Making sense of RMDs

Get the answers to frequently asked questions about RMDs.

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Once you reach age 72* you're required to withdraw a certain amount of money from your retirement plans, such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and 403(b)s each year. That amount is called a required minimum distribution (RMD). Here are some answers to frequently asked questions to help you get started:

What's a required minimum distribution (RMD)?

How do I calculate my required minimum distribution (RMD) from an IRA?

Do I have to take my required minimum distribution if I am still working?

If you continue working past age 72, you have to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA. However, you may qualify for an exception from taking RMDs from your current workplace saving plan, such as a 401(k), 403(b), or small-business account, if:

  • You're still working
  • You do NOT own more than 5% of the business you work for
  • You have an employer-sponsored retirement account with the business you work for

If you meet all the criteria above, you may delay taking an RMD from the account until April 1 of the year after you retire. Keep in mind that this does not apply to IRAs or other accounts you may hold with companies you no longer work for.

What's the deadline for taking a required minimum distribution?

What types of retirement accounts have required minimum distributions (RMDs)?

Can I withdraw my total required minimum distribution from one of my retirement accounts?

If you have multiple retirement accounts it's possible to take your required minimum distributon (RMD) from one, but it depends on the type of retirement account:

  • For IRAs: You must calculate the RMD for each of these accounts separately, but you can withdraw the total RMD amount from one or any combination of accounts.
  • For 403(b)s: RMDs must be calculated separately for each account, but the total amount of the RMD can be withdrawn from any one or a combination of your 403(b) accounts.
  • For 401(k)s: RMDs must be calculated separately for each account and taken individually from those accounts.

Any distribution from an account that requires an RMD will count toward that year's RMD. Amounts withdrawn in excess of that RMD amount do NOT reduce RMD amounts in future years.

You are not required to take RMDs from your own Roth IRA and cannot satisfy an RMD requirement with a withdrawal from a Roth IRA.

How do I take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from a Fidelity IRA?

How do I set up an automatic required minimum distribution (RMD) from a Fidelity IRA?

It only takes a few minutes to set up automatic withdrawals for your 2021 required minimum distribution (RMD). To get started, visit automatic withdrawalsLog In Required. Select 2021 as the year for your automatic RMD withdrawals to begin.

Do I have to take a required minimum distribution if I inherited an IRA?

When you inherit an IRA, many of the IRS rules for required minimum distributions still apply. However, there may be additional rules based on your relationship to the original owner. Learn more about the RMD rules for inherited IRAs that apply to you.

How are required minimum distributions (RMDs) taxed?

Can I lower my taxable income with a qualified charitable distribution (QCD)?

Next steps to consider



Withdraw from your IRALog In Required


Process your RMD from your Fidelity IRA.



See your estimated RMDLog In Required


Let us help you take the guesswork out of managing your RMDs.



FAQs about RMDs


Get answers to frequently asked questions about RMDs.

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