Retirement Planning: Important Changes To Know In 2023

by | Mar 30, 2023

Ready to plan for retirement? The future can be intimidating, but saving wisely and planning will help you get the most out of your 401(k) and prepare for any changes that come with aging.

2023 is a critical year for preparing for retirement, as there are several important changes relating to Medicare costs, retirement tax incentives, Social Security benefits, and Emergency Savings Retirement Accounts (ESRA).

In this article, we’ll discuss what these changes mean in terms of planning for retirement in 2023, so you can rest easy knowing your finances are secure now and into the future.

So keep reading if you want to learn more about why smart retirement planning needs to start today!

Enrollment To Be Required Automatically

A person’s initiation of contributions to the newly created 401(k) plans and 403(b)s in 2025 will begin automatically, usually within 3-10 percent of their pay scale.

This exemption excludes some very small businesses. By mandating increased contributions and raising the savings rate by 1 percent annually until it reaches a minimum of 10-15%, plan participation rates in retirement programs, particularly among minority communities, will likely grow.

A Savings Credit To A Savings Match

Beginning in 2027, the newly implemented Secure 2.0 Act will supersede the existing nonrefundable Saver’s Credit and provide a federal matching contribution directly deposited into an individual’s IRA or other retirement accounts.

This act significantly improves current regulations and will help many Americans plan for their financial futures more securely.

Given a saver’s match, individuals can contribute up to $2,000 in their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or another retirement plan; however, income tax liability and phase-outs will be considered.

Inflation-Adjusted Social Security Benefits

Because of an 8.7 percent rise in living expenses, Social Security beneficiaries are receiving their greatest strength in monthly benefits in the past forty years – a COLA (cost-of-living adjustment) increase that pivots their average monthly retirement benefit from $1,681 to $1,827.

On December 30, the Social Security program for elderly, blind, or disabled persons began handing out COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment)-infused payments as the first retirement, disability, and survivor benefits won’t be dispersed until January of 2023.

In the third quarter of 2022, the COLA is forecasted to be determined by calculating price changes for specific consumer goods and services.

Despite inflation having decreased since reaching a 40-year high of 9.1 percent in June, estimates put it at 7.1 percent in November.

The COLA, or cost-of-living adjustment, allowance will be updated with an increase over the next few years – extending through 2023.

This rise in the benefit should help protect against rising costs since the COLA provides a safeguard in such situations when prices continue to climb.

Retirement Plan Contributions

Beginning in 2023, the contribution limits for individual eligible retirement accounts (IRAs), 401(k)s, and other savings vehicles will be adjusted to reflect inflationary increases, similar to Social Security benefits.

This means that individuals can contribute more money than they could previously when saving for retirement through these options.

Therefore, staying current with the contribution limits is important to maximize your retirement savings opportunities.

While savers under 50 have an IRA contribution limit of $6,500 (up from $6,000 last year), those 50 or older are eligible for a catch-up contribution of an additional $1,000.

This brings the yearly maximum IRA investment to a record-high of $7,500 for

People age 50-plus can contribute up to $30,000 this year to a workplace retirement plan such as a 401(k), 403(b), or (for federal government workers) Thrift Savings Plan.

Beginning in 2024, while keeping IRAs’ catch-up contribution limit of $1,000 the same for several years, Secure 2.0 provides inflation-indexed rises, with the provision of increased contribution limits through the years following.

From 2025 onwards, individuals aged 60 to 63 can contribute more to their 401(k) plan due to an inflation-linked grab on the existing catch-up limit.

Retirement Plan Distributions

RMDs from retirement accounts must begin at 73 instead of 72 thanks to one of the changes this year as part of Secure 2.0–the ultimate increase to 75 won’t happen until 2033.

No annual required withdrawals are applicable on Roth IRAs when the owner is alive, but this is not the case with traditional IRAs, 401(k)s, and other types of retirement funds – holders of these emergency savings accounts must accept that Mandatory Required Distributions (RMDs) will come into effect in later life.

To avoid penalties based on the retirement savings law, you must at least withdraw an amount determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) based on your life expectancy and account balance.

The deadline to make RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) withdrawals for most people is the last day of the year, except for those experiencing their first year of eligibility – they have until Apr. 1 of the following year.

People turning 72 in 2022 have three more months, as per Secure 2.0, to take their initial RMD, requiring the next one by Dec. 31 of that year. As for those going up to 73 and beyond, this timeline applies up till 2033.

This year, a new provision for Secure 2.0 reduces the excise tax if you do not fulfill your RMD withdrawal on time.

Contrary to what stood earlier, wherein 50% of the miscellaneous amount remained after less RMD withdrawal, this has now been considerably reduced.

By having a taxable income, individuals can reduce their regular withdrawal penalty from 25 percent to 10 percent if all transferred funds are returned.

Changes To Medicare Costs

Millions of retirees can now access Medicare with its reductions on Part B premiums and deductibles for the first time in over a decade.

Therefore, signing up for Medicare has become more affordable. For 2023, the Medicare Part B premium has decreased by 3%, costing beneficiaries $164.90 per month instead of the $170.10 in 2022.

The yearly deductible drops from $233 in 2022 to $226 in 2023.

The Inflation Reduction Act ensures that Medicare Part D beneficiaries suffering from diabetes only need to pay up to $35 monthly for a supply of insulin.

This policy will go into effect in 2024, and it is estimated that it will help out around 3.3 million affected people.

In terms of Part D-covered vaccines, individuals will be provided with neither copays nor deductibles – meaning shingles shots, for example, would cost less.

The Inflation Reduction Act – containing lowered prescription drug prices and out-of-pocket expenses for 59 million Medicare beneficiaries – will take some time before taking effect, expected to be several years.

401(K) To Be Used For Emergency Savings

The 2023 bill seeks to make it easier for individuals under 59 ½ to access their 401(k) savings in an emergency.

Those who turn to their tax-deferred retirement accounts as an emergency fund face a 10 percent penalty. The legislation aims to eliminate this penalty.

Given the fear induced by COVID-19 and reports of earlier 401(k) tapping, employers worried about great early severance.

To protect against it, some 401(k)s have created emergency saving accounts, automatically enrolling employees in new features.

Employees can set up a rainy-day fund of up to $2,500. Should the need arise, it will not result in a 10 percent penalty if the fund is used.

Employees are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity and use their rainy-day funds.

The legislation permits withdrawals without penalties for certain conditions, including payment of long-term care insurance costs and withdrawal for terminally ill or domestically abused persons.

Additionally, it also enables withdrawals due to extraordinary situations.

Federal disaster victims can use the option to draw up to $22,000 free from any penalties.

Additionally, repayment and taxes may be made within three years of withdrawal.

Important Changes To Know In 2023

In summation, it is becoming increasingly important that people begin retirement plans as soon as possible.

Many changes to retirement planning laws and regulations have been enacted in 2023, and being aware of them now is the best way to ensure a secure retirement.

If applicable, people should explore Retirement Savings Credits to maximize their savings and plan for inflation-adjusted Social Security benefits or employee pension funds.

Planning for retirement well in advance is critical to financial stability in later years, so remember to review your options and take advantage of today’s special provisions.

Retirement Planning: Important Changes To Know In 2023 is just the beginning of a conversation about the great potential of managing your retirement money and income taxes in the future.

Take the first step towards a secure future, and start planning your retirement today!


  • Scott Hall

    Scott realized about 5 years ago that he was woefully behind on retirement savings and needed to catch up. He began writing about it on

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