SECURE 2.0 Retirement Savings Changes for 2024

Some of the SECURE 2.0 retirement savings provisions kicked in this year. Others come in subsequent years. Here's what you should know.

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The SECURE 2.0 Retirement Savings Act that passed in December 2022, has over 90 provisions to encourage more people to save for retirement in workplace plans and IRAs, to help grow retirement savings and to urge small employers to offer retirement plans. Some of the provisions kicked in this year. Others start in 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027. 

Let’s look at several key changes that will first take effect in 2024: 

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  • Funds in 529 education accounts can be rolled over tax-free to a Roth IRA. There is a $ 35,000-lifetime cap. Rollover amounts cannot exceed the annual contribution limit for Roth IRAs. And the 529 account must have been open for more than 15 years.
  • Participants in Roth 401(k)s no longer need to take required minimum distributions (RMDs). This conforms to the rule that already applies to Roth IRA account owners.
  • Employers can offer student debt relief through workplace retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, by making matching contributions tied to a participant's student loan repayments.
  • Emergency savings accounts are coming. Employee plan sponsors can create emergency savings accounts for participants, who could then make Roth pay-ins (on an after-tax basis) to that savings account within the plan. A participant's account balance can't exceed $2,500.
  • Domestic abuse victims under age 59½ can take up to $10,000 from their IRAs or 401(k)s without paying the 10% penalty tax.
  • Up to $1,000 can be withdrawn penalty-free from IRAs or 401(k)s for emergencies, even though the person hasn't yet reached 59½. 

Plus these: The employer contribution limits for SIMPLE IRAs will increase. Employers with no existing retirement plans can offer starter 401(k) accounts with default automatic enrollment (with a pay-in cap the same as that for IRAs). The $1,000 IRA catch-up contribution for people 50 and older will be adjusted for inflation.

This first appeared in The Kiplinger Tax Letter. It helps you navigate the complex world of tax by keeping you up-to-date on new and pending changes in tax laws, providing tips to lower your business and personal taxes, and forecasting what the White House and Congress might do with taxes. Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Tax Letter or subscribe.

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Joy Taylor
Editor, The Kiplinger Tax Letter

Joy is an experienced CPA and tax attorney with an L.L.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law. After many years working for big law and accounting firms, Joy saw the light and now puts her education, legal experience and in-depth knowledge of federal tax law to use writing for Kiplinger. She writes and edits The Kiplinger Tax Letter and contributes federal tax and retirement stories to and Kiplinger’s Retirement Report. Her articles have been picked up by the Washington Post and other media outlets. Joy has also appeared as a tax expert in newspapers, on television and on radio discussing federal tax developments.