June 23, 2024

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I’m 77 and Still Working. Is it True That I Don’t Have to Take RMDs?

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Financial advisor and columnist Brandon Renfro

I’m 77 years old and I requested my 401(k) fund administrator to prepare my RMD. I was told I do not have to withdraw my money if I am still employed. Please confirm if this in fact an IRS rule or that of the fund management company?


That is correct, Bea. If you are still employed, you do not have to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your current 401(k) regardless of your age, as long as your employer doesn’t require it. That is in fact an IRS rule.

RMD requirements depend on your age, the account type and whether or not you are still employed. There have been some changes to these rules recently, so let’s review the minimum distribution requirements. (And if you need help with retirement planning, including RMDs, consider speaking with a financial advisor.)

What Are RMDs and When Are They Mandated?

A married couple calculates their RMDs together on a laptop computer. A married couple calculates their RMDs together on a laptop computer.

A married couple calculates their RMDs together on a laptop computer.

The IRS won’t let you leave your retirement savings in tax-deferred accounts indefinitely. Instead, the government requires you to withdraw a certain amount of money from your accounts each year. How much you’re mandated to withdraw is based on your age and how much money was in your account at the end of the previous year.

Before the SECURE Act of 2019, RMDs started at age 70 ½. However, the law increased the RMD age to 72.

That increase was short-lived, though. The SECURE Act 2.0 raised the RMD age to 73 beginning in 2023 and set it to increase to 75 in 2033.

You are required to take an RMD from most tax-advantaged retirement accounts with the exception of Roth IRAs.

Under prior law, designated Roth accounts within employer-sponsored plans like Roth 401(k)s and Roth 403(b)s were still subject to RMD rules. However, the SECURE Act 2.0 addressed this shortcoming, and beginning in 2024 no Roth accounts will be subject to age-based RMDs. I specify “age-based” here to acknowledge the fact that inherited Roth accounts are still subject…

2023-11-25 11:59:22

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