Years in the making, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was included in one of the two “minibus” appropriations bills that fund the federal government for the rest of the 2020 fiscal year

ARLINGTON, VA, December 17, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — Pending prompt action by the U.S. Senate, the most comprehensive retirement security legislation in more than a decade is poised to become a reality.

Years in the making, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was included in one of the two “minibus” appropriations bills that fund the federal government for the rest of the 2020 fiscal year. Pending a vote by the full House and Senate, the bills should reach President Trump’s desk for his signature by the end of the work week.

“The elements of this critical legislation have enjoyed bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, and for good reason,” noted Brian Graff, CEO of the American Retirement Association. “American workers are concerned about retirement, and this legislation will help expand access to these critical programs.”

The SECURE Act addresses the real challenges that small business owners face–including costs, administrative burdens, and increased liability for mistakes- when they consider providing retirement benefits for their workers. To that end, the SECURE Act allows for unrelated employers to join a pooled employer plan, significantly increases the small employer pension plan startup tax credit up to $5,000 and gives business owners more flexibility to help guide their decision-making.

The legislation, which mirrors that passed by a remarkable 417-3 margin in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year, would also:

• simplify the 401(k) safe harbor rules,
• expand portability of lifetime income options,
• allow long-term part-time workers to participate in 401(k) plans;
• allow plans adopting by the filing due date to be treated as in effect as of close of year;
• provide a fiduciary safe harbor for selection of a lifetime income provider;
• modify the treatment of custodial accounts on termination of 403(b) plans;
• extend the current required minimum distribution requirements to age 72
• require disclosures regarding lifetime income
• modify the nondiscrimination rules to protect longer-service participants.

The legislation includes additional good news for plan sponsors and those who administer these programs; language providing for a remedial plan amendment period until the 2022 plan year – critical because many of the SECURE Act provisions become effective as of January 1, 2020, just 15 days away. The American Retirement Association strongly advocated for the inclusion of such a remedial amendment period to help smooth compliance with the new law.

“We very much appreciate the energy and thoughtful efforts of Congressional staff during the negotiations this past weekend,” noted Graff. “We encourage the full House and Senate and President Trump to act quickly and help expand retirement plan coverage and support the retirement preparations of hard-working Americans with these common-sense reforms.”

About the American Retirement Association

The American Retirement Association, based in the Washington, D.C. area, is a non-profit professional organization established to empower retirement plan professionals who are dedicated to building a better retirement for Americans. The American Retirement Association is comprised of five premier retirement industry associations; the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA), the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA), the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA), the National Tax-deferred Savings Association (NTSA), and the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA).

For more information, visit www.usaretirement.org.


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