Press Releases

American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Submits Two-Part Regulatory Comments to IRS and Treasury Addressing SECURE Act Issues


Contact: Pamela Goldsmith – Pam.goldsmith@actec.org202.702.2655

Washington, DC, August 7, 2020 — The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) today announced the submission of two-part regulatory comments to Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) addressing issues raised by changes to required minimum distributions (RMDs) after the death of an employee, found in Section 401 of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Act (SECURE Act) of 2019, signed into law by President Donald Trump. ACTEC’s comments identify significant issues related to changes affecting beneficiary planning for retirement plans and IRAs under the SECURE Act.

The SECURE Act precludes most non-spouse beneficiaries from expanding distributions from IRAs and qualified retirement plans over their lifetime, with exceptions now being made for eligible designated beneficiaries (EDBs). The rules for EDBs, particularly related to trusts created for them, are complex, needing guidance from Treasury and the IRS. ACTEC developed comments that identify substantive issues that apply when employees and IRA owners plan how IRAs and other retirement plans will be passed to family members and analyze many uncertainties for which guidance is needed.

“The issues identified in our two-part comments provide a significant resource to those who provide tax and financial advice and would like to see what questions may need to be resolved,” said Steve Gorin, ACTEC Chair, Employee Benefits in Estate Planning Committee.

Part one of comments includes recommendations regarding issues concerning the 10-year rule and the effective date provisions. Part two addresses a range of issues, including trusts for designated beneficiaries other than eligible designated beneficiaries, trusts for spouses, eligible designated beneficiary issues generally, minor child beneficiary and age of majority, disabled and chronically ill eligible designated beneficiaries, applicable multi-beneficiary trusts, and the “not more than ten years younger” eligible designated beneficiary category.

“These comments are the most extensive that have been submitted to the IRS regarding the SECURE Act and will certainly be helpful in devising guidance that it plans to issue under the SECURE Act,” said ACTEC President Stephen R. Akers. “The comments are a tremendous resource for those studying beneficiary planning issues for retirement plans and IRAs in light of the SECURE Act.”

Acknowledging the various contributors who participated in developing Part 1 and Part 2 of the SECURE Act comments, Kathy Sherby and Steve Trytten took the substantive lead, and Steve Gorin provided administrative support as chair of the Employee Benefits in Estate Planning Committee. Task force members include Svetlana BekmanJonathan BlattmachrHoward EstercesKaren GerstnerAl GoldenRich GreenbergBob KirklandSarah LarsonKevin MatzEd MorrowMarjorie RogersPaul RosenbergWendy RuschRick StocktonDeb TedfordNancy Welber, and Dan Wintz. Washington Affairs Committee Chair Don Kozusko and Committee member Bill Sanderson reviewed comments and recommendations submitted.

About the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC): Established in 1949, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a national, nonprofit association of approximately 2,500 lawyers and law professors from throughout the United States and abroad. ACTEC members (Fellows) are peer-elected on the basis of professional reputation and expertise in the preparation of wills and trusts, estate planning, probate, trust administration and related practice areas. The College’s mission includes the improvement and reform of probate, trust and tax laws and procedures and professional practice standards. ACTEC frequently offers technical comments with regard to legislation and regulations but does not take positions on matters of policy or political objectives.

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