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Understanding the SECURE ACT of 2020

Yes, it’s finally here.  After a year of deliberations, the SECURE Act was signed into law under the Appropriations Act on December 20, 2019.  Most of the provisions are in effect on January 1, 2020.  These are the most substantial changes we’ve had to IRAs in almost 15 years.  There are too many issues and too many potential pitfalls financial institutions will experience if they don’t have a working knowledge of these changes.  Forms will be changed, IRA software must be updated which may take a while.  Because of this, you may have to do some “manual” notices to your IRA client base to make sure these time-sensitive changes are implemented.

In the IRA Basic class on Day 1, you may be thinking, I don’t even know the old rules to know what the new changes are.  Unfortunately, you will need to know the old and the new rules because most of the IRA rules prior to 1/1/2020 are “grandfathered”.  But don’t worry, you will have the totally updated IRA “Red” Book Training manual with lots of “cheat sheets” to show you the “before” and “after”


In the IRA Advanced Day 2, we will summarize the changes and then actually get into the nitty gritty of new distribution regulations to owner’s and beneficiaries - what stays the same and what changes?  How do we disclose all these changes to our customers?

This intensive 2-day format will help you pull it all together by helping you learn the following: 

  1. Understanding the Top 20 Basic Terms of IRAs.
  2. Next we will review the most commonly used forms to create and complete IRA transactions.
  3. As the day goes on, you will pick up knowledge of the IRA plan types, Traditional, Roth and SEP. 
  4. On the second day of our journey, we will nail down the use of the proper terminology of “Rollover” vs. “Transfer” when moving money from an employer plan to an IRA and from an IRA to an IRA – and the consequences if we don’t know the difference.
  5. Health Savings Accounts – What’s our job and what’s the customer’s responsibility?
  6. And finally, you will better-learn and comprehend the complicated areas of IRA Distributions to owners and beneficiaries and IRS reporting, resulting in a better picture of this confusing topic incorporating the new rules as part of the SECURE Act of 2020.

Whether you are looking to gain basic knowledge of IRAs, raise your comfort level or sharpen your skills with the most up-to-date rules and regulations, this two day format will cover everything!  The newly revised full 275-page IRA Manual will be provided to you whether you attend the IRA Basics, IRA Advanced or both days. 

Day 1:  IRA Basic Issues

  • IRA Terminology – Top 20 Terms     
  • Explanation of IRA Forms - Not Forms Specific– (Please bring your own forms including Application, Contribution form, Distribution, Rollover Review or Certification and any other commonly used forms)
  • Beneficiary Designations including Primary and Contingent, Trusts and Estates
    • Qualifications, 2019/2020 Contribution, Income Phase-out limits, Age Limits and other new regulations for a:

-               Traditional IRA

-               Roth and Conversion Roth

-               SEP IRAs contributions and IRS reporting



Day 2:  IRA Intermediate/Advanced Issues

  • Updated legislative regulations on IRAs as the result of the SECURE Act  and the2019/2020 Cost of Living Adjustments
  • Health Savings Accounts – overview and clarifying responsibility
  • Qualified Plan Rollovers to a Traditional or Roth IRA – 6 Red Flags
  • Direct vs. Indirect
  • IRA to IRA Indirect Rollovers and Direct Transfers – Once-per-12-month rule clarifications and recent rules on 60 day exceptions and reporting
  • Distributions
    • Federal Income Tax Withholding
    • Before age 59½
      • At age 70½ before 2020 and 72 beginning in 2020 – including a change in mandatory notices
      • 9 Biggest Mistakes of IRA Beneficiary Payouts
      • Rules on new nonspouse beneficiary payout requirements beginning in 2020
      • Overview and Explanation of IRS Reporting Requirements


Each day can be attended independently but for the most comprehensive understanding of the issues from A-Z, attending both days is recommended.  The same book will be used for both days.


Who Should Attend?

Everyone even remotely involved in IRAs at your financial institution including: New Account Representatives, Certificate of Deposit Personnel, Savings Counselors, Account holder Service Representatives, Investment and Trust Personnel who need this update and are involved in the opening, selling, marketing, or administration of IRAs.  Any officer/manager who "oversees" the IRA department and may be responsible for answering IRA account holders questions or concerns but does not actually open IRA accounts.  Experienced IRA Personnel who like a slower pace workshop to cover all the new changes in a comprehensive manner.

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