Minimum Distribution Calculator

What is the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)?

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are the smallest amount you are required by law to withdraw from your tax-deferred 403(b), 457(b), 401(k) or qualified 401(a) retirement account each year. Generally, you must begin taking minimum distributions by the April 1st following the year you reach age 70 ½.

The Minimum Distribution Calculator (the "tool") provides a hypothetical estimate of the annual required minimum distribution for your retirement accumulation on a year by year basis starting on the April 1st following the year you turn 70½. The RMD estimates provided in this calculator are before tax and do not apply an inflation factor.

Note: RMD rules do not apply to Roth IRAs while the owner is alive. Therefore, this tool is not intended to be used for Roth account accumulations. Also, if you are participating in the retirement plan where you work and the plan allows, you do not have to take any RMD from that plan until the year you retire. See the details of your plan for more information.

The tool's results represent analysis and estimates based on the information you have provided, but they do not reflect all relevant elements of your personal situation. These estimates should not be regarded as predictions, advice, or recommendations. The actual impact of your financial decisions may vary significantly from these estimates. This information does not constitute an application, offer or commitment by TIAA, or a representation of interest rates, investment performance or any other future performance. The accuracy of this calculator and its applicability to your circumstances is not guaranteed. You should obtain personal advice from qualified professionals. This information is provided for educational and illustrative purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal, financial, tax, or other advice. TIAA does not provide legal, accounting, or tax advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisors before taking any action that may have tax or legal consequences.

Learn about how the results are calculated based on the assumptions and limitations of this tool

Inputs used to generate the tool’s results

The following information is required:

  • Your month and year of birth
  • Whether your spouse is your sole beneficiary.
    • We gather this data because for individuals, current regulations use a Uniform Lifetime Table to determine your life expectancy factor unless the sole beneficiary is a spouse who is more than 10 years younger. In such cases, the Joint Life Expectancy table is used for the calculation.
  • Spouse date of birth (If applicable)
  • Your accumulation as of this past December 31
  • Grandfathered amount of this accumulation (for 403(b) plan accounts only)
    • We gather this information because any retirement money you've accumulated in a 403(b) -- tax-deferred annuity -- account prior to December 31, 1986 is considered "grandfathered" for minimum distribution purposes. That means it is not subject to the minimum distribution requirement at age 70½. You're not required to begin distributions from these funds until the year in which you turn age 75.
  • An assumed rate of return (between 0 and 8%) to be applied to your retirement balance while you are withdrawing your required minimum distribution.It is important to keep in mind that higher rates of return are associated with higher risks.

Assumptions and methodology used to generate the tool’s results

Your minimum distribution is calculated starting April 1st after the year you turn 70½.   The tool’s results show the following:

  • The date of each RMD withdrawal.
  • The calculation accumulation, or the retirement balance being used to calculate the amount of your RMD each year.The tool then projects this figure forward using each of the previous year balances and applying the assumed rate of return you entered.
  • The grandfathered amount, if any, that is not being included in the calculation accumulation until you reach age 75.
  • The annual RMD amount.
  • The divisor (the life expectancy factor) being applied each year.The tool divides the balance of your retirement and IRA accounts that you input by the life expectancy factor (the divisor) provided in IRS regulations published in Publication 590-B to determine the annual RMD amount.

Limitations of the tool

The tool does not:

  • Predict returns.A single rate of return is consistently applied in the tool for all years.In reality, your remaining balance will experience market volatility and potential loss in value.
  • Adjust RMD amounts by inflation.
  • Apply any federal or state taxes to the RMD amounts.
  • Apply specific employer plan rules.

Please answer the following questions:


This Tool is Educational

This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice under ERISA. This tool is intended to provide you with information to help you make informed decisions. You should not view or construe the availability of this tool as a suggestion that you take or refrain from taking a particular course of action, as the advice of an impartial fiduciary, or as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any securities. In making this tool and information available to you, TIAA assumes that you are capable of evaluating the information and exercising independent judgment. As such, you should consider your other assets, income and investments and you should not rely on the information as the primary basis for making investment decisions. The information that you may derive from this tool is for illustrative purposes only and is not individualized or based on your particular needs. This material does not take into account any specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances. The purpose of the tool is not to predict future returns, but to be used as education only. The assumptions underlying this tool are provided here and will change over time and from time to time. Contact your tax advisor regarding the tax implications. You should read all associated disclosures.

Questions? Please contact TIAA at 800-842-2252. We are here to help.