SECURE Act Changes How Non-Spouse Beneficiaries Handle Inherited Retirement Accounts – Contact Tim for Planning Ideas

Summary: The SECURE Act recently passed by Congress and signed by President Trump affects retirement plans such as IRA and 401k. Contact Tim to review your current beneficiaries and plan accordingly for the new regulations.

Congress recently passed, and President Trump signed, the SECURE Act. Among other things, it pushes back from age 70 1/2 to age 72 the age when someone is required to start taking their minimum distribution from their IRA, 401k, or IRA. It also allows individuals to contribute to an IRA past age 70 1/2 and makes it easier to generate annuity income from their retirement plan.

Non-Spouse Beneficiaries

The most notable change, though, is how it treats non-spouse beneficiaries. Previously, non-spouse beneficiaries could “stretch” their required withdrawals over their lifetime. For example, a 40-year-old successful doctor who received a substantial sum from their mother’s IRA could take their required amount over their lifetime.

Thus, they could spread out their tax liability and invest those proceeds aggressively, as the Beneficiary IRA had a 30- or 40-year time horizon.

Soon, under the new law, a non-spouse beneficiary who is ten years younger than the previous IRA owner must withdraw the account by year 10. However, they don’t need to take distributions every year.

Planning Ideas

Some beneficiaries might need to adjust their thinking, maybe taking less risk with their inherited IRA to reflect the shorter time when they need to deplete the account.

Others might want to maximize their retirement plan at work to offset the higher taxable withdrawals during those ten years. These higher potential taxes, for many, come on top of the loss of SALT tax deductions from the 2017 Tax Reform Act. So, maybe you could pay down your mortgage with the proceeds if you no longer itemize.

What About Current Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries taking RMDs based on the previous rules can continue using the old law. But the non-spouse recipient of someone who passes away post-January of 2020 will be under the new regulations — making this a good time for 401k, 403b, or IRA retirement plan owners to review their current beneficiaries as well as any trusts with your attorney.

These are the opinions of Financial Advisor Tim Hayes and not necessarily those of Cambridge Investment Research. They are for informational purposes only and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice. Content provided via links to third party sites should not be considered an endorsement of content, which we cannot verify completeness or accuracy of.

Please share

Financial Advisor Tim Hayes

I’ve held an industry securities registration for 30+ years and am subject to SEC and FINRA oversight.

Most clients pay fee-only or an hourly rate. The size and complexity of the client’s wealth management and financial and retirement planning determine that fee.

Some clients pay a commission, mainly those with smaller accounts, i.e., Roth IRAs, some public-school teachers with 403b retirement accounts, or parents or grandparents who set up a 529 college savings plan.

The first introductory and fact-finding appointment can be in-person or by phone. The next meeting where I provide my recommendations should be in-person. (For the time being, telephone, Zoom, and email are replacing some in-person meetings.)

Subsequent meetings during which we monitor your progress and investments can be done in-person or by phone, email, Zoom, or Skype – or, more likely, a combination of these meeting types.

Contact Tim

Tim has offices in Boston and South Dartmouth, Massachusetts. He’s licensed to handle securities in 8 states: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, and Florida.

Scroll to Top