Does your small business have a retirement plan? Even if it doesn’t, you may start to see beneficial changes as a result of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement 2.0 Act (SECURE 2.0), which was signed into law in December 2022.
Built upon the original SECURE Act of 2019, SECURE 2.0 will take effect over several years. Some of its provisions may affect small businesses.
1. Automatic retirement plan enrollment
The SECURE 2.0 law will require 401(k) plans beginning after December 31, 2024, to automatically enroll employees once they become eligible (though employees will have the choice to opt out).
The initial automatic enrollment amount would be between 3-10%, with the amount increasing by 1% each year until it reaches between 10-15%.
Note that all current 401(k) are grandfathered into the act, and certain small businesses may be exempt.
2. Coverage for part-time employees
The original SECURE Act requires that employers allow part-time employees to participate in their 401(k) plans, provided they meet one of the following requirements:
- One year of service and at least 1,000 hours worked, OR
- Three consecutive years of service with at least 500 hours worked
Beginning after December 31, 2024, SECURE 2.0 will reduce the three-year rule to two years. It will also extend the long-term, part-time coverage rules to ERISA 403(b) plans.
3. Matching contributions for employees with student loan debt
Under SECURE 2.0, employers will be allowed to make matching contributions to 401(k)s and certain other retirement plans for “qualified student loan payments.”
This means that, after December 31, 2023, your employees who cannot afford to save for retirement due to student loan debt repayments will still be able to receive matching employer contributions into their retirement plans.
4. “Starter” 401(k) plans
The SECURE 2.0 law will allow employers that don’t sponsor retirement plans to offer “starter” 401(k) plans—or safe harbor 403(b) plans—to employees. This would require all employees to be enrolled at a 3-15% of compensation deferral rate by default.
The annual deferral limit would be the same as the IRA contribution limit, with an additional $1,000 in catch-up contributions beginning at age 50. This provision will take effect starting December 31, 2023.
5. Pension plan tax credit
As of December 31, 2022, SECURE 2.0 increases the tax credit for eligible small employer pension plan start-up costs. This incentivizes businesses to establish and offer retirement plans.
6. Higher catch-up contributions
Participants in certain retirement plans can currently make additional catch-up contributions once they reach age 50 or older, with a limit of $7,500 for 401(k) plans in 2023. With SECURE 2.0, this catch-up contribution limit will increase to the greater of $10,000 or 150% of the regular amount for individuals between the ages of 60-63.
This provision will take effect for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2024, with increased amounts being indexed for inflation after December 31, 2025.
The catch-up amounts for SIMPLE plans will also increase.
7. Military spouse tax credit
Effective in 2023, SECURE 2.0 offers a new tax credit for eligible small employers for each military spouse participating in their defined contribution plan.
Questions about how the SECURE 2.0 law could affect your small business? Contact us
These are only some of the changes resulting from SECURE 2.0. If you have questions about how the new law could affect your small business, our CPAs can help. Contact us to get started.