Required Minimum Distribution Table

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There is not one required minimum distribution table – there are actually three.

 (c) Can Stock Photo

(c) Can Stock Photo

The required minimum distribution table to be used is different for each circumstance:

  • If you are the IRA owner
  • If you are a non-spouse IRA beneficiary
  • If you are the spouse of the beneficiary and if
    • the deceased had reached age 70 1/2 and had started taking distributions
    • the deceased had reached not yet reached age 70 1/2

Here is the required minimum distribution table for each case and how to use it.

Required Minimum Distribution Table for IRA Owners

The IRA owner must take the first distribution by April 1 in the year after he reaches age 70 1/2.  Use the table as follows to figure how much you must withdraw from your IRA (and any other retirement plan):

  1. Get the prior-year December 31 balances of all of your retirement accounts
  2. Add up all balances from retirement accounts of the same type (for example, you cannot combine a contributory IRA and a SEP IRA and do one calculation based on the total value.  You need to do a calculation and take a separate distribution for each type of retirement plan- — IRA, SEP IRA, 401k, etc). Even though you may have IRAs (or 401ks, etc.) at three different institutions, once you calculate how much to withdraw, you may do so from one account if you desire.
  3. Open up a copy of IRS publication 590-B and flip to the appendices
  4. Use the worksheet IRS provides there

To use the worksheet, you will divide the balance from step 2 above by a number that you get from one of two required minimum distribution tables. These tables are also in the appendix of publication 590-B. There is a required minimum distribution table for each of these 2 possible situations for an IRA/401k owner:

  • IRA owner who is single or has a spouse not more than 10 years younger
  • IRA owner who  has a spouse 10 or more years younger

The first table for the IRA owner who is single or has a spouse not more than 10 years younger is below.  Just find your age on the correct table and then divide the factor shown into your account balance(s) in step 2 above.  That is your required minimum distribution for the year.

We have not included the 2nd table the one for the IRA owner who  has a spouse 10 or more years younger because of its length.  It is several pages long as it covers every combination of possible ages for the IRA owner and spouse. Find it in the appendix of IRS publication 590-B.

RMD Table III
(Uniform Lifetime)
(For Use by:

  • Unmarried Owners,
  • Married Owners Whose Spouses
    Are Not More Than 10 Years Younger, and
  • Married Owners Whose Spouses
    Are Not the Sole Beneficiaries of their IRAs)


Age Distribution Period Age Distribution Period
70 27.4 93 9.6
71 26.5 94 9.1
72 25.6 95 8.6
73 24.7 96 8.1
74 23.8 97 7.6
75 22.9 98 7.1
76 22.0 99 6.7
77 21.2 100 6.3
78 20.3 101 5.9
79 19.5 102 5.5
80 18.7 103 5.2
81 17.9 104 4.9
82 17.1 105 4.5
83 16.3 106 4.2
84 15.5 107 3.9
85 14.8 108 3.7
86 14.1 109 3.4
87 13.4 110 3.1
88 12.7 111 2.9
89 12.0 112 2.6
90 11.4 113 2.4
91 10.8 114 2.1
92 10.2 115 and
over
1.9

Required Minimum Distribution Table for Non-Spouse Beneficiaries

If you are a non-spouse beneficiary of an IRA whose owner has died, you must take distributions from the IRA every year – even if you are just a year old! This also applies to Roth IRAs.  Even though the Roth IRA Distributions are not taxable, you must still take a distribution each year. Using required minimum distribution table is quite simple:

  1. Get the IRA balance from December 31 of the prior year
  2. Use the table labeled “Single Life Expectancy” below.  Look up your age and find your life expectancy factor
  3. Divide the IRA balance from step 1 by the life expectancy from step 2
  4. Repeat this each year by subtracting “1” from the life expectancy in step 3

You begin this process the year after the year of death.  For the year of the IRA owner’s death, you distribute the amount the deceased was required to distribute if he had not done so.

Here is the required minimum distribution table and then an example on how to use it below.

Single Life Expectancy
RMD Table (for Inherited IRAs)

(For calculating post-death required distributions
to beneficiaries)

(From IRS Publication 590)

Age of

IRA or Plan Beneficiary

Life Expectancy

(in years)

Age of

IRA or Plan Beneficiary

Life Expectancy

(in years)

Age of

IRA or Plan Beneficiary

Life Expectancy

(in years)

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

82.4

81.6

80.6

79.7

78.7

77.7

76.7

75.8

74.8

73.8

72.8

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

42.7

41.7

40.7

39.8

38.8

37.9

37.0

36.0

35.1

34.2

81

82

83

84

85

86

87

88

89

90

9.7

9.1

8.6

8.1

7.6

7.1

6.7

6.3

5.9

5.5

11

12

13

14

15

71.8

70.8

69.9

68.9

67.9

51

52

53

54

55

33.3

32.3

31.4

30.5

29.6

91

92

93

94

95

5.2

4.9

4.6

4.3

4.1

16

17

18

19

20

66.9

66.0

65.0

64.0

63.0

56

57

58

59

60

28.7

27.9

27.0

26.1

25.2

96

97

98

99

100

3.8

3.6

3.4

3.1

2.9

21

22

23

24

25

62.1

61.1

60.1

59.1

58.2

61

62

63

64

65

24.4

23.5

22.7

21.8

21.0

101

102

103

104

105

 

2.7

2.5

2.3

2.1

1.9

 

Example of using the single life (beneficiary) required minimum distribution table.

Bob is 47. He inherits his father’s IRA of $96,000 in 2016.  His father had already taken his RMD for 2016. In 2017, Bob divides the December 31, 2016 IRA balance by 36, the factor for age 48.  In 2018, Bob no longer looks at the table.  He simply deducts 1 from 36 and use 35 to divide into the December 31, 2017 IRA balance.  Each subsequent year, he does the same by deducting 1 from 35, and so on, to determine the factor to divide into the IRA balance from December 31 of the prior year.

Minimum Distribution Calculation for Spouses

Why is there no table for spouses?  Because the minimum IRA distribution calculation for the spouse depends on some conditions and choices made by the spouse. Depending on the mix of conditions and choices, the spouse will use the same table as the deceased. We explain this in detail in our post on IRA Distribution Calculation for Spouses.

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