A Look Back at a “Normal” 2021 | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

A Look Back at a “Normal” 2021

By Ian Berger, JD
IRA Analyst
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As 2021 draws to a close, many of us will naturally look back and try to make some sense of the past year. On the whole, it would be hard to classify 2021 as an “uneventful” year. But in the world of IRAs and workplace plans, it actually was – especially compared to the previous two years.

Recall that December 2019 saw passage of the SECURE Act, which made monumental changes to the tax rules governing retirement accounts. For example, the first RMD (requirement minimum distribution) year was extended from age 70 ½ to 72, the stretch IRA was eliminated for most non-spouse beneficiaries, and the age 70 ½ limit on traditional IRA contributions was lifted. Just three months later, in March 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law, allowing special distributions for those affected by COVID-19 and suspending RMDs for 2020.  

By contrast, 2021 was relatively uneventful. No new federal legislation affecting retirement accounts was passed by Congress this year. Meanwhile, after a one-year hiatus, RMDs roared back to life for 2021. The new IRS life expectancy tables, used to calculate RMDs, were delayed into 2022 after originally intended to be effective in 2021. And, speaking of delays, it looks like we’ll have to wait until next year for the IRS regulations that will hopefully address the many unanswered questions in the SECURE Act.

With the new life expectancy tables, the SECURE Act regulations, and possibly new legislation, 2022 promises to be a busier year. But no matter what the new year brings, you can count on us to continue to keep you up to date with the latest developments in the world of IRAs and employer plans.

We would like to thank all of you for taking the time to read the Slott Report and for all of your great questions and comments. And, best wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season!


Posted in: 2021, year-end, RMD, secure act

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