Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)

Last Updated on 26th July 2022 by Jeffrey Camerda

Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) is the amount of money that must be taken out of an employer-sponsored retirement plan, traditional IRA, SEP, or SIMPLE individual retirement account (IRA) by those who are of the age and are qualified to do so. 

The retirement account withdrawal age was raised from 70½ to 72 years old in 2020. After reaching the age of 72, retirees must begin taking withdrawals from their retirement accounts on April 1. After that, the retiree must take an annual RMD withdrawal based on the current RMD calculation.


  • In order to avoid paying taxes, you must make a minimum distribution from your account each year.
  • Retirees can take more than the required minimum distribution (RMD).
  • There is a good chance that you’ll have to take an RMD from each account if you have numerous ones.
  • The “stretch IRA”—an estate planning approach that prolonged the tax-deferral advantages of IRAs—was largely eliminated by the SECURE Act of 2019 when it modified the distribution requirements for certain inherited IRAs.

Understanding Required Minimum Distribution (RMDs)

People can’t avoid paying taxes by withdrawing too little from their retirement accounts, which is why RMDs are in place. 

Retirement accounts preceding year-end fair market value (FMV) are divided by the relevant distribution period or life expectancy to establish minimum payouts. The IRS offers a worksheet to assist people in determining how much money they need to take out of the account. In most cases, the IRS will get this information from your plan administrator or custodian.

Deferring the commencement of required minimum distributions (RMDs) until after retirement may be possible under some qualified plans, even for members who are older than 72. Participants in qualified retirement plans should check with their employers to see whether this deferral is available to them.

In addition to the necessary minimum payout, account holders have the option of withdrawing additional funds. Taking out all of the account’s value in a single year is totally legal, but the tax bill might be shocking.

Fast fact

Roth IRAs are exempt from the RMD restrictions as long as the account owner is still alive. However, Roth 401(k) funds are subject to RMD restrictions, as are traditional 401(k).

How To Calculate Required Minimum Distributions 

In order to ensure that you are utilizing the most up-to-date spreadsheets for figuring up your yearly Required minimum distribution, check the IRS website. Life expectancy changes are taken into account while creating these tables.

Depending on the circumstances, several tables of calculations are required. Account holders whose spouse is the lone beneficiary and at least 10 years younger than the account holder utilize a separate table from everyone else.

The RMD computation for conventional IRA account holders is a three-step process:

  • Make a note of the account’s balance as of the previous year’s end, on December 31.
  • The calculation tables may find the distribution factor for your current year’s birthdate. This factor’s value typically falls between 27.4 and 1.9 for the majority of individuals. The factor number decreases as a person ages.
  • To calculate the RMD, divide the account balance by the factor number.

An illustration of a Required Minimum Distribution

For example, Bob, a 74-year-old account holder, celebrates his birthday on Oct. 1 each year. Bob’s IRA is now valued at $225,000 and had a balance of $205,000 as of December 31 of the previous year, which is approaching April. Age 74 has a distribution factor of 23.8, whereas age 75 has a distribution value of 22.9.

Calculation of the minimal distribution:

RMD= $205,000 ÷22.9 to arrive at a total of $8,951.97.

As a result, Bob has to take out at least $8,951.97 from the bank.

Bob should also bear in mind a few additional factors. Let’s suppose Bob owns a number of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). This implies that each account’s RMD must be computed individually. For example, Bob may have to take RMDs from each account individually rather than all at once, depending on the sort of accounts involved in this case.

Inherited IRAs are an exception to the rule;

If you inherit an IRA, you must use the same RMD that the account holder would have used in the year of the account owner’s death. However, your RMD is dependent on your beneficiary designation for many years after the account owner’s death. If you are a surviving spouse, minor child, or disabled individual, the RMD rules may be different.

If you inherit an IRA from a deceased account owner before January 1, 2020, you should use the IRS Single Life Table to figure out your required minimum distribution. After Dec. 31, 2019, you’ll need to follow the SECURE Act’s RMD requirements, which differentiate between designated beneficiaries, eligible designated beneficiaries, and non-designated beneficiaries, depending on when the account owner died. Depending on which of these categories you fall under as a beneficiary, the timeline and formula for calculating your RMD will be very different.

If the IRA owner dies after 2019, some designated beneficiaries may be required to take their entire account balance out by the end of the 10th calendar year following that year. Within five years of the IRA owner’s death, some non-designated beneficiaries may be required to take the entire account out of the account. The stretch IRA, an estate planning approach that some recipients of inherited IRAs had previously utilized to prolong the tax-deferred advantages of an IRA, has been virtually eliminated due to these laws.

NOTE: When deciding how much money to take out of an inherited IRA, you should consult IRS Publication 590-B, Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs).

When Do RMDs Get Started?

It is now mandatory for those over the age of 72 to begin taking minimum distributions from their qualified retirement accounts. Prior to 2020, the RMD was 71½ years old.

Are RMDs subject to taxation?

There is a delayed tax burden since RMDs are taken from retirement funds funded with pre-tax monies. When RMDs are withdrawn, they must be taxed (at your current tax bracket). Roth 401(k) distributions, on the other hand, are free from federal income taxes.

Jeffrey Camerda

Dr. Jeffery Camerda, PhD, is a financial planner who specializes in wealth management and retirement planning. With a PhD in Economics and Financial Planning, Jeffery represents the highest level of financial planning expertise and achievement in the USA In addition to preparing you for a career in financial planning, a PhD in economics and finance also prepares you for academic pursuits, such as becoming a university professor in teaching or doing research. Here at the Wealth Builder, our financial advisory company was founded in 2007 and services all across the USA with over 16 years of expertise. In order to provide the finest advice and services, we pay close attention to the specific financial circumstances and requirements of each client. In order to guarantee that our clients don't get a sales pitch for insurance or investments, as well as a lack of conflict of interest from a prospective commission-bearing corporations, Jeffery focuses on fee-based services. Financial planning for wealth managers, financial well-being workshops, and personal financial planning packages are all part of the company's offering. Jeffrey Camarda, PhD, CFA, EA is also the founder of the Family Wealth Education Institute, is a member of the Financial Planning Association and serves as the Chairman of Camarda Wealth Advisory Group

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