Multiple Retirement Accounts and RMDs: Can I Take the Required Distribution From One Account? | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

Multiple Retirement Accounts and RMDs: Can I Take the Required Distribution From One Account?

By Beverly DeVeny, IRA Technical Expert
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You or your client has several retirement accounts. Can you take the required minimum distribution (RMD) from just one account? The answer is maybe.

Let’s start with what you cannot do. You cannot take the RMD for one type of account from a different type of account. You cannot take an employer plan RMD from an IRA or vice versa. We see this mistake all the time. An RMD must be taken from each employer plan that you might have. If you have two 401(k)s and a 403(b), you must take 3 separate distributions – one from each 401(k) and one from the 403(b). There is an exception for 403(b) plans. If you have more than one 403(b), you can calculate each RMD and then combine them and take them from any 403(b) account you have.

On the IRA side you can aggregate your RMDs. The RMD is calculated for each account and then it can all be added together and come from any one or combination of IRA accounts. You can do the same thing for inherited IRAs (or 403(b)s) as long as they are inherited from the same person. Generally what you can do is aggregate inherited IRAs that are using the same life expectancy factor for calculating the RMD.


TAKING YOUR REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTION

Type of AccountYou Can AggregateYou Must Take RMD From Each Account
IRA (Including SEP and SIMPLE)X 
401(k) X
403(b)X 
Governmental 457(b) X
Inherited IRAs (Including SEP and SIMPLE)Yes, as long as they are inherited from same person 
Inherited 401(k) X
Inherited 403(b)Yes, as long as they are inherited from same person 
Inherited Governmental 457(b) X
Inherited Roth IRA (cannot be combined with inherited IRAs)Yes, as long as they are inherited from same person 

 

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