RMD home page
What are the basics of required minimum distributions (RMDs)?
What are the reporting
and tax requirements?
How can Vanguard help me
manage my RMDs?
Federal law prohibits you from contributing to a traditional IRA for the year in which you turn age 70½ and for all later years. However, you may still be able to contribute to a Roth IRA if you meet eligibility requirements.

RMDs are minimum distributions the IRS requires you to take each year from your IRAs (traditional IRAs, rollover IRAs, SEP–IRAs, and SIMPLE IRAs) once you reach age 70½. Roth IRAs aren’t covered by RMDs during the original owner’s lifetime.

Generally, you must withdraw the RMD for a year by December 31 of that year, either in a lump sum or in installments. But if you are taking an RMD for the first time, you may delay withdrawing the RMD until April 1 of the calendar year after the year you turn age 70½.

Your RMD is generally based on:

The balance of your IRA as of December 31 of the preceding year.

Your age.


Your IRA balance

Your year-end statements show the balances of your accounts.


Your age

Depending on your age, you have an applicable distribution period based on a life expectancy factor. Most IRA owners who are taking required minimum distributions for 2004 and later years must use the Uniform Lifetime Table (see below) to determine their life expectancy factor. This table does not apply to beneficiaries of a deceased IRA owner or to an IRA owner when a spouse who is more than 10 years younger is the sole primary beneficiary.

To determine your RMD amount, simply divide the IRA balance by the applicable number in the Life Expectancy Factor column.


Uniform Lifetime Table

Age
 
Life Expectancy Factor
 
Age
 
Life Expectancy Factor
70
27.4
 
81
 
17.9
71
 
26.5
 
82
 
17.1
72
 
25.6
 
83
 
16.3
73
 
24.7
 
84
 
15.5
74
 
23.8
85
 
14.8
75
 
22.9
 
86
 
14.1
76
 
22.0
 
87
 
13.4
77
 
21.2
 
88
 
12.7
78
 
20.3
 
89
 
12.0
79
 
19.5
 
90
 
11.4
80
 
18.7
 
91
 
10.8


Calculating RMDs for multiple IRAs

If you have more than one IRA, you may generally take your RMD from any one account or from a combination of accounts from the same type of plan. (In other words, you can choose the account or accounts from which your RMD is paid.)

Under this exception:

  • You still need to calculate the required minimum distribution amount separately for each IRA you have.
  • You may generally add the RMD amounts of all your IRAs (whether they are at Vanguard or elsewhere) and then withdraw the required total from any one or more of your IRAs.

Example: Assume that you have three IRAs. Your RMDs are $2,000 from the first IRA, $1,000 from the second IRA, and $1,000 from the third IRA. If you wish, you can take $4,000 from any one or more of your IRAs to satisfy your RMD for the year.