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Minimum Required Distributions (MRDs)

If you own a Traditional IRA, learn about withdrawals you’re required to take.

Turning age 70½ is a major milestone if you own an IRA. If you have a Traditional IRA, that’s when you must begin withdrawals, or minimum required distributions (MRDs), also known as required minimum distributions or RMDs. MRDs are mandatory, minimum yearly withdrawals that generally must be taken starting in the year the IRA accountholder turns 70½.

If you inherit an IRA, you will generally be required to begin taking MRDs by a certain date or incur a penalty; see MRD rules for Inherited IRAs for more details.

For Roth IRAs, there are no MRDs for the original owner. If you have both kinds of IRAs, withdrawals from a Roth IRA will not help satisfy your annual MRD requirement for your Traditional IRA.

Taking MRDs

You generally have until April 1 of the year following the calendar year you turn age 70½ to take your first MRD. In subsequent years, the deadline is December 31. MRDs will be required each year for the remainder of your life after 70½.

Penalties for taking less than your MRD after 70½ can be severe—up to 50% of the amount not taken.

In addition to being mindful of MRDs, you should also consider creating an overall plan for taking withdrawals that includes all of your retirement income sources.

Determining your MRD amount

Generally, the amount of your MRD is determined by dividing the adjusted market value of your account as of December 31 of the prior year by an applicable life expectancy factor. You can use the Uniform Lifetime Table (PDF) to find your life expectancy factor or our MRD Calculator to help determine what you’ll be required to withdraw.

How MRDs are taxed

MRDs are taxed as ordinary income for the tax year in which they are taken and will be taxed at your applicable individual federal income tax rate. MRDs may also be subject to state and local taxes. If you made nondeductible contributions to your IRA, you must calculate your MRD based on the total balance, but your taxable income may be reduced proportionately for the after-tax contributions. Please consult a tax advisor to learn more.

Next steps

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Guidance provided by Fidelity is educational in nature, is not individualized, and is not intended to serve as the primary or sole basis for your investment or tax-planning decisions.

Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice and the information provided above is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult with an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

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