The SECURE Act includes many changes to the rules governing retirement plans, including several provisions of interest to our supporters. The law went into effect on January 1, 2020.

You may have heard of ways to make tax-free gifts from your individual retirement account (IRA). Some know it as a charitable IRA rollover, but an adviser may call it a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). The QCD is still a tax-wise way of giving, but the SECURE Act made a few changes: 

  • You may still make tax-free gifts to charity from your IRA beginning at age 70 ½. A QCD must be made directly to a public charity like Vanderbilt University Medical Center from your IRA administrator. (Contact your IRA administrator for the proper forms to initiate a QCD.) You may not receive anything of value in return for your QCD, such as gala tickets. You can give up to $100,000 per year this way. The QCD won’t be subject to income tax and may satisfy your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).
  • The Required Minimum Distribution starting age increased from 70 ½ to 72. The age at which the owner of an IRA must start taking RMDs has increased from 70 ½ to 72 years old. This change also applies to 401(k)s and other qualified retirement plans. Nonetheless, you need not wait until 72 to make a QCD. You are still eligible to make a QCD beginning at 70 ½.  
  • Elimination of the “Stretch” IRA for non-spouses. When a deceased owner’s IRA is inherited by a non-spouse who is more than 10 years younger than the deceased, no longer can the new owner “stretch out” distributions over their life expectancy. Instead, the new owner must empty the inherited IRA within 10 years. However, there are no RMDs during the 10 years. 


Gifts from your IRA are still a tax-efficient way to give! Learn more on how the SECURE Act may affect your financial and estate plans.