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On December 20, 2019 President Trump signed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act), which went into effect on January 1, 2020. This Act is intended to strengthen retirement security throughout the country. If you have a qualified retirement plan at work or an IRA, this law will most likely effect you and your beneficiaries.

Previously, the law required that an account owner begin drawing required minimum distributions or "RMDs" at age 70 ½. Under the SECURE Act, though, RMDs don't start until age 72. 

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Before the SECURE Act, a non-spouse beneficiary could "stretch" out distributions over his or her lifetime. Although spouse beneficiaries continue to enjoy the tax benefits of an inherited IRA, the benefits for non-spouse beneficiaries have been greatly reduced. The new Act requires that the funds be completely withdrawn within 10 years of the account owner's death with few exceptions. If the beneficiary is a minor child, disabled, or chronically ill, then the beneficiary is not subject to the 10-year rule.


The SECURE Act also expanded the ability of small businesses and part-time employees to participate in 401(k) plans. Previously, employees were required to work 1,000 hours every year to be eligible for a 401(k) plan. Now, part-time employees may satisfy the eligibility threshold by either working 1,000 hours per year or by working at least 500 hours over 3 consecutive years. The SECURE Act also provides small businesses the opportunity to offer 401(k) plans through partnerships with other similar small businesses, known as multi-employer plans.


If you have any questions regarding what kind of an effect the SECURE Act may have on your estate plan or any other estate planning questions, contact Brandon Grysko at (248) 912-3240 or online at

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