Passage of the SECURE Act ushers in the most significant changes to retirement planning in over a decade. Among other things, the Act establishes open multiple employer plans (MEPs), which let small employers band together to offer a common 401(k) plan to their employees. It also requires businesses to let long-term, part-time workers become eligible for retirement accounts, allows more annuities to be offered in 401(k) plans, and requires disclosures showing how a participant’s 401(k) account balance will translate into a future income stream. And even outside of the open MEP context, SECURE makes it possible for DC plans to file a consolidated Form 5500 under some circumstances.
The SECURE Act also repeals the maximum age for making contributions to traditional IRAs (70 ½ under current law) and raises the age at which seniors are required to take minimum distributions (RMDs) from retirement accounts to age 72 from 70 ½.
The Act curtails the “stretch IRA” technique that is used to spread the taxation of an inherited IRA by choosing a grandchild as a designated beneficiary. The bill would end this estate planning strategy by requiring many inheritors of 401(k) and IRA accounts to withdraw the entirety of those balances within 10 years of the account owner’s death.
Jennifer Eller is Principal and Co-Head of Groom Law Group’s Fiduciary and Retirement Services practice. She advises financial institutions on the design and delivery of products and services to the retirement plan marketplace, and advises large corporate and public plan sponsors on all aspects of ERISA fiduciary compliance. In her role as practice group Co-Head, Jenny is responsible for ensuring that the strategic direction and new initiatives of the practice position the Groom Law Group to serve the needs of its financial institution, corporate and public plan clients. Jenny holds a BA from Avila College, where she graduated magna cum laude, and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated cum laude. She has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits Law (2013-2020), The Legal 500 US, Tax Law, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation (2011, 2014, 2015, 2017) and Chambers USA (2016-2019).
Kathy D. Ireland is a consultant specializing in ERISA and asset management issues. Prior to establishing K.D. Ireland Consulting, Kathy served as Counsel, Federal Government Affairs at Ameriprise Financial. From 2011 to 2017, she represented SEC-registered investment advisers as Associate General Counsel of the Investment Adviser Association. Prior to joining the IAA, Kathy acted as an independent consultant focusing on ERISA and securities issues. She also served as Associate Counsel and Senior Associate Counsel at the Investment Company Institute, representing the mutual fund industry in regulatory matters before the Department of Labor, the IRS, and the SEC. She received her B.S. degree, magna cum laude, from Lebanon Valley College, her law degree from the College of William & Mary, and an LL.M. in Labor Law from the George Washington University National Law Center.
Neil A. Simon is Vice President for Government Relations for the Investment Adviser Association. He has a leading role in the formulation and communication of IAA’s views on legislative and regulatory issues important to the investment advisory profession and is responsible for advocacy before the U.S. Congress. Before joining the IAA, he was Director of Government Relations for the Financial Planning Association. From 1998 to 2003, he served as executive director of the National Franchise Council where he led an innovative public-private compliance partnership between national franchisors and U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Prior to that, he was counsel in the law firm of Hogan & Hartson LLP (now known as Hogan Lovells). Mr. Simon received his B.A. magna cum laude in government and international relations from Clark University. He received his J.D. from Georgetown University, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
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