Seyfarth Synopsis: The SECURE Act, passed just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic at the end of 2019 (“SECURE 1.0”), significantly altered the retirement plan landscape. For a reminder on how the SECURE Act changed the retirement landscape click here and here. At the time it was enacted, SECURE 1.0 probably made the most comprehensive changes to the laws governing employer-sponsored retirement plans since the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Congress, however did not stop with the enactment of SECURE 1.0. In 2021, another bill, Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021, was considered but never passed. The bill was revised and reconsidered in 2022, renamed the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022, and passed the House on March 29, 2022. Two separate bills were introduced in the Senate: the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee's Retirement Improvement and Savings Enhancement to Supplement Healthy Investments for the Nest Egg Act, or “RISE & SHINE Act”, and the Senate Finance Committee's Enhancing American Retirement Now Act, or “EARN Act”. Components of these three bills were consolidated and formed the SECURE 2.0 legislative package folded into the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, which became law on December 29, 2022.

SECURE 2.0 makes over 90 changes to the laws governing employer-sponsored retirement plans, requiring another close review of current plan provisions and administration. While most plans will have until the end of 2025 to adopt amendments for SECURE 2.0, many of the provisions have earlier effective dates. Thus, plans may need to be in compliance with certain changes quickly.

For a summary of the SECURE 2.0 provisions impacting retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, 457(b) plans, defined benefit plans and IRAs, please refer to our SECURE Act 2.0 Chart, available here. To stay up to date on these provisions, be on the lookout for future Beneficially Yours blog posts and Seyfarth Legal Updates describing particular sections of SECURE 2.0 and the impact on retirement plan administration.