SECURE 2.0, which was included as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, was signed into law in late December 2022. The statute contains 92 substantive sections making reforms to a broad array of retirement-related provisions in ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) and certain other laws. Of these 92 sections, four make changes to various aspects of the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules set forth under the Code that apply to annuities in various situations.
The Seventh Circuit revived two previously dismissed ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims in its latest decision in Hughes v. Northwestern, which had been remanded from the Supreme Court. In doing so, the Seventh Circuit issued its own pleading standard for deciding ERISA duty of prudence claims alleging mismanagement of defined contribution plans. The standard does not affect how plan fiduciaries review, choose, and monitor investment choices and recordkeeping fees, but makes it easier to second-guess those decisions without fully understanding the “circumstances prevailing” at the time the fiduciary acts.