Chantel Sheaks Chantel Sheaks
Vice President, Retirement Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


May 23, 2019


On May 23, the House voted 417 to 3 in favor of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act), the basis of which was the Retirement Enhancement Savings Act (RESA). In its letter, the Chamber supported passage of the SECURE Act, and applauds the bipartisan efforts behind this.

Earlier this year, the Senate passed its 2019 version of RESA, and it is expected that the Senate will take this up very soon, with the hope of few changes to the House version. The US Chamber looks forward to working with the Senate in getting this legislation to the finish line.

In preparation for the Senate vote, plans and plans sponsors should become familiar with the SECURE Act. Below are some of the SECURE Act provisions that impact plans and sponsors, such as:

  • Allowing for open multiple employer plans;
  • Increasing the 10 percent cap to 15 percent for the auto-enrollment safe harbor;
  • Simplifying the 401(k) safe harbor notices;
  • Prohibiting (effectively) loans made through credit cards or similar payment methods by treating such payments as distributions subject to taxation;
  • Allowing for trust-to-trust distributions of lifetime income products;
  • Increasing the required minimum distribution age to 72;
  • Allowing long-term, part-time workers with 500 hours of service to make elective deferrals;
  • Allowing for penalty-free distributions from a defined contribution plan for a birth or adoption;
  • Mandating the disclosure of account balances as lifetime income streams;
  • Providing a fiduciary safe harbor for the selection of a lifetime income provider;
  • Providing small employer start-up and auto-enrollment credits;
  • Easing the nondiscrimination rules for closed plans to protect the benefits of older workers with longer service; and
  • Modifying the required distribution rules to a designated beneficiary.

For more details on all of the SECURE Act provisions and the types of plans to which each applies, refer to the US Chamber’s summary of the provisions and applicability. Becausemany of these provisions would require changes to plans and systems, we urge plans and plan sponsor to start reviewing these provision now.

About the authors

Chantel Sheaks

Chantel Sheaks

Chantel Sheaks develops, promotes, and publicizes the Chamber’s policy on retirement plans, nonqualified deferred compensation, and Social Security.

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