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Changes in law provide retirement relief during coronavirus crisis

The new coronavirus outbreak and economic measures to contain it could have a significantly negative impact on retirement preparations for millions of Americans.

Account balances have been depleted by the stock market collapse. Many people now need to tap into their accounts to make ends meet. Others, facing layoffs or reduced hours, won’t have the income to make investment contributions.

Still others, in their early 60s, will start taking Social Security benefits as soon as they can, locking in lower monthly payments for the rest of their lives.

But the fallout isn’t entirely bad.

The government has introduced several temporary changes that could help people shore up their finances and manage their retirement accounts more effectively.

Here’s what is changing:       

RMDs put on hold

One change involves the required minimum distributions that investors normally must begin after reaching age 72 with Individual Retirement Accounts and some 401(k)-style plans.

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