60 to 63, the ceiling will rise to the greater of $10,000 or 50% more than the standard catch-up amount in 2025 under this provision, which will be in effect for tax years beginning after December 31, 2024.
Withdrawals to cover specific emergency costs
Generally, an additional 10% tax must be paid on early distributions from tax-preferred retirement accounts like 401(k) plans and IRAs. Employees are permitted to withdraw money from their accounts for “unforeseeable or immediate financial necessities connected to personal or family emergency expenses” under the new clause.
The maximum distribution an account holder may get each year is $1,000, with the option to repay it within three years. They must wait until the end of the payback period to make another withdrawal if they do not repay within three years.
improving part-time employees’ retirement benefits
According to current legislation, companies must permit long-term, part-time employees—those who have completed one year of service with 1,000 hours or three years of service with at least 500 hours per year—to join in the 401(k) plans of the employers.
With effect from Jan. 1, 2025, the Secure 2.0 Act lowers the three-year minimum to two years.
Pension funds lost and found
Due to name and/or address changes, retirees and companies occasionally cannot locate one another to receive or send benefits. In order to make it easier for people who may have misplaced their pension or other employer retirement plan to find it, the Department of Labor will establish a national online searchable “lost and found” database for Americans’ retirement plans. This database will allow users to look up the contact details of their plan administrator. No later than two years after the legislation is passed, the database must be made.
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