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Understanding RMD Requests: When and How to Submit

Nov 21, 2023

Blueprint Income Team

If you're approaching retirement age and have a retirement account, you may have heard of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). RMDs are a crucial aspect of retirement planning, as they dictate when and how you must withdraw funds from certain tax-advantaged retirement accounts like Traditional IRAs and 401(k)s. In this article, we'll delve into how RMD requests work and when they need to be submitted.

What are RMDs?

Required Minimum Distributions, or RMDs, are the minimum amount of money that individuals with certain retirement accounts must withdraw each year after reaching a certain age. The purpose behind RMDs is to ensure that individuals do not indefinitely defer paying taxes on their retirement savings. The rules for RMDs apply to Traditional IRAs, 401(k)s, and other similar tax-advantaged retirement plans, but they do not apply to Roth IRAs during the account holder's lifetime.

When Do You Need to Start Taking RMDs?

The age at which you need to start taking RMDs depends on the type of retirement account you have and your birthdate. For Traditional IRAs and 401(k)s, RMDs typically begin at age 73. If you were born before July 1, 1949, the age for RMDs used to be 70½, but the SECURE Act, passed in 2019, raised the starting age to 72 for those born on or after July 1, 1949. Then, beginning in 2023, the SECURE 2.0 Act raised the age that you must begin taking RMDs to age 73. The deadline for taking your first RMD is April 1 of the year following the year you turn the required age. For example, if you turn 73 in 2023, you must take your first RMD by April 1, 2024.

How Do RMD Requests Work?

RMDs involve the mandatory distribution of a specific amount of money from your retirement account each year. The IRS provides a formula to calculate your RMD, which takes into account your account balance and life expectancy. The exact calculation method may vary slightly depending on your specific circumstances, so it's essential to consult with a financial advisor or use an RMD calculator to determine your exact RMD amount. To initiate an RMD, you typically have to contact your retirement account custodian or administrator. They can guide you through the process and ensure that you withdraw the correct amount. You can choose to take your RMD in a lump sum or in multiple payments throughout the year, as long as you meet the minimum distribution requirement by the deadline.

Deadlines for RMDs

Once you start taking RMDs, you must continue to do so every year. The deadline for RMDs is December 31st of each year. Failing to take the required distribution by the deadline can result in significant penalties. The IRS may impose a hefty penalty of up to 50% of the amount that you should have withdrawn but didn't.


Understanding how RMDs work and when to submit them is crucial for managing your retirement accounts effectively and avoiding penalties. Be sure to plan ahead, calculate your RMD accurately, and submit your requests in a timely manner to ensure compliance with IRS rules. If you have questions or concerns about RMDs, it's always a good idea to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional who can provide personalized guidance based on your individual retirement planning needs.


Blueprint Income Team

We are a team of finance, insurance, and actuarial professionals working to make it easier for everyone to achieve a steady and comfortable retirement. We write about annuities (the good and the bad) and provide strategies to help Americans prepare for retirement.


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