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Americans share at least one dilemma when it comes to retirement planning. From the worker to the employer to the policymaker, everyone is living longer. On May 23, 2019, the House passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. This legislation, receiving almost unanimous bipartisan support, offers the most significant shift to retirement plans and opportunities since the Pension Protection Act of 2006. In the bill, there are over 25 changes and provisions that expressly aim to encourage retirement savings among all workers. This bill, along with the Senate’s Retirement Enhancement Securities Act (RESA), addresses the apparent need for a worker’s wealth to run (and finish) the race with them. These documents may face modification before being signed into law, but one thing is clear: change is coming. Below we have prepared a synopsis of the changes that present the most opportunity. 

Pooled Employer Plans

Many businesses are without affiliation and are too small to offer a savings retirement plan on their own. The new bill will reduce fiduciary responsibility and lower the overall costs associated with providing 401(k) plans by expanding the option to run multi-employer plans through a plan administrator. Sec. 106 goes a step further to incentivize smaller businesses to offer a retirement savings plan. The Act introduces a $500 tax credit for automatic enrollment into their retirement plan.

Annuities

The SECURE Act eases the liability concern over offering annuities. Most businesses have shied away from annuity providers because of their inherent risk. Section 204 updates safe harbor provisions, thus opening the door for employees to take advantage of converting their 401(k) balances to a pension-like payout plan. Another provision of the bill will allow workers to transfer a defunct annuity contract to an IRA while maintaining contributions. The only criticism on this update is the broad guidelines surrounding annuity providers. Some fear that ambiguity will lead to insurance companies offering shoddy plans.

Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Age

The current law requires that most individuals begin withdrawing a minimum distribution from their retirement savings at the age of 70.5. Six-months-past-70 has invited an unnecessary amount of confusion since its inception in the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The SECURE Act seeks to simplify matters by raising the RMD age to 72. If the RESA Act passes in the Senate, the age requirement will be raised even higher to 75.

IRA Contributions

One of the most confounding retirement rules is the age limitation on IRA contributions, currently set at 70.5. The SECURE Act repeals the age limitation for traditional IRA contributions.

Benefit to Parents

Section 113 removes the 10 percent penalty tax from qualified early retirement plan withdrawals. Parents will be able to take an aggregate amount of $5,000 within one year of the adoption or birth of a child, penalty free. Section 302 expands section 529 plans by allowing withdrawals of as much as $10,000 for repayments of some student loans.

Stretch Provisions

Currently, beneficiaries of inherited retirement plans like 401(k), traditional IRAs, and Roth IRAs can spread the distributions until their dying breath. The new revenue provisions (Section 401) changes the rules, requiring most beneficiaries to distribute the account over a 10-year period and pay any taxes due. The tax-generating change will accelerate the depletion of many inherited accounts but will not affect surviving spouses and minor children.  

Disclosures

Another administrative improvement provided in the Act requires employers to provide a lifetime income disclosure once every 12 months. The disclosures are meant to show the amount of monthly payments the participant or beneficiary would receive based on the total accrued benefit. 

Kiddie Tax

Under the current law, the unearned income of children would be taxed at their parent’s marginal tax rate. Section 501 repeals the “kiddie tax” measures that were added by the 2017 Tax Act. The new provision states that unearned income of children would not be taxed at trust rates. Taxpayers can retroactively elect to not pay the taxes. The bill benefits many Americans, including families of deceased active-duty service members, survivors of first responders, children who receive certain tribal payments, and college students receiving scholarships.

Other changes proposed in bill include increased penalties for failures to file and the portability of lifetime income options. The SECURE Act is as likely to pass as it is to undergo slight modifications. We will keep an eye on the state of the bill and keep you abreast of its status. In the meantime, our professionals are standing by to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Personalized & Goal-Based Solutions to help you build life-long wealth

We all know the future will come, however we still put off financial planning for “a better time”. The truth is, a better time may never come or may come too late. There is no need to put off planning – the time is now.

The key to building lifelong wealth is strategic planning and collaboration from the various financial professionals in your life. Our Wealth Management, Asset Management, Legal, Tax, and Insurance Planning Services allow us to provide clients with thoughtful and highly individualized solutions.

We have assembled a team of experts to assist our clients in reaching their financial and life goals. By applying our service team approach to client needs, we identify a course of action needed for financial, tax and life management success.

Our Approach
We are dedicated to helping our clients maintain financial viability in the present while taking a proactive approach to achieve future goals. We accomplish this by systematically addressing 5 key areas.

Wealth Management

Every day we face challenges managing our finances. Stock market swings, fluctuating interest rates, taxes, debt and inflation – the effects can be unsettling. Many put off financial planning for “a better time”. Unfortunately, a better time may never come or may come too late.

We can help you achieve your financial goals and will give you the guidance to:

Asset Management

In an ever-changing landscape, the global economy is swiftly becoming smarter and more nimble in many ways. We believe the management of your investment portfolio should be smarter and more nimble as well. Through our portfolio hedging techniques and focused “Building Block” strategies we seek to:

Tax Planning

Effective tax planning and preparation require proactive involvement of a quality CPA. We can review your financial situation and develop thoughtful strategies to minimize your tax liability. Our comprehensive tax planning and preparation services include:

Insurance Planning

You will likely have different life insurance needs at different stages of your life. And with people working and living longer, customized solutions are more critical than ever. In fact, almost all insurance companies have now updated their life expectancy tables to reflect the fact that we are now living longer. If your policy is more than 2 years old, you should have your policy reviewed by a knowledgeable insurance professional. There is a very good chance, assuming the applicant is still in good health, they may be able to dramatically increase the amount of coverage at no additional cost or lower their cost of their current coverage.

We can create a customized plan that meets all your goals and objectives. Our Insurance Services include life insurance, long-term care and premium financing.

Legal Services

Protecting your assets is another component of planning for the future. Building generational wealth requires proactive planning to mitigate and avoid adverse legal actions. We work closely with attorneys to help you build and safeguard your assets. Our legal services include

When you work with us you benefit from our unique perspective as a multi-disciplinary practice of law, wealth management, insurance, and asset management services and a full-service CPA Firm, we can identify opportunities that others may miss. You also get advisors who provide a hands-on approach to serving you. You’ll hear from us through-out the year, not just once a year at a review.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you live the life you want to live while building life-long wealth.

Disclaimer:

We believe our clients are best served by integrating the primary financial professional in their lives. Together, through our relationship with Heritage Family Offices, LLP and their family of companies, we can provide our clients with attorneys, financial advisors, insurance brokers, and business consultants. Please note, however, that not all professionals hold all professional licenses. Please carefully take note of our respective professional licenses, or ask for clarification, when engaging any professional in our firm. Our goal is to provide continuous full transparency to our clients and prospective clients. Hamilton Investment Advisors is a Registered Investment Advisory Firm.  Investment advisory services are offered by Heritage Wealth Management, LLC – 2355 E. Camelback Road, Suite 425, Phoenix, Arizona 85016. Heritage Wealth Management is a Registered Investment Advisory firm. For further information please reference Heritage’s firm brochure and ADV: https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/IAPD/IAPDFirmSummary.aspx?ORG_PK=287909. Insurance services are offered through Heritage Insurance Advisors, LLC. Legal services are provided by HFO Law Group, LLP