January 29, 2020


By Curtis Farmer, Alliance Benefits

On December 20th, President Trump signed a key piece of legislation impacting retirement plans across America. The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” Act, or SECURE Act (Don’t you just love how politicians like to give catchy names to every piece of legislation?), was signed into law as part of the 2020 Spending Bill and makes some significant changes to retirement plan rules and regulations. While those changes are being “fleshed out” on how to best be implemented in many cases, I’ll attempt to give you the highlights below.

  • Required Minimum Distribution age – aka the age when the IRS mandates you take money out of your retirement plan if you are no longer working – has increased from 70 ½ to 72. This is welcome news for retirees hoping to stretch the tax shelter of their assets further into their life.
  • The designated beneficiary of an IRA account holder must distribute an Inherited IRA’s assets by the 10th anniversary of the account holder’s death. There are exceptions to this rule for minors, disabled individuals, the chronically ill, and the surviving spouse.
  • Individuals can now contribute to an IRA beyond age 70 ½. This rule is still subject to having earned income in order to qualify to contribute.
  • Birth or adoption can now be a “qualifying event” for the purposes of withdrawing money from a retirement plan. Parents can withdraw up to $5,000 ($10,000 if married) from their retirement accounts without penalty when done within one year of the birth or adoption.

While there are some other tax deduction and plan rule changes within the Act, these are probably the most impactful changes to our plan participants and blog readers. We will, of course, keep you updated as we work to make any plan amendments that might be necessary or update any forms that you use regularly with the Alliance 403(b) plan. If you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office.


Curtis joined the Alliance Benefits team in September of 2017. Serving in the role as Executive Director, he is responsible for the overall administration and direction of all aspects of Alliance Benefits, including the health and retirement plans for Alliance workers in the United States and internationally.

Posted in: 403(b) Plan Tools