Recently, two pieces of legislation were signed into law that may have an impact on your personal, business and/or retirement financial planning.  Please see the highlights of each act below.


The Secure Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019 and includes reforms that will be impactful and beneficial for Americans who are saving for retirement.  The legislation includes policy changes to defined contribution plans (such as 401(k)s), defined benefit pension plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and 529 college savings accounts. Most provisions in the law went into effect on January 1, 2020.

As it relates to your retirement planning situation, here are some key provisions of the Secure Act:

Required minimum distributions:  RMDs now begin at age 72 for individuals who turn 70½ in the calendar year 2020. If you turned age 70½ in 2019 and have already begun taking your RMDs, you should generally continue to take your RMDs.  If you are turning 70½ in 2020 and had planned on taking an RMD, you may want to work with your tax advisor to determine next steps for your withdrawal plans.

IRA contribution age:  Under the act, you can continue to contribute to your traditional IRA past age 70½ as long as you are still working.  That means the rules for traditional IRAs will align more closely with 401(k) plans and Roth IRAs. 

Beneficiary IRA distributions:  If you inherit an IRA or 401(k), previously you could stretch the distributions from the inherited qualified plan over your single life expectancy.  However, the Secure Act has changed this to require many beneficiaries to withdraw assets from an inherited IRA or 401(k) plan within 10 years following the death of the account holder.

Qualified distributions:  The law now permits a retirement account holder the option to withdraw a "qualified birth or adoption distribution" up to $5,000 from their defined contribution plan (401(k) or IRA).  The normal 10% early withdrawal penalty is not applicable to these types of withdrawals and you can choose to repay them as a rollover contribution into an applicable defined qualified plan.

We encourage you to work with your financial investment advisor or tax advisor to determine how the legislation and policy changes could impact your retirement planning objectives.


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020 and has key provisions which are intended to have a positive impact for Americans. The $2+ trillion emergency fiscal stimulus package is intended to mitigate some of the economic effects of dealing with COVID-19.

As it relates to your personal financial situation, here are some key impactful provisions of the CARES Act:

Direct payments: Americans who pay taxes will receive a one-time direct deposit of up to $1,200, and married couples will receive $2,400, plus an additional $500 per child. The payments will be available for incomes up to $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples.

Use of retirement funds: The bill waives the 10% early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 for coronavirus-related purposes, retroactive to January 1, 2020. Withdrawals are still taxed, but taxes are spread over three years, or the taxpayer has the three-year period to roll it back over.

401(k) Loans: The loan limit is increased from $50,000 to $100,000

RMDs suspended: Required Minimum Distributions from IRAs and 401(k) plans (at age 72) are suspended.  Investors who have already taken an RMD for 2020 have options that may include returning the amount or rolling it over, up to August 31, 2020, as long as the distribution was not made from a beneficiary IRA.

Charity. There is a new provision that provides an above-the-line deduction for charitable contributions, plus, the limits on charitable contributions are changed.

Expanded unemployment benefits: Unlimited funding to provide workers laid off due to COVID-19 an additional $600 a week, in addition to state benefits for up to four months. This includes relief for self-employed individuals, furloughed employees and gig economy workers who have lost work during the pandemic.

Small business relief: $350 billion is being dedicated to preventing layoffs and business closures while workers have to stay home during the outbreak. Companies with 500 employees or fewer that maintain their payroll during coronavirus can receive up to 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance. If employers maintain payroll, the portion of the loans used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven.

Coronavirus testing: All testing and potential vaccines for COVID-19 will be covered at no cost to patients.