DB plan | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

DB plan

How Do RMDs Work in DB Plans?

Rules governing defined benefit (DB) plans are typically more complicated than defined contribution (DC) plan rules. But required minimum distributions (RMDs) are one area where the DB plan requirements are easier to understand. If you’re in a DB plan, your benefit payments must begin no later than your “required beginning date” (RBD) – just like with IRA distributions or DC plan benefits. Your RBD is generally the April 1 following the year you reach age 72. However, if your DB plan allows the “still-working exception,” you can delay your RBD until you retire.

How Are DB Plan Benefits Taxed?

Most of us have a pretty good understanding of how IRA and 401(k) plan benefits are taxed. But the taxation rules for defined benefit (DB) plans are less familiar, probably because there are fewer DB plans out there these days. DB plans usually offer several types of annuity distribution options, but most do not offer a lump sum distribution option. Under the tax code, only “eligible rollover distributions” can be rolled over to an IRA or another company plan. Annuity payments do not qualify (unless payments are scheduled over a period of fewer than ten years). So, benefits payable from DB plans are typically fully taxable in the year received and cannot be rolled over.

EIGHT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DC AND DB PLANS

Fewer and fewer workers are participating in defined benefit pension (DB) plans these days. The high cost of maintaining those plans has led many employers to terminate existing plans and dissuaded many others from setting up new plans in the first place. But there are still many DB plans out there, and it’s important to know that they operate very differently from defined contribution (DC) plans, like 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans. Here are eight important differences:

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