Denise Appleby was our special guest this past week. She’s our consultant for IRA and 401(k) planning, and she is an invaluable asset for our clients. However, this week she’s sharing her insights into the Secure Act 2.0, which could affect your retirement in a few significant ways.
Quick Background on the Secure Act 2.0
The Secure Act 2.0 was passed the last week in December 2022, and everyone is scrambling to:
- Learn the rules
- Changes that we need to know about
- Who we need to contact
With thousands of pages to go through, the Act has a lot of significant rules that everyone needs to understand. Denise is here to help us understand some of the changes in 2.0.
Note: Even though the Act was signed very late in the year, the changes went into effect on January 1, 2023.
Secure Act 2.0 Updates You Need to Know
Secure Act 1.0 changed the required minimum distribution (RMD) age from 70 ½ to 72. Secure Act 2.0 changes these dates further, but now there’s a calendar to deal with. If you have already reached 72 before 2023, you should be taking your RMD. However, if you turn 72 after 2022, the RMD starts at 73.
The problem is that a lot of custodians sent out letters stating that people turning 72 could wait to take their RMD until 73. Custodians simply weren’t given enough time to make changes on their end to stop these mails from going out.
What Happens If You Took Your RMD Even Though You Needed to Take It at 73 Instead?
The good news is that the distribution isn’t an “RMD” in this case. Instead, you can roll it over to next year. If you reach 72 in 2023, you have the option to roll the money that you take out.
Typically, when you take an RMD, you have to include it in your income for the year unless an exception applies.
In this case, the exception is that you can take the RMD and roll it back into your IRA or 401(k). You normally need to do the rollover within 60 days of receiving the funds. A rollover isn’t taxed, so you don’t need to claim this money. The IRS does permit a self-certification procedure that will allow for a rollover even if 60 days have passed.
There’s one issue: you can only perform one rollover per 12 months. If you rollover a traditional to a Roth account in the past 12 months, then you cannot rollover the RMD.
Missing the Deadline and an Excise Tax
Secure Act 1.0 had an excise tax of 50%. If you missed your RMD of $10,000, you would pay a 50% tax or a $5,000 penalty. Thankfully, Secure Act 2.0 has changed this excise tax to 25%. Additionally, there’s a correction period in place under the new Secure Act modification.
If you take your RMD during this correction period, you only pay an excise tax of 10%.
There’s also a chance that you can have the excise tax waived completely, and this is obviously something to pursue because you should never be paying more taxes than absolutely necessary.
We never want you to pay an excise tax. If you’re unsure whether you need to take an RMD or not, be sure to call your advisor.
Annuity and IRA Aggregation
Secure Act 1.0 states that if you have an annuity that has been annuitized and a regular IRA, you cannot aggregate these accounts.
What does aggregation mean?
You calculate the RMD for IRA A and IRA B, and you can take the RMD that you want from these. However, in Secure Act 2.0, you can now aggregate these amounts, meaning you can aggregate your annuity and IRA now.
For many people, it’s a break if you have more than enough from an annuity and don’t need to take the RMD. Now, the person doesn’t need to take the RMD.
Designated Roth Account RMD Changes
Many people question why they need to take an RMD on their Roth accounts. Now, the beneficiary of the account needs to take an RMD but now the owner. Designated Roth accounts no longer need to take an RMD, starting in 2024.
Terminally Ill Provision
If you’re terminally ill and a doctor certifies that you have an illness that can result in death in 84 months, the 10% penalty for withdrawing funds early is eliminated under a special tax treatment.
Domestic Abuse Provision
In 2024, penalty-free distributions to anyone who experiences domestic abuse are now possible. Unfortunately, this rule only comes into effect in 2024, but it can help anyone in a domestic abuse situation find relief.
529 Provision to Rollover into a Roth IRA
One exciting change is with a 529 plan used for college savings. However, when you’re putting money into these accounts, it’s impossible to know whether the person will receive a scholarship. Under the Secure Act 1.0, any additional money left over that is not used for education expenses is subject to income tax and a 10% early distribution penalty.
A change in the Secure Act 2.0 allows you to rollover $35,000 (lifetime) into a Roth IRA account from a 529.
There are a few stipulations:
- Annual amounts moved cannot be more than what you put into your regular IRA contribution
- Contributions to traditional or Roth IRA must be added up to know how much you can rollover from the 529
- Funds must be a direct transfer from the 529 account to the Roth account
- Funds transferred from the 529 account must have been in the account for the past five years in hopes of stopping people from gaming the system
If you have the 529 company deposit the money into your account and then you transfer it to the Roth account, this will not count. You need the transfer to go from one institution to another without it ever touching your account.
Transferring the money from a 529 to a Roth account must be transferred back into the beneficiary’s account. You cannot transfer the funds from this account back into your own unless you’re going back to school and have the funds transferred to a 529 for you.
Biggest Mistakes in IRA Planning
We couldn’t help but ask Denise about the biggest mistakes she sees in IRA planning. She tells us that the biggest mistake she sees, which doesn’t happen often, is moving assets. Many people rollover their accounts multiple times in a single year, breaking the once-a-year rule for rollovers.
Once these multiple rollovers happen, it’s often too late to correct this year.
You’re allowed one 60-day rollover per year. However, this only happens if you have the check made out to you, the funds hit your bank account and then you put it into a new account via a rollover.
However, if the rollover goes from one institution to the next, such as Schwab to Fidelity, these types of transfers can happen as many times as you want.
Often, there are solutions that the IRS allows if something happens and you cannot meet deadlines. It’s important to speak to your advisor to understand your options and how you may be able to prevent penalties, taxes or other issues along the way.
P.S. If you want to learn more about changes to the Secure Act 2.0, head over to RetirementDictionary.com, where Denise shares her insights with readers.