PERSPECTIVE3-5 min to read

A look at the SECURE Act

Although the SECURE Act is in effect, most of the regulations have yet to be issued by the departments charged with administering it. This paper outlines the key law changes to date that investors, administrators and plan sponsors alike should carefully consider.


More plans. More retirement savings for more people. And lifetime retirement income to boot. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 (the "Act") was attached to an omnibus spending bill, passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Trump on December 20, 2019. The Act makes it easier for employers to start plans, gives more American workers access to retirement planning vehicles, encourages investors to save more and for longer periods of time, and promotes the use of lifetime income options for retirement savers. The effective date of the Act is December 31, 2019, and while not every provision was implemented on that date, financial professionals, plan sponsors and participants have had little time to adapt to what is being hailed as the most significant piece of retirement legislation in over a decade.

The Act contains 29 sections impacting all savings vehicles, including qualified plans sponsored by employers, such as 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans, as well as employer-sponsored IRAs. This article will highlight the sections that specifically impact qualified plans, and will be divided as follows:

  • Provisions that promote the implementation and expansion of retirement savings vehicles, particularly for small employers (those with less than 100 employees).
  • Provisions that expand who may utilize retirement plans.
  • Provisions that encourage individuals to save more for longer periods of time and encourage employers to save more on behalf of employees.
  • Provisions that promote the use of retirement income vehicles in qualified plans.

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