RMD returns in 2010

Published 7:16 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

Fearing that retirees would be forced to withdraw funds from retirement accounts already depleted by the financial market meltdown of 2008-2009, federal lawmakers suspended the required minimum distribution rule for 2009.

However, that was last year, so anyone who will be at least 70-1\ 2 by the end of this year should plan to take a distribution.

The penalty for not doing so equals as much as 50 percent of the sum you should have withdrawn.

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The amount to be withdrawn is determined by referring to Internal Revenue Service Life Expectancy Tables printed in Appendix C of Publication 590 (available online at irs.gov).

Ordinarily, if you turn 70-1\ 2 in any given year, you can wait until the following April 1 to make your first withdrawal, a move sometimes cautioned against because your next distribution would be due by Dec. 31 that year (giving you two distributions for the same year and perhaps shifting you into a higher income tax category).

However, if you turned 70-1\ 2 in 2009, because of the rule suspension you were not required to take an RMD by April 1, 2010, but you must take your 2010 distribution by Dec. 31 to avoid a penalty.

Roth Exception Limited

You are not required to take RMDs from Roth IRAs, but you must take them from traditional IRAs and most other retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, Roth 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 457(b)s, SEPs, SARSEPs and SIMPLE IRAs.

You may not have to take them from an employer-sponsored plan if you’re still working when you turn 70-1\ 2.

To withdraw the required amount, figure the minimum, using the appropriate IRS table, for each IRA account, based on its value on Dec. 31 of the preceding year.

That is, your 2010 RMD amount is based on the value of your non-Roth IRA accounts as of Dec. 31, 2009. You may take the entire amount from one account rather than withdrawing small amounts from each. If you don’t need the funds, you can invest them elsewhere in taxable accounts. You may not roll your withdrawal into another retirement account.

Give me a call if you’d like help calculating your RMD for this year.