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Are You the Beneficiary of an IRA? You May Need to Take a Required Minimum Distribution

Posted by Michael J. O'Connor | CWS®, Vice President Investments

December 6, 2017

When most investors/retirees think of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), they think of turning 70 ½ and having to take mandatory distributions from an IRA. The federal government allows savers to make tax deductible contributions (with tax deferred growth) to IRAs/401(k)s/qualified retirement plans throughout their working lives, but the party ends when folks turn 70 ½. Uncle Sam eventually gets his cut.

There’s one feature of RMDs, however, that is less widely known. That is, if the account owner passes away and there is still a balance in the qualified retirement account, it is the responsibility of the beneficiary to take the required distributions, whether that be the spouse, a child, a charity, a trust, and so on. Not taking the required distributions can result in a 50% excise tax penalty on the amount not withdrawn, so it’s important to understand these rules. We’ll break them down more clearly for you, below.

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IRA Beneficiaries RMD

Tax Planning: Don’t Forget Your Required Minimum Distributions

November 15, 2017
Republicans on Capitol Hill are currently working to make major changes to the tax code, but one tax rule does not seem likely to change anytime soon: required minimum distributions (RMDs). For most of our lives, investors have the benefit of saving into IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, etc. with tax-deductible contributions and tax-free growth, but eventually the day comes when Uncle Sam gets his cut. That starting point when the IRS requires you to withdraw from your IRA or other retirement account for is by April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which you reach age 70½ (which is 6 months after your 70th birthday). For example, if you are retired and you turned 70 on June 30, 2017, then December 30, 2017 marks the day you reach 70 ½. That means you must take your first RMD for 2017 by April 1, 2018. Every year thereafter, you have until December 31 to get it done.  [+] Read More