Demystifying Secure Act 2.0

Employees and employers alike will benefit from the broadest piece of retirement plan legislation in decades.

When the SECURE Act—the acronym stands for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement—took effect in 2020, it was hailed as a landmark in creating a stronger retirement system and helping workers improve savings outcomes. But there was widespread recognition that the Act needed to go even further.

Signed into law in the final days of 2022, SECURE Act 2.0 includes more than 90 new provisions designed to help promote retirement savings by providing incentives to small employers and offering more flexibility for savers.

These changes and additions make for dense reading—made denser by a profusion of effective starting dates ranging from 2023 to 2033! While each provision is important, we’ve highlighted a few of the more notable changes.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

The RMD beginning age has been moved from 72 to 73 starting this year. Individuals who turned age 72 in 2022 or earlier will need to continue taking their RMD as scheduled, while those turning 72 in 2023 can delay their first RMD until April 1, 2025. It is important to note that the second RMD must be taken by December 31, 2025. In other words, delaying the first RMD until April 1 means that two distributions will be required in the same tax year. Additionally, the bill pushes the required starting age to 75 in 2033.


Another provision allows individuals over age 70½ to make a one-time qualified charitable distribution of up to $50,000 to a CRUT, CRAT or a charitable annuity gift that will count towards satisfying their annual RMD.

Catch-Up Contributions

Starting in 2025, employees age 60 through 63 will have the option to increase their catch-up contribution to an employer-sponsored plan by either $10,000 or 150% of the catch-up amount in effect for 2024, whichever is greater.


Also starting in 2025, all catch-up contributions made by individuals who earned more then $145,000 in the prior calendar year will need to be made to a Roth IRA in after-tax dollars.


For IRAs, the catch-up contribution (currently $1,000) will be indexed to inflation beginning this year.

Expansion of Roth Options

Employers may now allow matching contributions to be received on an after-tax basis. The employee will be taxed on the match but will benefit from increased access to tax-exempt savings. Additionally, employees are now allowed to make Roth contributions to both SIMPLE IRAs and SEPs.

College Savings

Congress has removed a common pain point for those wanting to save for college. Previously, any non-qualified distribution from a 529 plan would be assessed a 10% penalty. This has led many to worry about over-funding their account and being left with unused savings. Under the new law, a 529 account that has been in existence for at least 15 years can roll over remaining assets into a Roth IRA in the name of the beneficiary. Account holders can roll over a lifetime amount of $35,000 but cannot exceed more than the annual contribution limits each year.


SECURE Act 2.0 is a wide-reaching legislative initiative that will impact virtually anyone with a retirement account. Savings needs and strategies are specific to each individual. Reach out to your trusted advisor to discuss how SECURE 2.0 impacts you.

S. Tucker Childs

Tucker is the director of wealth planning and a portfolio manager. He is responsible for providing in-depth insights into wealth planning and investment management. He provides tailored advice to clients, helping them confidently navigate life’s planned and unplanned events.

Before joining the firm, Tucker was the trust operation director at Clayton Bank and Trust in Knoxville, TN serving wealthy families in east Tennessee. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® and a Certified Financial Planner™.


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