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SECURE Act 2.0: Impacts for Employee Benefit Plan Sponsors and Participants


On December 23, 2022, Congress passed the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022. Among the appropriations for 2023 included in this omnibus bill is the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act 2.0 of 2022. (Read more about SECURE Act 2.0 impacts including Pension Linked Savings Accounts and updated requirements for ABLE Accounts.)

This significant legislation expands upon and amends the original SECURE Act of 2019, with the goal of extending coverage and increasing savings for more Americans, preserving income, and simplifying retirement plan rules. (Read more about how the original SECURE Act impacted individual tax payers and individual retirement savings.)


The SECURE Act 2.0 features various implementation dates spanning several years, highlighting the importance for both employers and the employees to remain informed about changes impacting Employee Benefit Plans.


Some of the key sections of SECURE 2.0 Act include:

  • Section 101 – With some exceptions, mandates 401(k) and 403(b) plans, established after December 29, 2022 automatically enroll participants when they become eligible to join the plan. Initially, participants are enrolled at a contribution rate of at least 3 percent but no more than 10 percent of their salary. This contribution rate increases annually by 1 percent until it reaches 10 percent, but not more than 15 percent. Effective for plan years beginning after December 31, 2024.
  • Section 107 – Further increases the age at which individuals are required to start taking minimum distributions from their retirement accounts. The age is raised from 72 to 73, with the change taking effect on January 1, 2023.
  • Section 110 – Allows an employer to provide matching contributions for an employee repaying their student loans under a 401(k) plan, 403(b) plan or SIMPLE IRA. Effective for plan years beginning after December 31, 2023.
  • Section 310 – Section 310 of the act permits employers to conduct the top-heavy test independently for non-excludable and excludable employees, with the provision becoming effective for plan years beginning after December 31, 2023.
  • Section 320 – Section 320 of the act removes the obligation for employers to provide specific intermittent notices under ERISA or the Internal Revenue Code to participants who have not yet enrolled in the plan. However, the plan is still required to send an annual reminder notice to these participants about their eligibility to participate in the plan. Additionally, the plan must provide any other necessary documents upon request from the unenrolled participant at any time.
  • Section 325 – Section 325 of the act removes the requirement for minimum distributions from Roth designated accounts in employer plans, effective for taxable years starting after December 31, 2023.
  • Section 604 – Section 604 permits defined contribution plans to offer participants the choice of receiving employer matching contributions and/or non-elective contributions on a Roth basis. This provision became effective for contributions made after December 29, 2022.


For a comprehensive understanding and to promote informed decision making, we encourage current and prospective plan sponsors and participants to review the SECURE Act 2.0 of 2022. For help determining the specific changes affecting your Employee Benefit Plan or upcoming audit, please reach out to your Employee Benefit Plan advisor.

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