Selected Provisions of Secure Act of 2019

Jeanne Sullivan |

Selected Provisions of Secure Act of 2019


Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) to begin at 72

The age at which RMDs being has been increased from age 70 ½ to age 72.  


This will apply to those who will turn 70 ½ in 2020 or later.  If you are already taking RMDs you must continue to do so.


The act does not change the age (70 ½) at which you can make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your IRA directly to a charity and avoid recognition of income.


 “Stretch” provisions eliminated for Inherited IRA: Non-Spouses


Non-spousal heirs will be required to take RMDs from traditional or Roth IRAs within a ten (10) year period.   Previously heirs could ‘stretch” the RMDs over their lifetimes.  This is effective for account owners dying after 12/31/2019.


Exceptions to the 10-year distribution include:

  • Heir(s) who is not more than ten (10) years younger than the decedent account owner
  • Heirs who are disabled or chronically ill
  • Certain minors up to age 18 or 21, depending up state or up to age 26 if child is in school
  • Governmental plans and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) are effective 1/1/2022
  • Plan maintained pursuant to collective bargaining agreements are effective 1/1/2022
  • Annuities already irrevocably annuitized are exempt entirely


Contributions to traditional IRA after 70 ½ Permitted

The restriction on making contributions after age 70 ½ has been lifted; Individuals of any age will be allowed to contribute as long as you have earned income. Spousal IRA contributions remain intact.


“Baby Provision”: IRA 10% Early penalty free distributions

“Baby Provision” allows penalty free distribution up to $5,000 for qualified birth or adoption expenses per child.  The distribution remains taxable. 


Retirement Plan Participation – Part time employees

Employers must allow part-time employee with at least 500 hours in at least 3 consecutive years to contribute to retirement plans.  This becomes effective in 2021.


529 Plan

Repayment of student loans up to $10,000 lifetime per-person limit are permitted distributions from a 529 college savings plan.


Can be used for apprenticeships


Small Business Tax Credits

Tax credits for small employer (100 or less) has been increased for those establishing a retirement plan.  Tax credit for small businesses adopting an “auto-enroll” provision.

Tax Deductions

Medical expense deduction threshold is back to 7.5% of AGI for 2019 and 2020.

above are selected provisions of Secure Act of 2019 that Congress passed at the end of 2019.