A dizzying array of legislation affecting defined contribution (DC) and defined benefit (DB) plans became law on Dec. 29, 2022, as part of a fiscal 2023 government spending package. Capping several years of congressional effort, the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (Div. T of Pub. L. No. 117-328) is intended to build on changes made by the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 (Div. O of Pub. L. No. 116-94).
Navigating SECURE 2.0 is a formidable challenge. The statute consists of 120 pages of text and 90 individual sections with no table of contents. To help employers and plan sponsors understand the legislation’s implications, this guide provides a high-level summary of SECURE 2.0 provisions grouped topically, including separate treatment of provisions specific to DC and DB plans.
The six tables in this guide describe statutory changes and their effective dates, identify whether the changes are mandatory or optional for employers, and provide initial observations, including implementation challenges for which agency guidance would be helpful. (This guide doesn’t address SECURE 2.0’s employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) provisions and a handful of other nonbenefit-related provisions.) When referring to the original SECURE Act, this guide uses the term “SECURE 1.0" to avoid any confusion between the laws.
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