Required Minimum Distributions – RMD

Your required minimum distribution is the minimum amount you must withdraw from your account each year.  You generally have to start taking withdrawals from your IRA or retirement plan account when you reach age 70½.  Roth IRAs do not require withdrawals until after the death of the owner.

  • You can withdraw more than the minimum required amount.
  • Your withdrawals will be included in your taxable income except for any part that was taxed before (your basis) or that can be received tax-free (such as qualified distributions from designated Roth accounts).

RMD FAQs

Retirement plan participants and IRA owners are responsible for taking the correct amount of RMDs on time every year from their accounts, and they face stiff penalties for failure to take RMDs.

What types of retirement plans require minimum distributions?

The RMD rules apply to all employer sponsored retirement plans, including profit-sharing plans, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and 457(b) plans. The RMD rules also apply to traditional IRAs and IRA-based plans such as SEPs, SARSEPs, and SIMPLE IRAs.

The RMD rules also apply to Roth 401(k) accounts. However, the RMD rules do not apply to Roth IRAs while the owner is alive.

When  must I receive my required minimum distribution from my IRA?

You must take your first required minimum distribution for the year in which you turn age 70½. However, the first payment can be delayed until April 1 of the year following the year in which you turn 70½. For all subsequent years, including the year in which you were paid the first RMD by April 1, you must take the RMD by December 31 of the year.

A different deadline  may apply to RMDs from pre-1987 contributions to a 403(b) plan.

How is the amount of the required minimum distribution calculated?

Generally, a RMD is calculated for each account by dividing the prior December 31 balance of that IRA or retirement plan account by a life expectancy factor that IRS publishes in Tables in Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). Use the:

Can an account owner just take a RMD from one account instead of separately from each account?

An IRA owner must calculate the RMD separately for each IRA that he or she owns, but can withdraw the total amount from one or more of the IRAs. Similarly, a 403(b) contract owner must calculate the RMD separately for each 403(b) contract that he or she owns, but can take the total amount from one or more of the 403(b) contracts.

However, RMDs required from other types of retirement plans, such as 401(k) and 457(b) plans have to be taken separately from each of those plan accounts.

Who calculates the amount of the RMD?

Although the IRA custodian or retirement plan administrator may calculate the RMD, the IRA or retirement plan account owner is ultimately responsible for calculating the amount of the RMD.

What happens if a person does not take a RMD by the required deadline?

If an account owner fails to withdraw a RMD, fails to withdraw the full amount of the RMD, or fails to withdraw the RMD by the applicable deadline, the amount not withdrawn is taxed at 50%. The account owner should file Form 5329, Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans (Including IRAs) and Other Tax-Favored Accounts, with his or her federal tax return for the year in which the full amount of the RMD was not taken.

Can the penalty for not taking the full RMD be waived?

Yes, the penalty may be waived if the account owner establishes that the shortfall in distributions was due to reasonable error and that reasonable steps are being taken to remedy the shortfall. In order to qualify for this relief, you must file Form 5329 and attach a letter of explanation. See the instructions to Form 5329

Can a distribution in excess of the RMD for one year be applied for a future year?

No.

How are RMDs taxed?

The account owner is taxed at his or her income tax rate on the amount of the withdrawn RMD. However, to the extent the RMD is a return of basis or is a qualified distribution from a Roth IRA , it is tax free.

Can RMD amounts be rolled over into another tax-deferred account?

No.  

Source: http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Retirement-Plans-FAQs-regarding-Required-Minimum-Distributions

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.

Content prepared (or) provided by Internal Revenue Service; i.e., irs.gov